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The holidays can be tough – 211 is here to help

The holidays can be tough – 211 is here to help

The holiday season is a time for Calgarians to do some of the things they love most – spending time with loved ones, revisiting annual traditions and enjoying winter activities. But for many Calgarians, the holidays and the winter season become a time of stress and anxiety.

The holidays can cause immense stress on a family’s finances, as they struggle to provide a merry Christmas to their children, while still paying bills and putting food on the table.

Winter weather can be a nightmare for Calgarians in need who lack proper cold weather clothing or a safe and warm place to sleep at night.

For many seniors, winter is an especially isolating season, causing depression and loneliness. New Canadians may find this time of year overwhelming and struggle to access services when they are still working on their English language skills.

This is also the time where many Calgarians look to give back or donate their time by volunteering, but aren’t sure where to do so.

Calgarians looking for help need to know that there is a simple, free-to-use, 3-digit number that they can call for help connecting with the thousands of social, community and government services in Calgary and Area, services that are ready to help vulnerable Calgarians, and grateful to receive donations and volunteered time from Calgarians looking to give back.

211 can connect Calgarians in need with shelters and agencies that provide winter clothing. 211 can help seniors find an organization that pairs them with a friendly volunteer to spend time with. 211 can help new Canadians find resources in the language they’re most comfortable using. And 211 connects donors and volunteers with a cause they care about.

211 is a free information and referral service that connects Calgarians with the help they need, whatever that help may be. When you don’t know where to turn, simply dial 211.

“We know the holidays are a stressful, tough time for many Calgarians,” said Robyn Romano, Director of Operations at Distress Centre Calgary. “We want them to know that 211 is here and ready to connect them with thousands or agencies and organizations who can help.”

211 is confidential, available 24/7 and offered in over 200 languages. Online chat is also available from 12-8pm daily at ab.211.ca. In Calgary and Area, 211 is a program of Distress Centre Calgary, United Way of Calgary and Area and the City of Calgary.

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, Distress Centre Calgary would like to honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations – Indigenous and non – who live, work and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.