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Reaching Out in the Storm

Elaina Seto, Basic Needs Case Manager | Centre Helps

At this point, we are growing tired of the phrase these unprecedented times. We are tired of unprecedented, and tired of the way that the pandemic has made life more difficult. With each passing week, the financial situations that many of our community members are facing grow more complicated. On the Centre Helps hotline, something our volunteers often hear is “I just hate asking for help”.


This is a relatable feeling. It can be difficult to separate the experience of needing help from a feeling of failure. For so long we’ve listened to the narrative that the successful are those who can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. While it is true that individual hard work is important, none of us would be who we are without the people in our lives who have supported us. We are there for each other, and our greatest achievements are collaborative. Perhaps, in that spirit, we can let go of shame when admitting we need help. Perhaps we can recognize that it is no shameful thing to ask for help in any moment, and particularly not in this moment.


There is help available, and the Centre Helps hotline staff is ready to connect you to it. No matter what you’re struggling with, financially or emotionally, our trained staff will listen to you without judgement, and then access our database of local and national resources to connect you with the organizations that are the best fit for your needs.


Additionally, if you are struggling financially, communication with service providers is very important. Even if you are able to pay your bills right now, communicating that you are having a hard time to providers, such as utility companies, gives them important information. Even if these providers cannot offer payment plans or discounts, by calling them, you help them understand the needs in the community.


Something that we’ve heard along with these unprecedented times is the phrase we’re all in this together. As much as it may sound cliche, we’re all in this together offers us hope. While the pandemic affects each of us differently, we are still all in this strange, scary situation together. So let’s reach out to each other. Let’s ask for help when we need it without shame. Let’s recognize that we have each other for support, and that’s the only way we’ll make it through these unprecedented times.


For emotional support, information about a wide variety of resources, or simply someone to listen to you without judgement, please call the Centre Helps 24/7 hotlines at (800)-494-2500 or (814)-237-5855. You can also text 237-5855 during daytime hours. Centre Helps is here for you, for any problem, any time.

Centre County Council for Human Services

Promotes communication and relationships among human service agencies and the community.

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Centre County Council for Human Services
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State College, PA 16804-1064

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