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February 6, 2008

United Way grants 13 IBM computers to local non-profits

Feb. 6, 2008

Media Contact: Michelle Wade
Work: 203.691.4202
Cell: 860.834.0128

For the past nine years IBM has partnered with United Way of Greater New Haven to provide computers to deserving area non-profits. Since 1999, 46 computers have been granted in the Greater New Haven region. The recipients were chosen through United Way’s request for proposal process. The computers donated were desktops, laptops, and “Little Tikes” computers, which are designed specifically for pre-school and early learning purposes.

“This partnership with IBM is a great example of how collaboration can move change in a community forward,” said Jennifer Heath, Vice President for Community Leadership at United Way of Greater New Haven.

This year, the IBM computers were granted to New Haven Reads, East Haven Family Resource Center at DC Moore Middle School, Concepts for Adaptive Learning, STRIVE, and Easter Seals Goodwill Industries. The various organizations are utilizing the computers to improve computer literacy, internet research, and writing skills among children and adults, specifically disadvantaged residents of Greater New Haven who are unemployed.

For example, New Haven Reads and the East Haven Family Resource Center are utilizing the “Little Tikes” computers to enhance education in the areas of reading, math, and even science among children ages three to five. Many of the students using the computers do not have computers in their homes, but are eager to use them.

“The one-on-one time that a student gets with the computer and a tutor is a stark contrast from the chaotic experience that school can sometimes be and differences are recognizable almost immediately,” said Chris Alexander, Director of New Haven Reads. “Thanks to IBM and United Way, more children are being given access to technology that will support their learning and prepare them for a bright future.”

About United Way:
United Way brings together 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 United Way of Greater New Haven's community leadership and how you can help can be found at http://www.uwgnh.org/.

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February 4, 2008

United Way in Business New Haven on 02/04/2008


Actions Speak Louder than Words
Community pillar John Crawford has spent a lifetime leading by example

"John has been one of the greatest forces for civic engagement, civic participation, civic leadership that I've seen in the 11 years I've been in New Haven," says Jack R. Healy, president of the United Way of Greater New Haven. "He is a champion of people taking responsibility for their community, and he does it with a very soft touch and is very inspirational and very engaging."

February 1, 2008

Richard and Brigitte Cogswell: Parents with a Purpose

Richard and Brigitte Cogswell may not be the image that comes to mind when you think “soccer mom”, but that’s exactly what they are. Their children are the center of their lives. Shuttling daughters Agape and Destiny, ages 11 and age 8, to ballet, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, choir, and yes, soccer are what their days revolve around.

Brigitte originally came to United Way when she was Vice President of Nonprofit Strategies Group. She was hired as a consultant to transform the allocations process. Many years later she returned in volunteer capacities as the co-chair of the Community Impact Cabinet and a Board member. Said Brigitte, “I’ve seen what United Way is about from the inside out. First as a consultant carrying out the work of United Way; then as an Impact Cabinet and later a Board member setting the direction for United Way, to benefiting from agencies that are funded by UW, like the Girls Scouts, which my daughter's are now a part of.”

Richard became aware of United Way through workplace campaigns at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of St. Raphael’s where he was employed. He received first hand knowledge of United Way as a Loaned Executive for the 1997 campaign. “It was then that I learned how many organizations and people really are helped. And it was interesting to go and solicit companies for support. The Loaned Executive experience, the relationship and teambuilding training has been very useful in furthering my career. It allowed me to understand there are no barriers.”

In addition to their full-time jobs, both Richard and Brigitte are in school furthering their education. Brigitte, who is working towards her Master’s degree said, “I want my girls to know how important it is to never stop learning. Advancing your education is key to designing your own future. In our house, it’s God, family, community and education. Those are our priorities."

The Cogswell’s try to do as much as they can as a family. Although a great deal of their time is taken up by the many activities their daughters are involved in, they find time to give back by making their volunteerism family oriented. That way they are able to carve out the time to be involved in the community without taking time away from their family, while demonstrating first hand the kind of citizens they want their daughters to grow up to be.

Whether it’s through teaching at Children’s Church, serving pancakes at a fundraiser for their school, or as a volunteer soccer coach for New Haven Park & Recreation Youth Soccer, they are living examples of the virtues they want their daughters to embrace. Said Richard, “Coaching gives me an opportunity to be out in our community working with kids from all ethnic, social, and economic groups. The kids get to see a positive, African American, male, role model. It might sound hokey, but when I coach the girl’s soccer teams, I tell them there is no ‘I’ in team. We’re here to have fun and we’re here to work together. We win or lose together. Isn’t that what being a community is all about?”