Middlesex United Way new community impact head already making difference

MIDDLETOWN — While in the midst of this pandemic, teamwork and partnership have never been more important. We recently had our director of community impact position open and filled it just in time.

Christina Heckart’s first day with us is sure to be memorable. We had our last in-office staff meeting and spent the entirety discussing our plan as we navigate these times. Put to work right away, Christina has done a terrific job mobilizing our volunteers as well as connecting with our community partners.

We quickly swapped from in-office work and meetings to conducting virtually all communication and work using video conferencing and phone calls. This is far from our normal, but Christina, as well as the entire Middlesex United Way staff, have displayed aptitude in adapting as changes come.

Christina comes to us from the Climate Action Campaign, where she was responsible for implementing the strategic direction of a national campaign to pass federal climate legislation.

Prior to that, she was with the Service Employees International Union, where she served as assistant to the international president, leading special projects and working in close partnership with leadership and senior staff to develop and execute organizational goals and strategies. She has extensive experience on issue and political campaigns, as well as in government relations and research and community organizing.

“Even though we are amid such enormous and unique challenges right now, it is a testament to the power of community and reinforces why our collective work and volunteerism is so critical in times like these,” Heckart said.

“The mission and values of the Middlesex United Way align with my personal values and world view. I wholeheartedly believe that you can change people’s lives and build stronger communities through empowerment and mobilization. My values are reflected in the professional choices I have made: My entire career has been dedicated to making the world more just and equitable by empowering people to be the difference makers,” she added.

Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She and her husband Ron recently moved back to Middletown from Washington. In her free time, she is an avid traveler and cook.

Christina truly could not have started at a better time. During this time of uncertainty, Middlesex United Way is focused on helping the most vulnerable members people in our community and ensuring our community partners needs are met.

Christina has played a vital role in this short few week of staying in touch with our partner organizations and identifying their needs. Now, more than ever, continued collaboration is needed, and I am truly amazed to see how Christina has taken charge.

If you are a community partner looking to connect, please reach out to Christina at Christina.Heckart@MiddlesexUnitedWay.org. I encourage you all to virtually meet Christina and show her what our community is all about.

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