Keeping a Community Hotline Connected for Those in Need
Nonprofit organizations rely on making strong connections with the community, so they can deliver on their missions to serve others. That’s especially the case for the Helpline Center, which manages 24/7 hotlines that people in Sioux Falls and Rapid City can call for vital support when they need it most. For more than 10 years, the Helpline Center has relied on technology solutions from Midco Business to maintain its 211 community resource hotline and 1-800 suicide hotline.
A 24/7 Connection
The Helpline Center’s services depend upon its call center, which uses a web-based software to connect callers with resources in their area. Fast and reliable Internet and phone services are crucial to the nonprofit’s mission.
“The Helpline Center is very dependent upon our technology,” says Helpline Center President Janet Kittams-Lalley. “It’s how we communicate with our customers. We have to be up and running 24/7, so we needed a partner we could count on.”
Along with a reliable network, Midco’s local service makes a difference to the Helpline.
A Defining Moment
An unexpected April 2013 ice storm in Sioux Falls cemented Kittams-Lalley’s confidence in Midco Business’ services and support. South Dakota declared a state of emergency in Sioux Falls as residents struggled with power outages and damage from downed trees and branches. Streets and driveways were impassible, leaving many elderly and disabled homeowners stranded.
The Helpline Center answered 3,549 calls related to the storm – almost 10 percent of its total calls for the entire year.
“We have a T1 phone line, and all of our lines were ringing. I’ve never had that happen before or since, where all our phones were busy at the same time,” recalls Kittams-Lalley.
Luckily, the Helpline never lost electricity or phone service.
A Trusted Community Partner
After the ice storm, Midco employees took part in the Helpline Center’s “Tree the Town” project, in which volunteers built and painted birdhouses and planted trees in the yards of seniors and nonprofit agencies throughout the city. Midco also supports the community and the Helpline Center as a sponsor for the nonprofit’s annual Spirit of Volunteerism Awards. For more than fifteen years, the Helpline Center has used the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards to recognize the community’s unsung heroes, and every year Midco has been a major sponsor of the awards banquet, as well as providing an emcee.
That dedication to giving back is another reason why the Helpline chooses to get business services from Midco, according to Kittams-Lalley.
“Midco has always been a strong corporate partner in our community,” says Kittams-Lalley. “They support so many community organizations and events, and that was another reason we’re happy to give our business to them.”