Middlesex United Way to honor volunteers and community leaders

In a few weeks, on Jan. 30, we will gather at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam to honor volunteers and community leaders, in addition to celebrating a year of many accomplishments at our annual meeting. We will also be recognizing a very special nonprofit for their outstanding commitment to improving lives and community conditions.

The recipient of our Community Impact Award is Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.

Since 1809, Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut has nurtured children and families to develop their strengths through its service, partnership, and advocacy. CFA breaks down barriers to care by focusing on mental and physical health services and providing families with high-quality programs and accessible resources. The ultimate goal is not only to nurture children and families, but also to support the communities these families live in.

Serving children and their families in New London, Windham, and Middlesex counties, as well as parts of eastern New Haven county, CFA programs include 14 School-Based Health Centers, two Early Child Care Centers, B.P. Learned Mission, afterschool and summer programming Family Resource Centers, and Adult Outpatient Treatment. They also have three Child Guidance Clinics, which include “open access” walk-in hours, as well as In-Home Services for families who are in extreme distress, requiring a higher level of care. Currently, Middlesex United Way provides support to their outpatient mental health services.

This past year, CFA has refined their Open Access process, allowing clients to receive close to immediate services. They continue working toward their goal to provide more accessible treatment to those families in need who might not otherwise be able to obtain treatment, due to common barriers that arise. These barriers can be access to transportation, access to care in a time of need, and varying financial constraints. As an agency, CFA is committed to not turning away any family due to financial need, and have expanded their access to care to include holding no waitlists (due to Open Access process). By increasing their availability and flexibility, they have gone from serving an average of 77 distinct clients per quarter, to serving an average 102.6 distinct clients per quarter.

The award is being issued to CFA in part because of their long-standing partnership with Middlesex United Way. They have been a United Way funded partner for decades, and impressively continue to grow their programs and services. Last year, there were over 10,500 children and families served by over 500 volunteers and 200 staff.

We hope you will join us in honoring this wonderful organization, as well as other fine people for their work in helping to create a better Middlesex County.

The annual meeting will be held on Jan. 30 at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station. Tickets are $20. A full breakfast will be served at 8 a.m., and the program will begin at 8:30 a.m. To attend, visit middlesexunitedway.org/rsvp or call 860-346-8695.

Kevin Wilhelm is president and CEO of the Middlesex United Way in Middletown.