5,000 masks delivered; Nearly $200,000 being donated to support struggling families
BRIDGEPORT, CT -- United Way of Coastal Fairfield County is deploying resources to support its neighbors most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Last week, CEO Jeff Kimball delivered 5,000 protective masks to Optimus Health Care and Bridgeport Hospital, and the agency began a massive outreach effort for their Neighbors in Need Emergency Fund. Through the local fund and its statewide efforts, United Way is donating nearly $200,000 across Fairfield County to aid those hardest hit, with support ranging from virtual tutoring to basic needs like food, rent, and utilities.
CEO Jeff Kimball commented: Our neighbors need help, now more than ever. We want to bring as much help, hope, and support as we can, not just now but in the future.” United Way is deploying resources across Fairfield County, from New Canaan to Stratford, and every community in between. “As a non-profit that works every day organizing and advocating for change at the grassroots level in Fairfield County, we are perfectly positioned to empower families during this crisis,” Kimball added.
The first investment of $200,000 will be allocated as follows:
- Virtual tutoring program for K-12th grade students who lack access to help, and often, laptops and tablets. The tutors are local college students skilled in STEM, provided by the Greater Bridgeport STEM Learning Ecosystem. This is an innovative initiative of the flagship collective impact movement, Bridgeport Prospers.
- Support for community partners providingbasic supports like food, rent, and utilities. During the crisis, demand for supports from United Way partners has increased exponentially.
- Electronic gift cards given directly to families in need, which can be used to pay bills or buy food. These cards, valued at over $60,000 in the first wave, are being distributed through social service agencies across the footprint to those most in need. The cards are a part of a statewide effort of 15 United Ways.
Mr. Kimball highlighted the need to wisely allocate resources and be innovative during a time of upheaval. “We live in a world driven by metrics, and of course they’re sacrosanct to us, but how can you possibly measure the extent of the suffering that exists right now when so many are unemployed or living paycheck to paycheck? We have a clear goal to help those in need, we understand and have identified the barriers in our way, we have plans in place to deal with them, and we will relentlessly push for results,” Mr. Kimball said. “We operate with total transparency. You will know where every dime goes, and it’s going directly into the community.”
Before the crisis, approximately one out of four families in Fairfield County struggled to make ends meet. Now families are challenged by increased household expenses with school children at home, and by the loss of income due to reduced hours or shuttered businesses. Approximately 200,000 Connecticut citizens are unemployed.
Kimball added: “ We invite you to join us in this urgent effort to help our neighbors, because--quite honestly, if not now--when?”
To donate to the Neighbors in Need Emergency Fund, visit www.unitedwaycfc.org.
United Way of Coastal Fairfield County’s mission is “Together, we mobilize our communities to improve people’s lives.” Our vision is that all children in coastal Fairfield County are successful in school and prepared for success in life. UWCFC serves the towns of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. Find out more at: .
Bridgeport Prospers’ mission is to work collectively as a community of stakeholders to have a positive, measurable, and sustainable impact on outcomes for all children and families, from cradle to career. We focus on a set of seven outcomes, from kindergarten readiness through high school graduation and career readiness. Bridgeport Prospers is a member of StriveTogether, a national nonprofit network of 70 communities with a clear purpose: helping every child succeed in school and in life, cradle to career, regardless of race, zip code or circumstance. We are an initiative of United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.
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