Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Letters of Gratitude

Dear 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares:

"I cannot express the words to thank you for what you have done for my family.  I greatly appreciate the help; you have no idea the stress that has been relieved because of the help you got for me, my daughter, husband and little boy.  When I told my husband, it brought tears to his eyes.  You and your organization have given so much to help us and I thank you for really going out of your way to help us in our time of financial need."

Dear 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares:

"The purpose of this letter is to let you know what a blessing the 2-1-1 program has been for my family.  My daughters are 15, 16 & 17 and are hard workers in school.  My oldest is   co-band President, Assistant Drum Major and percussion section leader at her school.  She puts her best foot forward in all her projects.  She has two younger sisters, one is 15 and one 16.  Both younger girls are also working hard in school and with their music. 

However, I've noticed the negative impact our financial difficulties have had on the girls since father's career crises hit.  

It's my goal to keep them optimistic that things will get better and in the mean time we will safely survive.

This season of life will pass and our family will be able to tell the world you and your services helped us survive it.

Thank you from the bottom of all our hearts and I promise I am teaching the girls to pay it forward."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shop with Social Impact!

Shop with a Social Impact at  Buy designer gifts and have $1 of every $5 you spend goes to 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares.

The holidays are right around the corner and this is a great way to get started on holiday shopping while supporting 2-1-1 TBC and making the holiday season a little brighter for those who need it most in our community.

Many of our friends, neighbors, and family members will be facing a crisis during the holidays this year.   The 2-1-1 phone lines are ringing with calls from parents, grandparents and other family members reaching out for holiday help for everything from food and toys, to volunteer and donation opportunities, to holiday stress and depression.

Your purchases today will ensure 2-1-1 will answer the call all day, every day, even on holidays.

When you shop with Gifts that Give, you not only have access to top name brands, but you also do social good. Giving back is easy when you shop with  

Search for us on Causes:  211 Tampa Bay Cares Inc, then shop away by category or by designer! Your purchase can make and IMPACT!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Mother's Powerful Story!

Two years ago this month, I made a call to 2-1-1 for my then 29 year old son.  He had been doing drugs for over 10 years and even with all my love and asking him to stop, he couldn't Finally, he had really hit bottom and had come to me for help.

I called 2-1-1 and asked for some names of rehabilitation facilities.  I had no idea about where or how to look on my own.  I spoke to an extremely helpful and sympathetic woman.  She gave me all sorts of information and help with things I knew absolutely nothing about.  I’m not naïve to drugs and the way that it affects everyone and at every age. But, this was my first time on such a personal level.  

I got several phone numbers from her. She wished me hope and told me to keep strong.  I think I was crying on the phone and she could hear in my voice that I really wanted this to happen for my son.  After I hung up the phone with her, I called several of the numbers she gave me and was quite surprised that some of them were actually opened at night.

One facility that 2-1-1 had given me returned my call that evening and let me know they had a lead on a place that could take him in within a week.  So, I took off a few days from my job and found myself extremely lucky that my bosses were very sympathetic to my cause.  I had to stay with my son so that he wouldn’t sneak out of the house to get drugs.  It was like watching a prisoner in our home.  I did get him in the clinic in 6 days from the night I called 2-1-1.

He went into a clinic for 10 days without outside contact.  I took him there, just he and I, and got him all set up.  This was another long process but worth every hour spent.  The place was really nice and clean and out in the country.  I met some of the staff and they were great.  The only contact he was allowed to have was one phone call a day.  He called me everyday, and everyday I cried after we spoke.  I knew that while I was on the phone with him, I had to be stronger than I have ever been in my life to help him get through it.  It was a very long 10 days.  He told me a few months later, that I was the reason he made it through, but I always remind him, that this was his choice and he was the one that made it through!

It has been 2 years this month that my son came to me and we called 2-1-1 that night.  I am 100% convinced that if I had not made the phone call to 2-1-1, he would be dead by now.  I am and will always be eternally grateful for the help I received that night.

My son has gone through a long struggle in the last 2 years, but has remained clean and has been in NA since he came out of clinic and does sponsoring of others to help them too.  His whole life has changed for the better and is healthier and happier than I have seen him in a long time.

A mother always wants the best for their children and I would do anything to help my children.  But, this experience is one that we still live everyday and no mother or father or anyone should have to go through with their children.

