2-1-1 Counts can help you effect change in your local community!

Are you invested in supporting your local community? Are you interested in working with nonprofits and other organizations in your area that help connect residents with the vital resources? 2-1-1 Counts is an organization that accomplishes just that, and can serve as an excellent portal and source of information for students interested in gaining experience with nonprofits and identifying the needs of their fellow community members. 

Not only is 2-1-1 a phone number that United States residents can dial in order to be referred to local resources and services to meet their needs, but there is also a database of information online regarding which facets of life are the areas of highest need for particular regions within the United States. This can be an incredibly useful tool for students to identify which nonprofit organizations and missions they may wish to be a part of. Using the map on 2-1-1 Counts’ homepage, you are able to zero in on the county in which you would like to help, whether that be the Susquehanna River Region while you’re here at Binghamton University during the academic year, or your hometown when classes are not in session. For example, a search of the greater Binghamton region reveals the following needs within the last calendar year (see graphic below). Hovering your cursor over each category within the results will provide you with further explanations of each topic. 

Image credit: https://helpme211.211counts.org/

In addition to this database, there are also individual websites for different counties’ 2-1-1 pages that contain even more resources for residents. For example, if you explore some of 2-1-1’s printable resources for Broome County, you will find comprehensive lists of local organizations that provide clothing and food to persons in need. From there you can identify the specific organizations that best align with your personal missions and values and reach out to see what volunteer opportunities they have available. A simple outreach email or phone call to the organization could be all it takes to get connected with a network of people who share your passion for helping the community! Check out our Career Guide for tips on how to craft a professional outreach email as well as some questions you could ask professionals working within that organization. You can also book an appointment with a Fleishman Center career consultant or visit the Center for Civic Engagement to further explore ways to volunteer and give back to your community. Start getting involved today!

By Erin Hansen
Erin Hansen Career Education and Outreach Specialist