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 Colorado, COSiloveyou, Crossfire Ministries, The 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.
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