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Happy-New-YearThe New Year is just a few short days away, consider making an early resolution and LIVE UNITED by giving to the United Way!

Here are a few great reasons why:

  • Your donation, combined with thousands of others, has the greatest possible impact.
  • All donations stay in the local community to address local problems.
  • Our grant process is led by community volunteers to ensure the greatest impact.
  • All funded programs are thoroughly reviewed for effectiveness and accountability.

Nationwide Service? Sure Thing.

flag2-1-1 doesn’t just serve Marion County, we are nationwide*. Do you have family or friends in need who live outside of the area? Let them know about 2-1-1. You can also call and advocate on their behalf. Simply dial 2-1-1 and let the information and referral specialist where your loved one lives and we can tell you the 10 digit number to reach their local 2-1-1. Marion County 2-1-1 also has thousands of listings of statewide and nationwide resources. (more…)

File Your Taxes for FREE!

EITC Bag care of capriverside.org2-1-1 is now scheduling tax appointments for 2014!

Don’t pay for filing income tax, loans, or rapid refunds. VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistane) e-filing gets your cash to you in 8-10 days! Don’t forget to ask if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Many families do not take advantage of or are unaware of the EITC, which could increase their tax refund by up to $6,044.

Simply dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to us at 898-211 to make an appointment.

If you want to file your taxes on your own, you could save $200 right now by (more…)

A Horse is a Horse Unless of Course…

horsetherapy According to www.ocalamarion.com, Marion County is the horse capital of the world. When most people think of therapy, they think of sitting on a couch and talking with a counselor. Did you know that horses make great therapists? Now, we don’t mean they’re going to start talking like our old friend Mr. Ed… Equestrian therapy, also known as equine therapy or hippotherapy, helps both as a form of physical therapy as well as psychotherapy.  (more…)

Who Let the Dogs Out?

DogsOutMemeIs there a stray dog or a bear wandering around your neighborhood? You’re in luck, 2-1-1 can get you connected to Marion County government services such as animal services and control. They can help relocate the bear to a safer place and match the dog up with a loving owner.

Did you know that right now there are over 60 dogs and 40 cats available (and even 2 horses) to adopt in Marion county? There are some eligibility requirements in order for you to adopt, so check those out before you head on down. No need to purchase a pet at a pet store because these loving and adorable pets would love to come live with you! If you lost your four legged friend, check out their Lost Pet Finder and check back frequently.

Of course, don’t forget to protect your pet by getting them vaccinated, licensed and chipped… all services that Marion County Animal Services can provide. Florida Teaching Zoo can also assist with pet vaccinations. Depending on your situation, 2-1-1 can even connect you with a resource to help you feed your dog.

Get Healthy with 2-1-1!

nutritionYou don’t have to wait for January to make some resolutions. Did you know that 2-1-1 can let you know about live healthy resources such as exercise classes, nutrition education, health education, rec centers and activities, health screenings, vaccines, as well as programs to help you kick your vices be they alcohol, cigarettes or other substances? If you want to get healthy, simply dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to us at 898-211 to learn about the many resources near you.

Q & A: Goodbye Hurricanes, Hello Fire

floridadisaster.orgThe end of hurricane season is just around the corner on November 30th, but did you know that wildfire season in Florida is 12 months long? However, according to floridadisaster.org, “most wildfires occur during the January-June period when tropical moisture is cut off to the state and cold fronts bring dry, windy conditions”. While wildfire is good for the forests, Florida has the second highest number of wildfires in the nation, and sometimes they can negatively impact our communities.

There are some great tips for fire prevention that can be found by simply dialing 2-1-1 to get the information for your local department of emergency management or fire department. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is a great source of information about what programs are in place to prevent wildfires. Floridadisaster.org has information for children and adults about what we can do in our homes and communities to prevent and prepare for a possible fire. They also have a great page for kids to learn more about wildfires and other natural disasters that affect Florida.

Did you know that you can visit the Ocala National Forest website to see what level the fire risk is on a daily basis?

Winter Break Is Coming Your Way

Gone Fishing! -Ocala Parks and RecFinding programs for your children when school is not in session can be stressful. Marion County agencies are easing the stress this holiday season by opening sign up early and offering partial scholarships to families in need. So call, text or chat with 2-1-1 online to find a winter break camp near you.

Ocala Parks and Rec: Lillian Bryant will be providing the only FREE option, that we are aware of, for Winter Break. They are having Open Rec where children can come and go as they please, but if you want your child to stay there all day, just let the staff know and they can accommodate that request. Call 2-1-1 for further details.

Church of God Deliverer: They are hosting a Vacation Bible Camp for $25 for 1st child, $5 for each additional child, 12/23/13-1/3/14, closed 12/25 and 1/1. Call 2-1-1 for further details.

Marion County Parks and Rec: Good times at Brick City, including hiking, kayaking, fishing and more for $75/child.  12/30/13-1/3/14 (closed 1/1)  Scholarships are available based on need. Call 2-1-1 for further details.

Shores Assembly of God: Located over on Midway Road, they will be open both weeks of Winter Break for $75/week. Scholarships may become available. Call 2-1-1 for further details as we get closer to the date.

YMCA: The YMCA will be open for both weeks for winter break, and they are offering scholarships for 25-50% off. They will be closed 12/25 and 1/1. The cost is $110/week for members. Call 2-1-1 for further details.

The First Duty of Society is Justice.

buzzfeed.com“The first duty of society is justice.” – Alexander Hamilton

2-1-1 has many listings for local, state and national legal counseling services covering issues such as immigrationelder lawliving willstrust preparationadult guardianship and more.

These agencies in Marion County take the commitment to justice to heart and provide free or sliding scale legal services to families with low incomes. A post about legal services wouldn’t be complete without a disclaimer. Always clarify with the agencies as services and fees may change over time.


You May Not Be Dreaming of a White Christmas…

liveunited-snowmanBut many Marion County residents are dreaming about toys for their kids for the holidays. While Salvation Army and Toys for Tots have wrapped up their application process for the year, not to worry… there are still a few options out there. For more details about these opportunities, simply dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211 for free 24 hours a day. To create a memorable experience for your children without spending money, also check out the Go Guide for dozens of free community events this season in Marion County

St Marks United Methodist: Free pancakes with Santa on Dec (more…)

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