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2-1-1 Connecting People to Resources

2-1-1 is the national abbreviated dialing code for free access to information and referral. On July 21, 2000 the FCC designated the 2-1-1 number and now each state is charged with implementing a system.
The 2-1-1 service is a shortcut designed to link Iowans in need of help to information and referrals for basic health, human services or community resources. 2-1-1 operates much like 9-1-1, but rather than connecting people to emergency services, 2-1-1 connects people to resources, direction and guidance in one easy phone call.
Dial 211 on your telephone and get access to:
Basic Human Needs Resources--food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent or utility assistance;
Physical and Mental Health Resources--health insur

ance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation;
Employment Supports--financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, education programs.
Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities - adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation and homemaker services
Children, Youth and Families--child care, after school programs, Head Start, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services.

Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy This Summer

Kids are more likely to try alcohol and other drugs when they're left unsupervised.  Check out these ideas for keeping kids busy.

Encourage them to play on a sports team * Organize a water balloon fight * Coordinate a scavenger hunt * Do nature walks together * Sign them up for swimming lessons or lifeguard training * Take them horseback riding * Take guided hikes at state parks * Take them camping in the backyard * Organize neighborhood Olympics * Play flashlight tag on a warm night * Build a skateboard park for kids * Teach your kids to fish * Take them bowling * Take them canoeing

Clean up the neighborhood * Have them volunteer at a hospital * Encourage them to read to nursing home residents * Help them set up a neighborhood recycling program * Have them volunteer at the animal shelter * Write letters to their legislators * Organize a toy drive for your local children's hospital

Encourage them to become the neighborhood dog walker * Help them start a neighborhood newspaper reporting on the latest! * Give them weekly errands like shopping or getting the mail * Hold a multi-family garage sale * Help them start a pet sitting service for people on vacation * Have them research a major family purchase

Star gaze together *Plant and nurture a flower garden * Conduct a family history search * Start a kids' book club * Take them to zoo and museums * Help them start a collection (shells, coins, stamps, etc.) * Learn a foreign language together * Help them produce a neighborhood play * Help them start a band and let them practice in your garage

Start a neighborhood art group * Build and maintain a birdfeeder * Provide supplies to create their own personalized stationery * Give them a disposable camera and help them make a scrap book of their favorite summer moments * Teach them to knit * Tie-dye T-shirts * Show them how to create their own postcards * Encourage them to write a song and then let them record it * Build a tree house together * Decorate pots and plant seedlings as gifts for the elderly

Other Ideas
Make homemade ice cream together * Organize a pet show * Organize a neighborhood block party * Create an "award" for summer achievements * Create and tend to an ant farm together *  Arrange a behind the scenes tour of a fire station, pizza parlor or donut shop