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August 2017

School is Coming Back Soon!

Summer is still in full swing for many, but here at United Way we have our eyes set on the fall. For us, August is back-to-school season and we are busily preparing to distribute school supplies to hundreds of local children.

While going back-to-school may signal excitement for some students eager to enter new schools, see classrooms, wear new clothes, and fill their backpack with fun school supplies, for many parents, it brings on stress and anxiety over the financial burden of getting their children equipped for the new school year. Without simple school supplies, toiletry items or even school-appropriate clothing, some students can't start the school year with the necessary confidence to excel and succeed. It's a reality that hits close to home for many families in Western Connecticut.

It is with that in mind that UWWC's annual Back-To-School Program alleviates this stress for hard-working families. Thanks to the generosity of our community, children in need are able to start the new school year on a positive note with a new backpack filled with the items they need. This program is one of our signature initiatives that helps children from ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households that work hard but are not financially stable. Our goal is to change that status.

However, there are still dozens of children in our Back-to-School Program lists in Greater Danbury and New Milford in need of sponsors. Please consider making a gift as we believe every child in our communities deserves to start the school year the right way. Visit www.uwwesternct.org/give. Don't forget to designate your donation to our Back-to-School Program at the bottom of the page.

Our programs that support education, financial stability and food security have reached thousands of struggling households across Western Connecticut, but the work is far from being done. Join us by making a gift, or volunteering in one of our programs.

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

 

UWWC Kicks Off 2017 Back-To-School Program

United Way of Western Connecticut(UWWC) has kicked off its 2017 Back-To-School campaign and needs our community’s help to ensure more children than ever can be prepared for the new school year. For 26 years, our community's generosity has facilitated that children in need have what they need to start school in the right foot. We're currently accepting donations for Greater Danbury, Greater New Milford and Stamford children.

>>Read more

 

Start Training! The Annual King of the Hill 5k Race is September 14

The annual King of the Hill 5k is scheduled for Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 6:30pm. This year's race location will be at The Berkshire Corporate Park, 8 Berkshire Blvd., Bethel, CT. To register, please visit www.uwwesternct.org/king-of-the-hill-5k or contact Stacy Schulman at stacy.schulman@uwwesternct.org, or 203-826-8479.

>>Learn More and Register Today

 

UWWC Awards $20,000 to Stamford Public Education Foundation for the Summer Start Program

UWWC awarded Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) $20,000 to administer the six-week Summer Start Program for students entering Kindergarten without a preschool experience.

UWWC and SPEF recognize the importance of early childhood education and kindergarten readiness as well as the increasing cost burden of preschool programs to families. Both UWWC and SPEF work to provide educational opportunities and resources to children of ALICE households in our community. The Summer Start Program provides an opportunity for incoming kindergarten students without preschool experience to receive the educational, social, and emotional preparation aligned with social and literary standards for preschool. To gauge the program's impact, SPEF has administered early childhood assessments to students in the program in their first week and will analyze the progress they make as compared to their peers with no pre-K experience.

>>Visit the SPEF website

 

Business to Books Summer 2017 in Full Swing

Business to Books Summer 2017 kicked off in full swing this past month with business volunteers from Legg Mason, People's Bank, Webster Bank, Eversource Energy, Indeed and Pitney Bowes reading to campers at the Boys and Girls Club.A part of the camp's literacy focus and educational time, stories were specifically chosen to be read in 20 minutes, with time for questions and answers. Kids enjoyed the mysteries and adventures they went on together with volunteers each week and it was a great way to get out of the heat!

Our thanks go to the staff at Stillwater Avenue site and the Yerwood Center for partnering with us, and the many business partners who took time out of their busy mornings to spend time with the kids. It was the highlight of their week.

 

S.A.V.E. Program Final Numbers: More Than $205,000 in Services Rendered for the City of Danbury

UWWC is proud to announce that S.A.V.E. (Seniors Add Valuable Experience) volunteers have completed 7,019 hours of service in 2016, for a value to our community of $205,586. S.A.V.E. has been active in Danbury since 2008. This year, 47 residents participated in the program, volunteering at 23 city departments and nonprofit agencies.UWWC administers the program for the City of Danbury by interviewing volunteers and matching them to local opportunities.

