Middlesex United Way: Grants can help the unemployed during COVID

MIDDLETOWN — The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly taught us the importance of safety, health, and having access to the resources required to endure.
The Middlesex United Way takes pride in having the ability to help people struggling bridge that gap, and be connected with services that will ensure their necessities can be met. We have also been incredibly inspired to see how individual communities have also stepped up in this time of need.
Last month, the town of Old Saybrook announced the launch of a program called Old Saybrook Cares to help residents struggling with layoffs and unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic.
Old Saybrook Cares allows residents to apply for a grant of up to $1,500 to be used toward basic needs such as food, housing, utilities, child care or transportation costs. This program is only for residents, and only one grant will be awarded per household. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The program was created through efforts by the town’s Long-Term Recovery Committee, a group made up of local government, voluntary agencies, community faith-based organizations, philanthropy and private sector partners.
Although started by a small committee of Old Saybrook residents, this program has been made possible by many partner organizations and donors.
Middlesex United Way is proud to serve as a partner and fiduciary to Old Saybrook Cares. The committee is hoping to raise $100,000, and they have already raised more than $50,000 by generous donors and companies. One-hundred percent of the money raised will go directly to helping local Old Saybrook residents.
Those looking to apply or donate toward the cause can visit middlesexunitedway.org.
Applications can also be dropped off at the Old Saybrook Town Hall, emailed to oldsaybrookcares@oldsaybrookct.gov or mailed to: OS CARES Committee c/o Town Hall, 302 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475.
The first round of grants has begun to be distributed and will continue into late August or beyond if monies raised permit. The town hopes their program becomes a model for other communities.
Here at Middlesex United Way, we are committed to food security, health and family financial security, and we are so proud of Old Saybrook for undertaking this effort.
Kevin Wilhelm is CEO and president of the Middlesex United Way in Middletown