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United Way Blog

Lending a Helping Hand

You may not think someone in IT is in the business of helping people turn their lives around, but you’d be wrong.

I’m a data resource manager for Jewish Community Services of South Florida in Miami. But my job goes way beyond managing databases. I’m part of the “back end” of 211, a 24/7 resource that connects people in the Miami area to programs, services and agencies that can help them.

A couple of months ago, I got an email from one of our community’s agencies, asking if I could connect a client with job resources. She knew that I curate the community resource database, so can find resources for a certain kind of problem quickly.

I picked up the phone and talked to “Joe” for about 30 minutes. He’d just gotten out of prison, after serving a 25-year sentence.  He needed a job, but didn’t know where to go or what to do. All he had was $25.

Things had changed a lot in the years he’d been away. He felt like he was playing “catch-up.” For example, he was new to the Internet, and just learning how to the email account that had been set up for him.

His job-hunting had consisted of going down to the local big box hardware store in the mornings, hoping to get picked up by a contractor in need of a crew for the day. He hadn’t been having much luck, but didn’t know what else to do.

Despite the stress, he was hopeful. All he wanted was a chance to get back on his feet, and start his new life.

I looked through our resources, and provided him with a number of leads and agencies he could contact.

“Joe” was relieved, happy for the help and to have been heard. He told me he was ready to make a change in his life, and said he was grateful that agencies like ours still took the time to help others.

Being able to help him directly made me so happy. Helping someone is something you never forget. If you have the chance to help someone, please do it – because you never know when you can change a person’s life.  

If you or anyone you know needs help, please call, text or email today.

#211  #211Day #Team211 #helpinghands

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