United Way: Someone will be available to listen, talk through problems

Posted: Updated:
HARTSDALE -

Employees at a Hudson Valley nonprofit spent Christmas Day helping people in need.

The United Way of Westchester and Putnam is open every day of the year for people who are facing financial problems, substance abuse, homelessness and other issues. Residents just need to dial 211 in order to get in touch with the nonprofit.

"People's needs don't stop because it's a holiday, and in fact, in many cases, the needs are greater," says Alana Sweeny, president & CEO of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam.

Sweeny says there is a rise in the number of calls they receive during the holiday season, especially for help affording food and heating - that's why there is no such thing as a day off.

The United Way employees did get to spend the holidays with their families - they were able to take 211 calls from the comfort of their homes.

"Our operation is set up so we can work out of the office, but we can also remotely access the entire system," says Sweeny.

Sweeny says those who feel alone or helpless during the holidays should not be afraid to call.

"It's free, it's confidential. Just dial 211 and someone will be there on the other end of the line to listen to you, to talk you through the problems. They are there for you," she says.

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