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September 25, 2006

Community Comes Together to Perform Acts of Kindness

September 2006

Media Contact: Michelle Wade
203.772.2010, Ext.202
Cell – 860.834.0128

United Way’s Commitment to Volunteerism and Civic Engagement Illustrated Through
Day of Caring Efforts and Results

Thousands of local volunteers from New Haven, Bethany, Branford, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, West Haven and Woodbridge participated in a week-long community service event organized by United Way in partnership with Yale-New Haven Hospital, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, WTNH News Channel 8/MYTV 9 and 94.3 WYBC. From Sept. 11-15, volunteer teams joined together in 195 projects, along with 58 drives for the benefit of our region’s nonprofit agencies, schools and parks. This annual celebration of volunteerism served as a kick-off to United Way’s workplace campaign, currently taking place.

Company teams and volunteers participated in projects such as painting murals at a youth center, reading books to be recorded for the blind and dyslexic, repairing bicycles, replenishing woodchips in a school playground, and hosting an ice cream social at a complex for the elderly. In addition to these projects, drives were organized to collect hats, books, toys, diapers, and cell phones among other items. These projects helped build relationships between volunteer groups and nonprofit agencies in the Greater New Haven area.

“Civic Engagement is one of United Way’s top priorities,” said Jack Healy, Chief Executive Officer of United Way. “We strive to increase the number of people who are active, engaged citizens in their communities by providing a wide spectrum of opportunity—Day of Caring being just one of the many.”

NewAlliance Bank employees were particularly supportive of Day of Caring this year. Many took the morning off from work to read to Wexler-Grant students grades K-5. Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven donated a dozen books to each classroom that participated in the volunteer project, leaving the students with permanent additions to their classroom libraries. “Not only was it gratifying to do something that helped my community but it was also wonderful to meet these kids. They were so excited to see a new face enter their classroom and it gave me the chance to share one of my favorite childhood books with them,” said one NewAlliance manager.

Over the course of just five days, through 250 different volunteer projects and drives, Day of Caring totaled over 4,000 hours of volunteer work worth $100,000. “United Way is about so much more than just fundraising,” said Heather Calabrese, Chief Operating Officer of United Way. “The success of Day of Caring illustrates our community members’ desire to connect with one another. Our ultimate goal is to improve people’s lives so one of our major efforts in doing this is providing the opportunities to connect in meaningful ways.”

About United Way:
United Way mobilizes the caring power of our community to create measurable, sustainable change and to improve lives. To do this we: help identify our region's greatest needs and best opportunities for change; raise dollars and invest those dollars for results; connect people to their caring through volunteer opportunities.

More information about how United Way is changing lives can be found at www.uwgnh.org.


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