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Mr. PG to light up red as United Way celebrates one-year anniversary of 2-1-1 hotline

Line provides navigation for those in need of health, social services
Mr. PG United Way flag
Mr. PG is waving the United Way of Northern BC flag this week leading up to 2-1-1 Day across Canada on Feb. 11, 2021.

Mr. PG is known to display certain colours for weeks or even months at a time to acknowledge a special cause near and dear to residents’ hearts.

On Thursday (Feb. 11), the iconic mascot will be lit with red by the United Way of Northern BC (UWNBC), joining in a national celebration of 2-1-1 Day.

The non-profit organization began the free regional hotline last spring, which acts as an informational navigator for residents that need health, social and government services and is available 24/7.

“It’s no coincidence that this major initiative was launched amidst the challenges Canadians are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads a release from UWNBC.

“The needs people expressed in calls with 2-1-1 revealed some of the acute symptoms of the COVID-19 lockdown measures on the lives of Canadians. In April of 2020, 2-1-1 received more than nine times as many requests for food-related needs, and more than three times as many requests related to financial assistance relative to baseline call volumes in January and February of 2020.”

According to UWNBC, the national 2-1-1 network saw a 30 per cent increase in call volume compared to March to December 2019 as a result of the pandemic, most were inquiries about housing and mental health supports in the second half of last year.

“We are proud to support programs and services, like the 2-1-1 telephone line and online directory,” said Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“With the ongoing pandemic, the 2-1-1 service is more important than ever, helping get information about community services to the Canadians who need it.”

Mr. PG will be one of 36 landmarks across Canada to light up red for the occasion.

The UWNBC encourages the public, when safe to do so, to go take a photo with Mr. PG and share it on social media using the hashtags #211DayCanada and #unitedwaynbc.

For more information about 2-1-1, you can visit the UWNBC’s website.