Cross-published in the Southington Citizen.
An inside view of United Way of Southington—just looking at how it functions as a network of social and community services—reveals some of the mystery and magic of the virtual web of social and community services that are brought together under aegis of UWS.
Defined by its name, United Way of Southington is a way that unites the people of the community in supporting the needs of so many today who are living below the barest norm of economic standards.
The goals of local non-profit, 501(c) charities are to identify and provide help to those who truly need help and to develop programs and efficient ways as well as the funding to handle the diverse kinds of help needed. They also refer certain cases to other local agencies, at times with government support. But more and more, the local charities of Southington are raising funds by appealing to the generosity and compassion of local people.
United Way of Southington plays a major role in enabling such agencies to provide their services. In fact, the mission of UWS is "to facilitate a community-wide collaboration so that funds can be raised and assistance provided to organizations involved in human service programs in Southington, Marion, Milldale and Plantsville."
UWS directs funds it raises to the most important programs of the most important charities where all the money is used for the needs of our community. The UWS vision statement is so true: "Southington People Helping Southington People." Moreover, each donation touches seventeen local charities, partner agencies of UWS; such a simple concept.
Carol Reilly, executive director of UWS says that it is vitally important to make folks aware of the flexibility of "workplace giving." No matter where you work, your workplace contribution, including payroll deductions for United Way can be designated by any employee to be directed to the town where they live, in our case, to United Way of Southington. Why it that important? Just look around you at the increasing vacant and sparsely occupied buildings in town. Coming into Southington from the north on West Street presents the latest example as you glance at the empty parking lots of The Hartford’s former complex. Southington has increasingly become a bedroom community of surrounding towns who provide employment.
Southington has always demonstrated its generosity as a people. But, who, if not those who live in Southington will take care of our severely growing local needs, if your workplace giving to United Way is not designated by you to go to Southington!
When Carol Reilly came in as executive director of United Way of Southington at the beginning of 2011, she understood the challenges that the agency faced, especially in these times. Already, much has been done to strengthen the message of UWS to the people of Southington and UWS has strengthened it ties and support of the local charities it supports.
On Tuesday, December 13th at 10:00a.m., the United Way of Southington invited its 17 partner agencies to The Summit in Plantsville. "The meeting opened the group to an open forum of the town’s local agencies to discuss how we can work more closely to better serve our community," said Reilly.
Joining the group, were Deb Heinrich, Gov. Malloy’s Nonprofit Liaison, who gave a presentation on "Connecticut’s Nonprofits: New perspectives on sustainability and problem solving." Also present were Sen. Joe Markley and his aide, Pat Salamone, who participated in the meeting, offering agencies the assistance of the legislature in certain areas.
In essence, the agencies participated in "living and working united," Reilly said. They discussed and analyzed trends in social needs and services locally as compared to state-wide data. There was a lively interchange of ideas and suggestions as to how agencies operate, thus providing deeper insights into where they can work together for increased efficiency in certain areas. The meeting was well received by those present who considered it an opportunity to continue exploring inroads each of them can hope to make through information sharing, cooperation and periodic meetings.
To donate directly to the UWS, please mail your check to PO Box 546, Southington, CT 06489. For further information, please contact Carol Reilly at 860-628-4565 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.