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July 2016

Your Partnership with UWWC Helps Families Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck Attain Stability

Dear Friends,

Here we are in the heart of summer, and we are thrilled to share so much news with you in this update.

United Way continues to speak with ALICE about the barriers they face to achieving stability in many facets of their lives: financial stability, housing, access to food, the tools to earn a higher paying job. ALICE® stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – individuals who struggle to make ends meet, despite working hard (sometimes at more than one job). More than one-third of all households in Western Connecticut are ALICE, and that’s just too many families who are on the edge of financial crisis each month.

While we have accomplished a lot, there remains a great deal to do together to keep Western Connecticut healthy and strong. United Way simply could not be successful in this important work without the support of our loyal donors, volunteers, advocates and partners. We are always thankful for your engagement and commitment to helping our communities become stronger and healthier.

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

 

 

 


Listen & Respond: How United Way Helps ALICE

UWWC’s mission to address the needs of families living paycheck-to-paycheck—who represent approximately 30% of our region – begins with listening to these families about their challenges. Open dialogue and discussion helps us to identify how we can help these households attain financial stability. The insights we gained from our initial round of Community Conversations and online ALICE surveys in fall 2015 helped to inform our most recent funding opportunities to help ALICE families throughout Western Connecticut. We published a short summary of our success in listening and responding to ALICE’s needs and concerns

We are engaging in our listening tour once again through new Community Conversations and an updated survey. Dates and times of upcoming Community Conversations will be posted soon at uwwesternct.org/alice-community-conversations. If you can't make a Community Conversation, please take our new online ALICE survey, available in English or en Espanol.
>>What we heard from ALICE last fall

 

 

 

Sponsors Needed for Back To School Program in New Milford

Last year, our Back To School Campaign in New Milford provided backpacks, clothing and school supplies to 366 children in our community. This year marks United Way of Western Connecticut’s 25th annual Back to School Campaign and we need YOU to keep our children equipped for success this school year!

Become a Sponsor for the New Milford Back To School Campaign to provide school supplies for children living in New Milford, Kent, Washington, Roxbury, Sherman, Bridgewater and Warren. As a Sponsor, you will purchase and donate items based upon a child’s age and grade using a specific list that we provide.

When you sponsor a child for Back To School, you are giving them more than a backpack and supplies. You’re telling them that their schoolwork, goals, and aspirations are worth investing in.
>> Learn more

For information about the Back To School Program in our other communities, please contact

 

 

 

Connecticut Open Tickets Win-Win For UWWC

Whet your appetite for professional tennis while supporting United Way –purchase your tickets for the Connecticut Open with code CO16UWWC and UWWC will receive 50% of your ticket purchase! The Connecticut Open runs from August 17 through August 29 in New Haven.
>> View schedules and purchase tickets at www.ctopen.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Connected: Facebook Algorithm Changes

As Facebook's algorithm changes, you might start seeing less of us in your feed, and fewer posts about our work in the 15-town region we serve. To keep up-to-date with UWWC on Facebook, please hover over the "liked" button by our name, and choose "All On" to see all of our notifications (see below). We love keeping you informed of our work throughout Western Connecticut, and we hope you continue the conversation with us.
>> Connect with us on Facebook

 

 

 

Day of Action Greater Danbury & New Milford Mobilizes Hundreds of Volunteers

Nearly 470 volunteers from 23 local businesses and corporations demonstrated their commitment to volunteerism and community support by taking part in UWWC’s Annual Day of Action for Greater Danbury and New Milford. Nearly 40 projects were completed to benefit more than 20 nonprofit agencies on Thursday, June 2.

