For the first time in five years, 2-1-1 employees are seeing a decrease in calls from people who need help, but they're seeing an increase in calls from people wanted to volunteer their time.
Jonathan noble has been volunteering with wiregrass united way 2-1-1 since January.
“Some days I answer phones.“ 2-1-1 volunteer Jonathan Noble said.
But he's doing much more than being the voice on the other end of someone’s phone call.
He's their connection to resources he once needed.
“I help find them resources to help with food, and housing.” Noble said.
And wiregrass 2-1-1 employees are starting to see more people like noble show up to volunteer.
“It’s a wonderful thing. More and more people are calling to volunteer who want to give back to the community.” Wiregrass 2-1-1 Director David Duke said.
This is actually the first year duke has seen volunteers affect the number of calls coming in.
He says 4% of the more than 7000 calls the agency receives have been from people just like noble ... Who want to give back.
“There have been a lot of people in my life down through the years who have helped me in many different ways, many different times, family friends and even complete strangers and this was an opportunity for me to show my gratitude by turning around and trying to help other people.” Noble said.
And noble has, giving residents access to more than 800 organizations that could make their life easier.
“I’ve talked to people about this and when we look around the world we see a lot of pain and suffering. That’s a reality in this world and sometimes that reality can seem overwhelming and even defeating.” Noble said.
But with every phone call noble answers, he does his best to let others know their tough situation can get better.
“Helping people will alleviate the pain and suffering we feel in this world so it’s very important people are willing to volunteer.” Noble said.
This is the first time volunteers have shown up on the 2-1-1 incoming call statistic sheet since the center opened in 2008.
For the 2013 fiscal year, 99-point-8 percent of callers said they would recommend 2-1-1 for someone in the future.