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Stories from the call lines: Meet Darius

February 24, 2021

Every year, United Ways across the network celebrate Feb. 11 as 211 Day to raise awareness about the 24/7 information and referral hotline and the incredible teams that power it. This year, United Way of Northeast Florida is highlighting United Way 211 team members all month long, sharing how their dedication is making a difference in the lives of families and individuals in our community.

Meet Darius

Darius Drake, resource specialist for United Way’s 211

Darius joined United Way’s 211 team two years ago. As a resource specialist, Darius spends most of his time working with veterans in the community as part of United Way of Northeast Florida’s Mission United initiative, newly established in 2019. When veterans reach out to 211 for assistance, Darius works to connect them to vital social services resources available.

“My work days may vary based on the needs and the mood of the caller,” he said. “A caller may contact our center with an easy demeanor or a very sad heart and gripping story. This becomes challenging at times, but I feel that I must continue no matter how difficult the task.”

As a veteran himself, Darius can relate to the veterans who call 211 for assistance.

“I know how hard life after military service can be,” Darius said, “especially when there is no security blanket to help you when you need it the most.”

When asked to share something about 211 that not a lot of people know, Darius said, “One very personal thing that people don’t know about 211 is we are not just a team; we are a family. Like many families, we have moments when we disagree, but we always come together to help each other during difficult days at work.”

To learn more about services and resources available through United Way 211, visit unitedwaynefl.org/get-help or dial 2-1-1 (1-904-632-0600).