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While social distancing is crucial to help stop the spread of COVID-19, it is also important that we help combat social isolation. According to the Health Resources & Service Administration, loneliness and lack of connection can be as damaging to a person as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

United Way of Midland County has partnered with 2-1-1 Northeast Michigan to offer the Friendly Caller volunteer opportunity. You can help brighten a person’s day, fuel connection and keep others connected to the community —all by picking up the phone for a 15-minute phone call once a week.

To protect your privacy, 2-1-1 will help you utilize InContact: a system that allows your number to remain anonymous and for phone calls to be recorded for training and information purposes.

2-1-1 will assign a person/persons for you to call. You can then set up a regular time for an informal chat. See below for complete instructions.


  • Must be 18+
  • Have time each week to connect with one or more people
  • Excellent verbal communication and listening skills along with good phone etiquette
  • Strong computer skills with the ability to navigate the internet and utilize email
  • Must remain objective and be non-judgmental while respecting differing world views and opinions
  • Ability to communicate with individuals from a diverse educational, socioeconomic, religious and cultural backgrounds


All volunteers need to complete mandatory training on working with vulnerable populations as well as be familiar with 2-1-1 system. To view the step-by-step how-to instructions to become a Friendly Caller—as well as learn helpful tips for navigating conversations as a Friendly Caller— click each of the document links below:


  • By registering to volunteer for this project, you are agreeing to the 2-1-1 Northeast Michigan Confidentiality Policy. View the policy here.
  • By registering to volunteer for this project, you are indicating that you have read and consent to our Volunteer Waiver