The S.A.V.E. program is an opportunity to provide real estate tax relief to financially qualified Danbury homeowners age 65 and older, making it easier for seniors to remain in their homes, keeping them active in their communities and giving them the opportunitiy to share their skills with local organizations. Each volunteer must complete 100 hours of service over the course of the fiscal year, but many of them provide well more than that amount.

For more information, contact Morgan Greening at morgan.greening@uwwesternct.org, or at 203-297-6736.

BoardServe Helps Put Your Experience to Work for Local Nonprofits

UWWC is offering a new session of its Board Candidate Training, BoardServe Western CT on Friday, October 13 in Stamford, CT. Since 2013, hundreds of board candidates and nonprofit leaders have completed the BoardServe Western CT training. Our community continues to strengthen through board service everyday.

BoardServe Western CT is an initiative of UWWC to connect emerging leaders with local nonprofits to promote effective board leadership to guide and support organizational missions and ensure long-term sustainability.

The Board Candidate Training is a six-hour training session which provides an in-depth overview of the nonprofit sector, roles, responsibilities, duties and liabilities of nonprofit boards, as well as information on how to evaluate board service opportunities that candidates may be offered after training.

Upon completion of the Board Candidate Training, BoardServe Western CT assists individuals and nonprofits to find the right match based on their interests, skills and needs, through support and referral.

>>Register for BoardServe Western CT Training

 

Local Youth to Represent YVC of Western CT on International Youth Advisory Board

YVC of Western CT's Avery Putnam has been accepted (as one of only 15-25 youth) to serve on the International Youth Advisory Board (IYAB) this year.The group is comprised of youth chosen as members from the 34 YVC affiliates located in the USA and Canada. Each member must go through an application process and commit to monthly conference calls, volunteering with their local YVC regularly, strive to attend the YVC Youth Summit, and to collaborate with youth from various YVC programs to come up with new ideas to bring back to their local affiliates. The YVC of Western Connecticut is honored and proud to have Avery represent our program internationally.

 

Ready, Set, Let's Read! Needs You For One Hour A Week

Ready, Set, Let’s Read! is a volunteer reader program that helps prepare children for kindergarten and ignites a love of reading among young children! Share your love of reading and help young children develop critical language, literacy and social skills in just one afternoon a week. We’re looking for caring volunteers who can make a weekly commitment to read books to area preschool classrooms. For more information, contact Casey Levene at casey.levene@uwwesternct.org or (203) 297-6246, or click the link below.

>>Learn more

 

You Can Help the YVC of Western CT to Attend the National Youth Volunteer Summit in Kansas City

UWWC wants to help the YVC of Western CT get to the National Youth Volunteer Summit in Kansas City, MO this October. The summit will provide the opportunity for our youth to learn from and connect with other YVCs across the country to make their program even better.

YVC of Western CT engages youth ages 11-18 in quality, team-based service-learning projects in Western Connecticut. Our mission is to create and increase volunteer opportunities to enrich youth, address community needs, and develop a lifetime ethic of service.

>>Make Your Gift Today

 

The ALICE Enrichment Fund Continues to Make a Difference for Western Connecticut Families

Many families in Western Connecticut have already benefitted from the ALICE Enrichment Fund, a fund established by UWWC that provides ALICE families financial subsidies for their children to participate in extracurricular enrichment activities. The creation of the fund was supported by research that children who participate in activities like youth sports, music, art and dance lessons have improved levels of physical and mental health, and academic achievement. The following is a letter received by UWWC from a Northern Fairfield County parent whose daughter with special needs was able to go to camp thanks to the ALICE Enrichment Fund:

"The financial assistance was a tremendous blessing. It allows her to participate in a program with a one-to-one counselor, and gain confidence, growth, and personal achievement while having fun. The camp setting provides enrichment, and builds self esteem while developing positive peer interaction.

The grant helps to provide peace of mind for our family knowing our daughter is being cared for in a safe environment. She will have the opportunity to expand her comfort zone, and strengthen her talents in an exceptional camp setting.

Thank you for your generosity to help my daughter enjoy a successful, fun, and memorable Summer."

>>Apply for the ALICE Enrichment Fund

 

Save the Date: Join Us to Celebrate our Local Hometown Heroes on Saturday, December 2

Join us at our 4th Annual Hometown Heroes Benefit Dinner on Saturday, December 2. Click the link below to learn more information about the event, as well as for the nomination forms.

>>Learn more about Hometown Heroes

 

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