“The minute I called, I knew: Oh my goodness, this is a godsend.”


Until a few weeks ago Kristen had never heard of 2-1-1.

But after a news anchor mentioned the hotline, she researched it and decided to call.

“The minute I called, I knew: Oh my goodness, this is a godsend,” she said.

When the Colorado Springs woman isn’t working, she spends much of her time volunteering. She never expected to be the one asking for help, but after COVID-19 started spreading across the Pikes Peak region, she was placed on unpaid leave from her job. And then her car broke down.

She didn’t know where to turn.

“To make me be able to receive the help that I’ve been given is because of the people that I’ve dealt with on the phone,” she said. “They put me at ease. … That’s huge. You never want to make someone who’s not used to asking for help feel guilty about it.

“It’s why I didn’t call for so long, but then, it finally got to the point where I was eating food I shouldn’t be eating. I was eating, like, boxed macaroni and cheese that cost 39 cents, every day. And then I knew if I bought frozen peas, I could mix them in and get more meals out of it.”

Because of her Crohn’s disease, she shouldn’t have been eating macaroni and cheese at all.

“I was finding myself at my wit’s end,” she said.

She received a free box of food through the new delivery program for seniors and others who are homebound during the pandemic. The program is run by Pikes Peak United Way, Care and Share Food Bank for Southern ColoradoCOSiloveyouCrossfire MinistriesThe Salvation Army Colorado Springs Corps and Silver Key Senior Services.

“Honestly, there’s not a couple of hours that go by that I don’t have this moment that I open up my pantry, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have tuna! I can have tuna!’ You know? Or, ‘Oh my gosh, I can actually make soup.’”

The day she received the food, she called 2-1-1 again — this time, to thank the people who took her call and arranged the delivery.

“I could not have asked for more beautiful groceries than I got today, and I’m literally crying because I’m so grateful,” she said. “Everything is something that I eat. There’s not one thing that I don’t eat. So, I just want to let you guys know, thank you so much. I’m going to stretch all my groceries out, and I will be fine for a while, but I just want you to know that this was the most beautiful thing that has happened to me in a very long time. So thank you so much, and I’m blessed.”

PLEASE CONSIDER A GIFT TODAY SO WE CAN CONTINUE THIS WORK: https://www.ppunitedway.org/covid-19-donation/

If you don’t have transportation to get groceries, you can receive a free food box. Simply call Pikes Peak United Way at 2-1-1, and the box will be delivered in 24 to 48 hours.
#LookForTheHelpers #DoingMyPartCO #StrongerTogether

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The Peak Progress (QLI) Report is a community effort to look at and evaluate different components of quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region. This project convenes volunteers, community members, and leaders from across the region (Vision Councils) to gather and evaluate data and create goals (referred to as “priority areas”) in various categories.

This report originated in 2007 after Howard Brooks and Jerry Smith recognized the need for benchmarking information and gathered the necessary community support and resources to publish the first edition. The 2019/2020 report seeks to move the report forward by not only focusing on indicators, but also looking for ways to take these findings and create actionable change and improve the quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region. To do this, we followed the original process of creating benchmarks by comparing the Pikes Peak Region to other regions in order to see how we are doing compared to other places in the United States, as well as looking at data over time.

This report is for anyone from a general citizen to an elected representative. Based on the foundation of community groups, networks, and resources that were assembled to develop it, this highly beneficial tool provides reliable and easy to understand data with the potential and proposed steps for actionable change.  

“The minute I called, I knew: Oh my goodness, this is a godsend.”

“The minute I called, I knew: Oh my goodness, this is a godsend.”