The Ad Council, United Way Worldwide and the Rockefeller Foundation launch new campaign to highlight 211 service and provide support to those in need
New York, NY, July 14, 2021 – During a time when America has faced one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, and with ongoing updates to many relief programs, a new national PSA campaign launched by the Ad Council and United Way Worldwide, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, encourages people to call 211 or visit 211.org, a one-stop network during moments of need. With over 200 agencies and thousands of caring local experts across all 50 states, 211 provides help in navigating support services and accessing essential benefits to help build a better life for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet.
In addition to killing more than 600,000 Americans, the pandemic threatens the health of vulnerable people devastated by the loss of jobs, homes and opportunities for the future: 11.3% of Americans today live in poverty, 20 million adults recently have had trouble putting food on the table, and over 2.3 million women completely dropped out of the labor force, which could leave them and their children financially disadvantaged for years.
From food assistance and help paying bills to health care answers and mental health resources, 211 can guide people who are struggling but might not know where to turn. Each specialist is local to their community and is trained to help confidentially curate resources and advocate for those who need support. During 2020 alone, the 211 network made 27.8 million connections to critical services and help. This is up nearly 100% from the 14 million connections in 2019. During the height of the pandemic in North America in 2020, 211 processed a 150% increase in connections to food programs.
Creative agency Walton Isaacson developed the multi-channel campaign pro bono, which includes online video, broadcast and radio spots in both English and Spanish, illustrating 211 as the guiding light for families who are struggling financially or emotionally. The initiative also includes digital out-of-home and banners, which will be distributed nationally per the Ad Council’s donated media model.