I am so very glad that 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares exists and I hope it stays around for a very long time!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Schedule of Veteran's Day Events

Veteran's Day Schedule of Events

November 10
  • Amvets, 5864 Park St. North, St. Petersburg - Pig Roast (2:00pm)
  • American Legion, 600 American Legion Dr., Madeira Beach - Boat Parade (10:30am)

November 11
  • Bay Pines VA Hospital, St. Petersburg - Veteran's Day Ceremony (10:00am)
  • American Legion, Safety Harbor Marina, Veteran's Boat Show (11:00am)
  • American Legion, 11433 78th Ave. N., Seminole - Ceremony (12:30pm)
  • American Legion, 6999 Gulf Blvd., St. Petersburg Beach - Ceremony (11:00am)
  • American Legion, 1760 Turner St., Clearwater - Entertainment & Food (11:00am)
  • American Legion, 360 Wilson St., Dunedin - Cookout (1:00pm)
  • American Legion, 130 1st Ave., S.W., Largo - Ceremony (12:00pm)
  • American Legion, 600 American Legion Dr., Madeira Beach - Ceremony (11:00am)
  • American Legion, 7550 50th St., Pinellas Park - Cook Out (12:00pm)
  • Amvets, 421 45th Ave., South, St. Petersburg - Ceremony (3:00pm)
  • Amvets, 4681 County Road 16, St. Petersburg - Cook Out & Music (12:00pm)
  • Amvets, 5864 Park St. North, St. Petersburg - Flag Raising (1:00pm)
  • Amvets, 4200 62nd Ave., Pinellas Park - Flag Raising (11:00pm)
  • Amvets, 1825 N. Highland Ave., Clearwater - Ceremony (2:00pm)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall

Kicking off Veteran's Week, there will be a 5 city tour beginning at Clearwater's Coachman Park in Clearwater.  On November 1st, you can observe the sheriff's escorted arrival of The Wall.   Opening ceremony is at noon on Friday, November 2nd with Closing ceremony taking place on Sunday, November 4th at 5pm.  See motorcade map below.  Please visit Clearwater Veteran's Alliance website for additional information on this event. 

Mals Route_Updated-2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Celebrate Oktoberfest - Support 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares

2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares is partnering with the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce for a fundraiser by selling entry tickets to the Top O’ The Bay Oktoberfest in Oldsmar. Oktoberfest is being held October 19-21, 2012 at Tampa Bay Downs..

The UTB Chamber has provided us with Oktoberfest entry tickets to sell for $5 each (face value). 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares will keep 100% of every ticket we sell! By purchasing entry tickets from us you can support our organization, and enjoy what is considered by many to be the largest and most authentic Oktoberfest in West Central Florida!

Oktoberfest brings the best of Old Bavaria and New Florida together for three full days of authentic German food, drink, music and dancing ... along with a spectacular carnival & midway, a great arts & crafts show, and the wildest array of audience participation contests that the Tampa Bay area has ever seen! Oktoberfest is not only a great ethnic tradition but also a great time for the whole family to enjoy. Parking is FREE, and entry for children 12 and under is FREE!
If you haven’t been to the Upper Tampa Bay Oktoberfest, treat yourself to a great weekend!

For more information about Top O’ the Bay Oktoberfest, visit

Tickets are available at the 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares office located at:

14155 58th Street N., Ste. 211, Clearwater, FL 33760

Monday-Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm
Tickets will be sold through Friday, October 19th.

Checks are to be make payable to 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares and exact cash amounts will be accepted. 

For more information, please call 727-210-4241 or e-mail

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Letter of Appreciation

Client Testimonial

2-1-1 TBC Open House

On September 12th, we showed off our new home and shared how 2-1-1 TBC is supporting businesses, individuals and families in our community.  
Our Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies were a huge success!

 A big Thank You to the St Petersburg Area Chamber for supporting our Open House!

Back row - Left to right
Paul Frielander - My Marketing Department
Major George Steffen - 2-1-1 Board Member, Bonnie Bollenback - 2-1-1 Board Member
Chris Hiestand - 1 Source Partners, Martha Linderman - 2-1-1 Board, Brooke Boccacino - St. Petersburg Chamber and Jim Lehrburger - 2-1-1 Board Secretary

Front Row - left to right
Andrea Tocco - ETICA Accounting, Debb Pauley - 2-1-1 Board Member, Marion Rich - 2-1-1 Board Vice Chair, Micki Thompson - 2-1-1 Executive Director, Grant Petersen - 2-1-1 Board Chair, Chris Steinocher - President, St. Petersburg Area Chamber and Shirley Miaoulis - District Representative, Congressman C. W. Bill Young office

A big Thank you to Clearwater Regional Chamber for supporting our Open House!

