(Shreveport, LA) – On March 12, Louisiana’s 211 network began answering calls about COVID-19.  As of March 30, Louisiana 211 has received approximately 30,000 calls for help and as many messages from individuals texting for information.  This surge in activity led to an increased need for volunteers to assist in answering these calls.  United Way of Northwest Louisiana requested volunteers from the community and received an overwhelming response from citizens volunteering to help answer calls to the Louisiana 211 Helpline. As a result of this response, additional volunteers are no longer needed to handle the increase in calls at this time.

“We appreciate the overwhelming interest of the community to volunteer at this time,” said Louise Droddy, Director of 211 for United Way of Northwest Louisiana. “United Way of Northwest Louisiana will continue to collect names in case more volunteers are needed in the future.”

While priority will be given to those who have already registered to volunteer with 211, individuals interested in volunteering should continue to visit www.unitedwaynwla.org/volunteer-form to learn more about other volunteer opportunities currently available. This will allow those interested in community services to be deployed as needs and other opportunities arise.

In addition to volunteering, there are other ways to support our community at this time. “When we feel the most helpless, we actually have the power to do the most good,” says Dr. Bruce Willson, President and CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana.  “We encourage people to give to the United for NWLA Fund.  Gifts to this fund support families struggling in Northwest Louisiana after they have exhausted resources they were connected to through 211.”

For more tips on how to help, read 5 Things You Can Do to Fight the COVID-19 Crisis.

Thank you to everyone helping our community during this difficult time through volunteering or contributing to the United for NWLA Fund. We are all in this together, and United Way is here to help!