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Written by:
Kim Morgan, Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Western Connecticut
Merle Berke-Schlessel, President & Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County
Susan Dunn, President & Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut
Kevin Wilhelm, Executive Director, Middlesex United Way

As the leaders of several United Ways, we have a unique perspective into the nonprofit and corporate worlds.  We talk daily with nonprofit leaders who share their concerns about declining budgets and increased demand for...

Post date: Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 1:25pm

By Karen Mello, Director of Community Impact, UWWC

A person can do a lot in five minutes. As a working mom of two children, I certainly can. I can respond to a work email or a text from one of my kids, fill out a school form or permission slip, run into the local grocery store to get milk, switch a load of laundry and even whip up something for dinner all in less than five minutes.

Taking five minutes out of your busy day can also help lift someone’s spirit or make their day a little bit brighter. Think about it - it takes less than five minutes to smile at someone or say a...

Post date: Monday, June 1, 2015 - 1:05pm

By Karen Mello, Director of Community Impact



We know how hard it is for you, living paycheck to paycheck, day after day, month after month and year after year. We also know that you may be working more than one job, just to try to make ends meet. Even with that, there still isn’t enough money to afford to live in the size apartment or house that would properly accommodate your family or that is in a safe and nurturing neighborhood that you would like your children to grow up in.

We know how hard it is when your regular babysitter, Grandma, doesn’t...

Post date: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 9:02am

By Bridget Fox, EVP of Strategy and Community Engagement

For those of us familiar with the findings of the United Way ALICE report, it was clear listening to President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night that he was talking about ALICE, a United Way acronym which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. In fact, this week at our Northern Fairfield County Community Council meeting, one of our volunteers asked the group if he was the only one who heard ALICE in the language of the President’s speech. Everyone agreed they had.

The President shared...

Post date: Friday, January 23, 2015 - 10:16am

By Kim Morgan, CEO, United Way of Western Connecticut


Ah September, the month between the brutal heat and humidity of August and the chill of October, when we celebrate Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month. This program, sponsored by Produce for Better Health Foundation in partnership with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, is here to remind us of   the brilliant selection of fresh fruits and vegetables still available to enjoy, and those yet to be discovered.

Especially this month, we’d like to recommend that you try to introduce more fruits and...

Post date: Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:26pm

By Kim Morgan, CEO, United Way of Western Connecticut

Every year “back-to-school” sneaks up on me. I don’t know why – it happens every year. But there is something bittersweet about summer ending and my girls becoming one grade older. I’m not always ready to move forward.

The return to structured days, making new friends, and new learning is energizing though. How a child begins their school year has implications that go beyond their first day. Children who are prepared with the proper school supplies from the start feel more confident. But it costs a lot to get them ready,...

Post date: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 12:00am

by Kim Morgan, Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Western Connecticut

What is an act of kindness?

Kindness is more than charity, it is more than service. It is compassion, empathy and altruism.  Kindness is contagious. Acts of kindness do not only impact the immediate recipients of our actions, but generate a ripple effect of kindness throughout our community.

In the words of Scott Adams, “every act of kindness creates a ripple with no logical end.”

If this notion is correct, think of how many ripples of kindness will be flowing throughout greater...

Post date: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 1:56pm

Across America, communities are still experiencing the impact of high unemployment, underemployment and poverty rates. A recent study found that for the first time in modern history, the American middle class is no longer the most affluent in the world.
We know from the American Community Survey of The Working Poor Families Project that 21% of Connecticut families are considered working poor. Also, according to the Department of Agriculture Economic Research Report, one in seven households in Connecticut is struggling to put food on the table. The cycle of increasing debt...

Post date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 1:10pm

by Karen Mello, Director of Financial Stability, United Way of Western Connecticut

April is National Financial Literacy month! So, where can you find volunteers with finance backgrounds and expertise, local agencies and businesses as well as area banks all working together to make a difference in the financial literacy of residents in our community? At the Financial Resource Center of United Way of Western Connecticut, that’s where.  With a mission to improve the financial literacy skills of residents in Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield County, the Financial Resource...

Post date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 2:00pm

By Monet Borione, Imagination Library Coordinator, United Way of Western Connecticut

I grew up loving to read. As a four year old, I loathed the idea of going to bed for fear I would miss something terribly important. My exhausted mother finally allowed me to stay up in bed with a few books and instructed me to turn off my light when I was tired. Without fail, she would hear the click of my star reading lamp about 11 p.m. every night.

Everything changed the summer I was...

Post date: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 10:19am