It’s the time of year I get to announce that Middlesex United Way’s Board of Directors has approved the distribution of $740,078 to support programs and initiatives in Middlesex County. This funding includes support to 36 organizations and 45 programs supporting local residents.
Funding will be distributed to programs in Middlesex County in the following amounts: $121,820 to improve student success; $50,435 to improve family financial stability; $196,239 to reduce the rate of risky behaviors among youth and adults; $251,154 to ensure people are healthy and safe; and $107,311 to increase the availability of safe and affordable housing.
We’re also investing $13,119 in United Way 2-1-1, a 24-hour information and referral helpline that is available free of charge to anyone in Connecticut. 2-1-1 is a partnership between Connecticut United Ways and the State of Connecticut. To reach this service, simply dial 2-1-1 from any phone or visit 211ct.org.
In addition, more than $170,000 will be directed to other nonprofits and United Ways, as requested by donors. Donations stay here in Middlesex County to benefit partner programs and initiatives, unless directed differently by the donor.
None of these investments would be possible without the support of the donors and local employers who support this great work. We’d also like to thank the teams of volunteers who make funding decisions and visit and evaluate all of the funded programs. We rely greatly on the hard work of these teams.
Middlesex United Way works in the areas of education, income, health and housing because we all need a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family, good health, and a safe, decent and affordable place to live. To improve community conditions, we have to address the root causes of community problems and invest in long-term solutions that can prevent problems from happening in the first place. That means investing more in prevention-based programs.
In the area of education, our school readiness initiative is working with school systems, early childcare providers, and parents throughout Middlesex County to identify and assist our youngest children who have social and emotional problems before they enter school. We support programs that assist young children to become school ready and also educate their parents about the important role they play in their child's earliest years. We’re also supporting parent education and family literacy through programs like Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore and Even Start Family Literacy.
In the area of income, we work with partners who provide basic needs, including Amazing Grace Food Pantry and Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, as well as employment training supports and services.
In the area of health, we partner with Youth and Family Service organizations in Middlesex County to implement the Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth assets model in their towns. The approach increases young people's participation in their local communities and reduces high-risk behaviors, especially the use of drugs and alcohol. We are also proud to support scouting, Middlesex YMCA, Oddfellows Playhouse and other youth development programs.
We are also ensuring the availably of mental health services, counseling, substance abuse services, sexual assault crisis services, programs that support adults with disabilities, and services to assist seniors so they may continue living at home.
In the area of housing, we support emergency shelter and supportive housing as well as homelessness prevention and affordable housing and homelessness prevention efforts. We are actively involved in the Middlesex County Coalition on Housing & Homelessness which is working to prevent and end homelessness and we’re proud to support organizations like Middlesex Habitat for Humanity and The Connection’s Eddy Shelter .
For a full list of partners in each focus area, visit www.middlesexunitedway.org/our-work.
We are proud to partner with so many wonderful programs that are making Middlesex County a great place to live and work.
Thank you to all our partners, advocate, donors and volunteers.
By Kevin Wilhelm
President & CEO