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ICYMI: Check out “American Winter”

It debuted on HBO nearly two years ago but the stories of struggling families in the documentary film “American Winter” still resonate.

In case you missed it, this documentary is still worth checking out even though we are now several years past the economic depression that inspired it. The film covers the stories of a diverse set of families in the Portland, Oregan area, all going through their own financial crises.

What’s unique about this film, and of special interest to those in the helpline industry, is that the film incorporates the local 2-1-1 service into the storytelling. It’s an eye-opening view (especially to those unfamiliar with 2-1-1) of the services, support, and knowledge that 2-1-1 provides to those seeking assistance with basic human needs. So many people were helped by the information and referral specialists of 2-1-1 centers all over the US and Canada during those tough times. It’s wonderful to see a documentary highlight the service and the very real ways these families were assisted, and reminds us that people continue to need those services today.

So if you haven’t watched the film, check out the trailer (below) and consider watching the documentary streaming via HBO Go, or by purchasing the DVD. It’s a heartbreaking look at the reality of economic inequality and a dark time in our history, but you’ll feel proud of the hard work the helpline industry is doing to make a positive impact.

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Dana joined the iCarol team in 2013 after 12 years of direct service and administrative duties at a suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and empathetic listening helpline that also served as a 2-1-1 information and referral service. As the Communications and Social Media Manager at iCarol, you’ll find her presenting Webinars, Tweeting, Blogging, Facebooking, and producing other materials that aid helplines in their work.
In her spare time, Dana enjoys birdwatching, gardening, animal caregiving, and spending time with her family.

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