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New Web site links those in need to help

"A wealth of information on social service agencies and programs is now just a few mouse clicks away.The Island Opportunity Council, which provides family services and referrals, has set up a new Internet Web site with detailed listings of agencies and individuals who can help with everything from adult care, literacy and legal assistance to infertility, housing and anger management.There are about 750 entries in all which can be searched by name, location, service provided or by a keyword, said Lorena Street, communications coordinator for the Opportunity Council.The Web site is called the Community Online Resource Database, or CORD. It can be found at www.oppco.org/cord. Street said the database is probably the most complete and up-to-date resource for matching the nearest and the best people and institutions to a specific need.The site provides telephone numbers, locations, names of key personnel, e-mail addresses and brief descriptions of the services provided. Street said it’s the kind of information that used to only be on a card file sitting on a desk at the Opportunity Council office. Now anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can get take advantage of it.“This will help us satisfy more needs, help more people and be better servants ourselves,” she said.For people who don’t have Internet access at home, Street said local public library personnel are familiar with the CORD site and can help folks get to the information they need.The Opportunity Council’s Lisa Clark said people seeking assistance can also call or come by the Opportunity Council office where staff members can tap into the Web site.Clark said local social service agencies began planning the CORD system about three years ago. Everyone realized that service personnel and telephone numbers keep changing, so there needed to be a system in place that could put everything together and keep it all up to date. The Opportunity Council was selected to build and maintain such a database, and CORD is the result.The Opportunity Council is a community action agency assisting low-income families and the homeless. Council offices are located at 1791 N.E. First Avenue in Oak Harbor. For more information call the Council at 679-6577 or (800) 679-2440. "

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