Monday, October 31, 2011

Military Families, Veterans and 2-1-1

Lindsay Wyatt, a volunteer in the 2-1-1 Contact Center, shares her story of how she came to volunteer with us.

Growing up Lindsay spent a lot of time on Air Force bases and has always supported our military. Her dad is now retired from the military and has worked as a civilian for approximately 20 years at MacDill Air Force Base in Telecommunications CentCom. Lindsay's first job was at MacDill Air Force Base working at the base exchange. In this job, she said, "I witnessed many military families who were not only having financial difficulties, but when the military returned home from overseas, I saw the difficulty they had in locating a place to stay and readjusting to civilian life." Lindsay said, "I remember people coming into the base exchange to make purchases for the care packages they were assembling to help the military families." In February 2011, Lindsay joined our volunteer team at 2-1-1.

Last year 2-1-1 answered 4,743 calls from military families and veterans regarding housing, electric assistance, food, and mental health and substance abuse issues.

80% of the callers were homeless and of the total number of calls answered, 31% had minor children living in the home.

When asked, how Lindsay heard about the volunteer opportunities at 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, she replied, "I heard about 2-1-1 through Argosy when applying to grad school. I selected the Contact Center position because it would give me a preview of what my career would be like, to gain experience, and I wanted to help others."

Lindsay would like to pursue a career in private practice for clinical child and adolescent Psychology. Lindsay said, "I want to continue volunteering with 2-1-1, I had no idea the vast amount of resources there are to help the military and their families, and 2-1-1 is extremely important to all the people in our community."

If you are interested in volunteering with 2-1-1, just visit our website to complete a Volunteer Registration form. Our next Orientation/Training is on January 26, 2012.