Profile of Success: Jody Wynn Rodiger
"Thanks to 2-1-1, I'm back on my feet and fulfilling my life's mission."
In the last 20 years, United Way 2-1-1 has helped me be a hero in the lives of others, and since 2009, has assisted me during my own personal healing journey.
It all began when I worked at Good News Garage, a car donation program located in East Hartford that repairs vehicles and provides them to working families in need. Our services were posted on the United Way 2-1-1 help center website. During my time there, I handled many calls from people who needed assistance in getting a car so they could get a better paying job that was not on the bus line. This was the first experience I had with United Way and the beginning of a wonderful trusted partnership.
After leaving my job to pursue new things, I went to Seminary in Philadelphia. Soon after, I experienced some health issues, so I came home to Hartford. I knew I had to think about my next steps, but my knees were failing me and a car accident stopped me in my tracks. I needed time to heal and I had to put off finding a new job. With the help of my family and the financial support services referred to me by 2-1-1, I was able to take the time to heal and have both knees replaced.
Five years ago I thought I would be in another place. Now I'm back on my feet and fulfilling my life's mission. I have a job that I love and a life on the mend. Over the years, I have been fortunate to volunteer for Better Food Systems and serve on several nonprofit boards to advocate for and, develop stronger communities for low income families, developmentally disabled individuals and those struggling with mental illness. To assist me in benefiting the lives of others, United Way was always there to help.
When friends need help determining their eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or getting into a recovery house, I can always count on a certified operator available through the 2-1-1 information and referral helpline. The online directory helps me send people to a kitchen or pantry in their neighborhood. In an effort to give back, I continuously take advantage of various opportunities to educate the public on how to better serve people.
Thanks to United Way, I have been introduced to many new generations of heroes that are working on building a stronger community by improving the quality of life for children and families. Without the support of United Way and 2-1-1 services, I am not sure where I would be today. This resource provides avenues to individual and community success. No matter what the need may be in a time of crisis, it's available as a one stop source. I am humbled by my experiences with United Way and always look forward to providing others with the same opportunities.
--- Jody Wynn Rodiger
Every hour of every day, someone needs access to essential services. When you support Community Investment, you help provide information and services that provide food, shelter, clothing, intellectual disability and domestic violence support, disaster preparedness, and resources through United Way 2-1-1. Individuals may dial 2-1-1 or visit www.211ct.org, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for free, confidential and multilingual services.
Last year, 2-1-1 handled 139,388 calls that resulted in 192,948 requests for services in the 40 towns of central and northeastern Connecticut.