United Way led a new, community-wide project in support of early grade literacy named Camp Wannaread. More than 100 volunteers gathered at the Danbury Police Athletic League Center to build literacy kits filled with donated books, reading activities, writing pads and pencils. Book drives initiated by our corporate partners amassed more than 600 books destined for more than 300 literacy kits for second grade students at Park Avenue School and Pembroke Elementary School in Danbury and Hill and Plain Elementary School in New Milford. This effort was put in place to help combat the summer reading loss that occurs over summer break which can set some students back three months academically.
>>View our Day of Action photo albums on Flickr

Save the Date! Day of Action is coming to Stamford on October 6! To become involved, please contact Stacy Schulman at 203.836.8479 or stacy.schulman@uwwesternct.org  or visit uwwesternct.org/dayofaction2016

 

 

 

Park Avenue Neighborhood Program in Danbury Awarded Kindergarten Readiness Grant

United Way of Western Connecticut has received a new grant from The Grossman Family Foundation to help prepare incoming kindergarteners at Park Avenue School in Danbury for a successful first year of school. The grant will support Kindergarten Summer Skills for at least 25 students entering the school in the fall who have been identified as needing additional help. Participating children will receive help with social and classroom skills to ensure that their first experience in a classroom is a positive one. The program will include bus transportation, and free breakfast and lunch.

This is the second major grant that The Grossman Family Foundation has made to support UWWC’s Strong Start Kindergarten Readiness Initiative in Danbury. A grant awarded in 2015 also helped to support summer skills in incoming kindergarten students, as well as the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program for Latino parents, program management, and data collection.
>>Learn more about the Park Avenue Neighborhood Project

 

 

 

Heart of Gold 2016
Heart of Gold Honoree Tracie Wilson with scholarship winner Alexandra Bergman

Corporate Commitment to Volunteerism Celebrated at Heart of Gold

United Way welcomed more than 250 guests to our 22nd Annual Heart of Gold Award Dinner on May 18. We were delighted to honor Tracie Wilson, Senior Vice President of Programming and Development at NBCUniversal, with the Heart of Gold Award for her commitment to volunteerism and community service. At the event, Alexandra Bergman of AITE High School in Stamford was presented with the Roberta K. Eichler Scholarship. Thanks to emcee Jerry Springer, it was a wonderful and lively evening to celebrate philanthropy and volunteerism. We extend our deepest thanks to all who made this event a great success!
>>View our 2016 Heart of Gold Award Dinner Flickr album

From left: Kim Morgan, UWWC CEO; UWWC Board members Meera Vasudevan, Martin Anderson, Lisa Zana, Aimee Monroy-Smith, and Michael Shepherd.

 

 

 

Stamford Cradle To Career: Full Speed Ahead

The Stamford Cradle To Career is a collaborative initiative that collectively aligns community resources to ensure equity and excellence in education, for every Stamford child, from cradle to career. Our vision is that all Stmaford youth will succeed in education, career, and life.

More than 50 members of Stamford’s Cradle to Career Leadership Council met at the Harry Bennett Branch of the Ferguson Library on June 21 to hear about the progress of this major initiative over the past six months.  Six outcome areas have been identified for the community-led work which include:

  • Infant Health and Development;
  • Kindergarten Readiness;
  • Early Grade Reading;
  • Transition to Middle School;
  • Transition to High School; and
  • Transition from High School to Post-Secondary College and/or Career. 

Community Action Networks (CANS) will form in the next few months to address these key outcome areas in advance of the public launch of Stamford Cradle To Career on November 10, 2016 at UConn Stamford.
>>Learn more about Stamford Cradle to Career

 

 

 

 

Fun, Games & Learning at KT Murphy Elementary School as a part of UWWC’s Neighborhood Initiative

As part of our Strong Start initiative, United Way partnered with the kindergarten staff from KT Murphy Elementary School to host a Play and Learn night for 22 incoming kindergarten students. Children explored hands on math and literacy stations while parents received information about the school day and extended day services. Many parents signed up for fall playgroups which will be offered by Abilis, for families with children not yet in school. All left with a bag of activities to explore over the summer and a new book.
>>Learn more about our KT Murphy Neighborhood Project

 

 

 

Business to Books Brings Corporations Together To Promote Literacy

United Way of Western Connecticut and the Stamford Early Childhood Collaborative were proud to bring their annual Business to Books Read-a-thon to all 12 Stamford elementary schools this April. Launched in 2002, Business to Books initiative promotes literacy and increases community volunteerism in the schools. The following companies visited Stamford elementary schools this spring and read to a total of 2,800 children (click to view photos):

For more information, please contact Karen Brennan at 203.883.6700 or karen.brennan@uwwesternct.org
>>View our collection of Business-To-Books photos (all schools and companies) on Flickr

 

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