Sunday, March 1, 2009

Help is three digits away

Do you 211? Have you ever heard of it? Didn't think so. Most people haven't. 211 allows you to access information on all the helping resources in your area for your particular issue. It is funded through the United Way. Have an elderly neighbor that needs help with fixing meals? 211 has an answer for that. Not sure if you can afford to make your home energy efficient and struggling with those high heating costs? 211 can point you in the right direction. Have a cousin struggling to pay her bills and pay child care costs? 211 can tell you where to find some assistance.

Accessing 211 couldn't be easier. Simple dial "211" on your touch tone phone or, go to the 211 website here. The website will tell you if 211 is available in your area and if there are any alternative phone numbers available.

In today's difficult times, it is important that we create our own local "safety nets" and be there for each other. Even if the economy has not affected you, chances are it has affected someone you know. There are resources in your community to help, and often times, those resources go under utilized. Many people, particularly the elderly, don't know where to turn for help, or are embarrassed to ask for help.

211 can help locate resources for basic needs such as food, medicine, housing and utilities. They have access to local employment programs and resources. Their expertise covers local daycare resources, to help with an aging parent. Have a child with ADD? They can help with that. Need to know tutoring programs or local after school programs? They can help. They can even help you find local volunteer opportunities and ways to make a difference in your community.

Pull together with your friends, family and neighbors to create a community that cares. Know someone struggling? Give them the 211. One simple phone call can be all that it takes to lend a helping hand.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Girl Power

Some interesting facts (thanks to

Women constitute 45% of the workforce in the U.S., but hold just 12% of science and engineering jobs in business and industry. (National Council for Research on Women, Balancing The Equation: Where are Women & Girls in Science, Engineering & Technology? 2001)

Of the nearly 700,000 active pilots in the United States, less than 6% are women. (Federal Aviation Administration, 2000)

Only 20% of Information Technology professionals are women. (American Association of University Women (AAUW) “Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age” 2000)

Nearly 75% of tomorrow's jobs will require use of computers, while fewer than 33% of participants in computer courses and related activities are girls. (U.S. Labor Statistics: JOBS 2000)

Girls & Women, 2000)

In 1999 more young men than women took AP Calculus (55% young men vs. 45% young women) and AP Chemistry (57% young men vs. 43% young women) while more young women than young men took AP Biology (43% young men vs. 57% young women). The largest gaps still exist in AP Physics where about 70% of the test takers are male and AP Computer Science where over 80% of the test takers are male (College Board, 1999)


In my own professional field, it is 94% female, yet the top 25% positions are predominately male. As mothers, sisters, mentors and friends, we have to take a lead to ensure that all of the girls in our lives have not only the opportunity to realize their gifts and potential, but also have the confidence to go where ever their hearts and minds take them.

Tracee Sioux has recently relaunched a web site dedicated just to do this very thing. Her new site, "The Girl Revolution" ( is the former "Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me". She has dedicated her blogging talents to help make girls proud to be them. She has a free webzine, "Revolutionary Fashion" as well as a special series addressing childhood obesity. Stop by and check out how to be an inspiration to all the special girls you know. Together, we can make girls dreams come true.