Back Row - left to right
Rich Vitraelli, VitTax Advisory Corp., Ed Woods, Protection 1 Security Solutions, Bonnie Bollenback, 2-1-1 TBC Board member, Bill Jonson, Council Member, City of Clearwater, Jim Lehrburger, 2-1-1 TBC Board Secretary, Martha Lenderman, 2-1-1 Board member, Karen Williams Seel, Pinellas County Commissioner
Front Row - left to right
Felipe Herrera, 2-1-1 Board member, Geri Costello, 2-1-1 TBC staff, Debb Pauley, 2-1-1 Board member, Grant Petersen, 2-1-1  TBC Board Chair, Micki Thompson, 2-1-1 Executive Director, Marion Rich, 2-1-1 TBC Board Vice Chair, Kip Corriveau, 2-1-1 TBC Board member and Darryl Henderson, St. Petersburg College  
We had fun keeping up the the 2-1-1 Live Twitter Stream!
(left) Debb Paulie, 2-1-1 TBC Board member and (right) Eddie Burch, JWB Communication
& Outreach Coordinator

(Left) Martha Linderman and (right) Major George Steffen, 2-1-1 TBC Boad members welcomes (center) Patricia Gerard, Mayor, City of Largo

Contact Center Tours

Angela Pelegrini, Contact Center Manager
giving tour of 2-1-1 TBC's Contact Center  

(left) Angela Pelegrini, Contact Center Manager with (center) Norm Roche, Pinellas County Commissioner and (right) Otto Cuevas, VoZes Magazine during a tour of 2-1-1 TBC's Contact Center

2-1-1 TBC Staff

 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares Board of Directors and staff want to thank community leaders, local chambers, businesses, and community patners for attending and helping to make our Open House a hugh success!

2-1-1 Board of Directors

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Find The Magic In Giving Back!

Calling All Shoppers!

2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares is partnering with Macy’s for the seventh annual Shop for a Cause. 

Since 2006, Macy’s Shop For A Cause event has partnered with non-profit organizations nationwide to raise more than $42 million for their ongoing charitable efforts.  This is your chance to be part of this monumental event on Saturday, August 25, 2012.

Shop For A Cause gives you the opportunity to give back to your community and to help our organization.  You can support us by purchasing a $5 Shopping Pass for exclusive savings in every Macy’s store on Saturday, August 25th, and we keep 100% of the proceeds.  Plus, you can enter to win a $500 Macy’s Gift Card.  Shopping passes are available for purchase at:

2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares
14155  58th Street North, Suite 211,
Clearwater, FL  33760
Monday thru Friday
8:30am to 4:30PM
Through Friday, August 24th

2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares relies on financial contributions from our community to keep the service operating.  We do not charge callers or web users to use our service.  

We appreciate your support!

For more information about 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, visit our websites at and

2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares is a non-profit organization that provides the only free, confidential, multi-lingual, 24 hour dialing code – 2-1-1 – for access to critical health and human services available in the community for every day needs and in times of crisis.

2-1-1 connects people with community and social service information and resources such as finding food for their families or a place to stay for the night or ways to help pay their bills.

2-1-1 provides a one-stop service for this vital information and enables people to get assistance before they give up by providing someone to talk to and someone to listen.

Friday, July 20, 2012

FEMA Public Assistance Applicant's Briefing - July 27

If you had a damages or other Public Assistance claims as a result of TS Debby and you are an eligible entity, there will be a FEMA Applicant’s Briefing as indicated below.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have confirmed that an Applicant Briefing is scheduled for July 27th, 10:00AM, at the Sunstar Auditorium (12490 Ulmerton Road, Largo).  At the Applicant Briefing, the State will go over eligibility requirements for the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) program, as well as request that potential applicants submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) on the website. Instructions on how to do this will be provided at the Applicant Briefing.  

