Walmart helps organization respond to H1N1 calls with grant

Walmart Foundation recently awarded 2-1-1 @ IMPACT referral system a $25,000 grant to assist the system in keeping up with the increased number of calls from Milwaukee County residents seeking assistance with family, health and social services.

The grant will be used to redesign IMPACT’s 24-hour call center and add to its staff of professionally trained community resource specialists.

Arrival of the seasonal flu, the H1N1 virus as well as increasing numbers of unemployment figures are expected to drive call numbers up during the fourth quarter.

“We were on pace to handle six to seven percent more calls than we did in 2008, but that was before the H1N1 calls began,” said Vickie Boneck, IMPACT’s director of marketing and communications. “At this point there is no telling how the virus will affect our call volume totals by the end of the year.”

In October alone, 2-1-1 @Impact handled 2,209 call inquiries related to H1 N1 virus.

"The Walmart Foundation is very pleased to support IMPACT in serving more concerned citizens from throughout Milwaukee County,” said Lisa Nelson senior manager of public affairs for Walmart. “Helping persons facing or avoiding crises certainly corresponds with our corporate pledge to help people live better."

The IMPACT grant is one of 14 to be awarded during 2009 by the Walmart’s State Giving Program to organizations in the state.

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