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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Summer Savings

YMCA Camp WewaDunnellon GraduationWith the end of the school year on the horizon, whether you are headed to college or headed to summer camp, 2-1-1 can help connect you to programs to save you money. Some of the deadlines* are very quickly approaching in April, so start applying as soon as possible.

Are you college bound? 2-1-1 can tell you about some resources for scholarships.

Are you ready to jump in to summer camp? 2-1-1 can connect you with day camps, residential summer camps, and programs (camperships) to make them free or low cost.

Give us a call 24/7 to learn about scholarships and camperships for your family!

*Since these programs have deadlines, once the deadline has passed, the program will no longer be listed in our database until they begin accepting applications again.
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Don’t become a victim of identity theft

Heritage Bank of the South is sponsoring a Shred-A-Thon!

Cost:  FREE
What: Anyone is welcome to bring their documents they no longer need to retain
WhenFriday, April 19 11 AM – 2 PM
Where1409 East Silver Springs Blvd. Ocala, FL
Why: “Last year, 12 million Americans become victims of identity theft, the most prevalent, fastest growing crime in the nation. The reason— personal information is easy to obtain and identity thieves are difficult to catch. Fortunately, you can prevent identity theft by shredding your personal documents.”

Click here for additional locations, dates and information.

Do Your Utility Bills Make Your Jaw Drop? Part 1

power_stripPart 1 in a 2 part series. Anytime is a great time to put in place some energy saving remedies to keep your bills from shooting through the roof(literally and figuratively) with cold and hot weather.

10+ Free/Cheap Ways to Save on Electric
(this list is compiled from various utility companies and conservation websites)

It’s Electric.

  1. Monitor. Many utility companies provide FREE energy and water usage monitoring so you can see what you are using each day. That can help you know when you are using more than you can afford, or if there is a leak.
  2. Audit. There are companies who provide FREE home energy audits. They will come to your home and let you know information such as if your windows are leaking, if your wiring is wasting electricity, and which appliances are draining your wallet. If you are a renter, you will likely need permission from the landlord. (more…)

2-1-1 Success: Out of the Woods

veteranMany years ago, John* served our country in the military. Now, 2-1-1 has had the honor of serving him. For the past several years, John was living in the woods in Marion County. An elder in our community, John needed a home so he called 2-1-1. The Information and Referral Specialist connected him with agencies such as Marion County Senior Services, Senior Legal Helpline and Vets Helping Vets. He is very happy to share with us that now, with their help, he has a roof over his head, he has electricity, and he’s now able to focus on getting help with his disability. What he appreciated about 2-1-1 was not only getting connected to resources, but the compassion we shared. He was able to vent about the obstacles he has faced and the Information and Referral Specialist was able to help him use innovative thinking about some alternative solutions to his struggles. Thank you John, for letting 2-1-1 be of service.

*Name changed for privacy

“What Can I Do?”

To volunteer with agencies in Marion County who are working to alleviate hunger and homelessness visit the United Way Volunteer Resource Center.

To learn more about which resources in Marion County provide legal counseling, low-income housing, and utility deposit payment assistance, dial 2-1-1. We are open 24 hours a day.

Parents: Want someone to make you dinner, take care of your kids, and ease your stress for FREE?

Image from www.parentingnow.org

Image from parentingnow.org

You’re in luck! There are a few agencies in Marion County who offer parenting classes to help take the stress out of parenting. The Early Learning Coalition’s Success By 6 “Active Parenting” program is a class for parents with children birth to six years old. The next class will be on 3/13/13 and dinner as well as child care will be provided. “Topics include early literacy, behavior management, child health and safety, childhood development, sign language, car safety for your family, utilizing community resources, reducing parenting stress, and financial stability and budgeting.” All this is FREE! To see all agencies in Marion County who provide parenting classes, click here.

2-1-1 is coming to HBO!

American Winter poster

2-1-1 Info in Oregon is being featured in American Winter on 3/18/13.

“AMERICAN WINTER is a timely documentary that follows the personal stories of families struggling in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  Filmed over the winter of 2011-12, the film presents an intimate snapshot of the state of the nation’s economy as it is playing out in the lives of many American families. It reveals the human consequences of cuts to social services, the decline of the middle class, and the fracturing of the American Dream.

AMERICAN WINTER is produced and directed by Emmy® Award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, creators of HBO’s Taxicab Confessions.”

Click on the image to learn more about the movie. Do you have HBO? Consider hosting a viewing party!

What’s new at 2-1-1?

WhatsNewIn February, 2-1-1  added the following programs and agencies to our database for Marion County. Below each agency/program you’ll see “Ask 2-1-1”, these are the key terms you can use to look up the resources on your own via our online database, or when you call 2-1-1 you can mention those terms to the Information and Referral Specialist to get a list of resources for that service in your area. (more…)

Get Your Taxes Filed for FREE

Call 2-1-1 to schedule your appointment for FREE tax preparation and filing.

Free Tax Preparation appointments are available in February, March and April. Don’t pay for filing income tax, loans, or rapid refunds.  VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) 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 $5,000.

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