Applicants can include county agencies/departments, municipalities, villages, towns, districts, and private non-profits. Private non-profits can include educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care, and other entities such as museums, zoos, homeless shelters, libraries, etc. It does not include damage to individual property.
If you are planning to apply for FEMA Public Assistance you should have a representative at this meeting. You do not need specific claim information for this meeting.

This is an informational briefing; if you are planning to file an application for FEMA PA reimbursement you should have a representative at this meeting. At this meeting, FEMA representatives will schedule individual meetings with each applicant.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back to School Events  
Saturday, July 21st
Free Children's Health Fair on Saturday, July 21st from
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Long Center, 1501 N. Belcher Rd., Clearwater.
Saturday, August 4th 
Back to School Care Fair on Saturday, August 4th from  8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Johnnie Ruth Clarke Health Center, 1344 22nd Street South, St. Petersburg. Saturday, Saturday, August 11th
12th Annual Back to School Health & Safety Fair
 on Saturday, August 11th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 455 Missouri Ave., Largo.
Thursday, August 16th
"End of Summer Dayze" on Thursday, August 16th from  
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ridgecrest Y, 180119th Street N., Largo.

For more information on Back to School events,
call 2-1-1
Be sure to stop by a 2-1-1 TBC table to learn more about our programs and services.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Welcome To Our Newest Volunteers!

Maureen Thomas
Family Services Initiative Assistant

Debra Infante
Family Services Initiative Assistant

Glen Walker
Family Services Initiative Courier
Maureen, Debra, and Glen assist 2-1-1TBC staff with the Family Services Initiative program which provides a helping hand to families when unexpected situations happen that can lead them to falling deeper in to the Health & Human Services system.

Cristina Gonzalez
Contact Center Volunteer

This position provides information and referrals to callers needing resources for holiday programs, tax preparation, Back to School, food, emergency shelter, homeless and utility bill assistance and linking them to appropriate resources.

To learn about our new and exciting volunteer opportunities where you can utilize your time, talents and experience please e-mail Geri at or call 727-210-4209.


Monday, June 11, 2012

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is asking for the public’s assistance in keeping Florida’s children safe from online predators.

This month, children across the state have begun their summer vacations, and now have ample amounts of free time.  Some of this free time will likely be spent on the computer.  With this in mind, FDLE is asking for parents and guardians to open a dialogue with their children about computer safety.

In 2011, law enforcement in Florida arrested over 1200 individuals who attempted to victimize children through use of the internet.

Over the next three months, FDLE will be placing weekly tips on our Facebook page at: page. These tips are designed to both educate and provide tools which the public can use to protect their children and enhance their own computer safety.

Online child victimization is becoming more prevalent as technology changes, so it is paramount that law enforcement and the public work together to keep our children safe.

For more information regarding computer safety please visit

Friday, May 11, 2012

This afternoon, we attended the 2nd Annual InterCultural Advocacy Institute (Hispanic Outreach Center) Luncheon which recognizes individuals and community partnerships for their significant work in the Hispanic community. This year two of our Board members, Felipe Herrera and Kip Corriveau were nominated for the Hero Award.  We are extremely proud of them and value our membership with the InterCultural Advocacy Institute.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thank You 2-1-1 TBC Volunteers

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, 2-1-1 TBC honored our volunteers with a luncheon at Mythos Greek Taverna in Clearwater. Several members of the 2-1-1 Board and staff thanked volunteers for their dedication and commitment to our agency and community. The volunteers were presented with a gift, certificate of appreciation and a letter from Governor Scott thanking them for their volunteer service.

If you are interested in a volunteer opportunity with 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, please register to join us on Tuesday, May 8th and attend our Volunteer Recruitment Event. See the registration information and link below.

2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares

Invites You to Our

Volunteer Recruitment Event

We Need Your Help!

Approximately 90,000 people in need of help call 2-1-1 TBC every year. We provide that critical connection between people and community resources.

Please Join Us to learn more about 211 and our newand exciting volunteer opportunities where you can utilize your time, talents and experience.If you have a few hours a week to spare and want to do something that is satisfying and of great service to your community, become a 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares volunteer!

Tuesday, May 8th


14155 - 58th Street N., Clearwater

Room 191

9:00am to 10:30am


1:30pm to 3:00pm

Register Today:

*Must be 18 years of age and able to pass a Level 2 background check.

If you are interested in volunteering and are unable to attend, please contact Geri atgeric@211tampabay.orgor call 727-210-4209.

