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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

By Kim Morgan, CEO, United Way of Western Connecticut

The latest generation of college graduates are reporting that they are willing to sacrifice an average of 14.4 percent of their expected salaries to work at socially responsible companies (Stanford Graduate School of Business 2011). That’s because they know that volunteers are vital to creating the strong and vibrant communities that they want to live and work in. Whether volunteers organize and sort books at the library, prepare and serve meals to the homeless, or serve on non-profit boards, their talent and time is invaluable....

Post date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 11:31am

By Alecia Andrews, Vice President of Health, United Way of Western Connecticut

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Do you remember the who, what, where and when of this famous statement?

Before a video camera broadcast this amazing event across the world, Astronaut Neil Armstrong said these words as he became the first human being to step foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. Minutes later, he was joined by Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins orbited the moon.

Can you imagine that? Stepping out onto the surface of...

Post date: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 6:17pm

by Alecia Andrews, Vice President of Health, United Way of Western Connecticut

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines lifestyle as ‘a particular way of living: the way a person lives or a group of people live’. In America, we live in the proverbial land of plenty, with no shortage of tasty food options to indulge our taste buds twenty-four hours a day. And did you know that we have about 10,000 taste buds?

Depending on your economics, education or environment, you can have as much or as little (quantity and quality) as you desire or need. Remember the tagline – “Have it your...

Post date: Monday, March 17, 2014 - 3:13pm

By Jennifer Hallissey, Vice President of Education, United Way of Western Connecticut

Children begin learning at birth and extensive research has proven that the early years – those before kindergarten – are a critical period to nurture a child’s growth and brain development.  The experiences a child has in his or her first years of life can have a lasting impact on later learning, behavior, and health.*

You have probably heard that Connecticut has the largest achievement gap in the country between children from low-income families and those from higher income families, but...

Post date: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 4:32pm

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