Visit us at

Monday, April 16, 2012

National Volunteer Week Letter from the Governor

National Volunteer Week

Established by President Richard Nixon with an executive order in 1974, this national week of service brings together people from all walks of life to make a difference each year.

National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out ways to engage in their communities.

The staff at 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares thanks our volunteers for their dedication, hard work and support they give to our agency and the community. You do "Make a Difference".

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Volunteer's Story!

When one good thing turns into another good thing, you know you're into something really good! For volunteer Lygia Lostal, that's exactly what happened.

While still in her senior year at USF pursuing a degree in biology, our hard working volunteer, had her sights on a Genetics Counseling Graduate program that required advocacy experience as a requirement for admission. While researching the many non-profits in the Tampa Bay area as possibilities to gain the advocacy experience as a volunteer, Lygia decided on 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares in Clearwater. Starting out as a Skill Level 1 Contact Center volunteer, she has not only gained the advocacy experience she needed to pursue her graduate degree, but the training helped her become more comfortable talking to people, developing her skills at assessing and understanding each caller's personal situation.

The work must have been a good fit for Lygia because within only a few months, she found out that she was very close to accumulating enough hours to win a President's Volunteer Bronze Service Award. But then with a heavy school schedule and a new job Lygia was finding it difficult to fit in the additional hours needed to meet the requirements for the award. To help accommodate Lygia's schedule, she was offered an opportunity to volunteer remotely on a special project.

Lygia was given the assignment of researching live-chat systems through out the country, which led to 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares own live chat system which is a successful and valuable service to the organization and the community.

Not long after Lygia completed the live-chat project, she was back in the Contact Center, now as a Skill Level 2. But then, Lygia needed ankle surgery! Once again she was offered a project to work on remotely since she was unable to drive. This project required research for a disaster preparedness guide which will eventually be posted to our website. This project afforded Lygia the opportunity to accrue the number of remaining hours needed to qualify for the President's Volunteer Bronze Service Award.

Lygia's story is a perfect example of a win-win situation. Not only has she gained valuable experiences and recognition that will be beneficial in pursuing her dreams, her work has made a difference in the lives of so many people in her community.

As Lygia says, "Ït's definitely a great organization to volunteer for and all the hard work the volunteers put in are always appreciated and everyone goes out of their way to make you feel at home and welcomed."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stop By & Visit Us!

Country In The Park
Saturday, March 17th
10am to 4pm
Town Square Plaza Park, located at 5010 81st Ave N, Pinellas Park.

Country In The Park is a Community Service Expo hosted by the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce and features dozens of agencies and organizations providing education, youth, recreation, health, housing, special needs care and other services.

So stop by and speak to one of 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares staff or volunteers to learn how you can access information about critical health and human services available in your community for every day needs and in times of crisis.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

National 2-1-1 Day!

The purpose of National 2-1-1 Day is to highlight the importance and the need for a community that is connected and informed regarding critical health and human service information for those who need help and those who are willing to volunteer or donate their time to local community agencies.

Every hour of every day, hundreds of people are in need of essential human services - they are looking for employment, food for their family, help for an aging parent, addiction prevention programs for their teenage children, a place to stay for the night, affordable child care options, support groups and ways of becoming part of their community. Many times they are also looking for ways to volunteer or donate in the community and want to know where their time, talents, and donations are needed most.

Please join us today in spreading the word about 2-1-1 by using the power of the internet and your personal and professional relationships. We encourage you to celebrate with us by getting connected and involved. Visit our website at

Sunday, February 5, 2012

National 2-1-1 Day Countdown Question

Do you know how many health and human service resources are listed in our online database?

Friday, February 3, 2012

National 2-1-1 Day Countdown Question!

How do you think 2-1-1 helps the community? To leave your comments please visit our 2-1-1 TBC Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Countdown to National 2-1-1 Day!!

Did you know that February 11th is National 2-1-1 Day? Over the next 10 days we will countdown to February 11th with interesting facts, polls, articles and more. Get Connected! Get Involved! COUNTDOWN WITH US TO NATIONAL 2-1-1 DAY!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Free Tax Preparation Assistance

If you earned less than $50 thousand during this calendar year, you may be eligible for free tax preparation assistance. To view a list of what you will need to bring with you to the VITA site to file your taxes, visit Dial 2-1-1 for more information.