Connecticut United Ways Create COVID-19 Response Fund

Mar.20, 2020

Statewide Contact:

Annie Scully

United Way of Connecticut


Local Contacts:  For a listing of contacts at all 15 Connecticut United Ways, scroll to end of release.

CONNECTICUT (March 20, 2020) — United Ways across the state of Connecticut are joining forces to respond to the increasingly dire economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, they have created the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund. The Fund is being coordinated with philanthropic efforts statewide. It will rapidly deploy financial resources to individuals and families economically affected by the pandemic, including those who are out of work or have reduced work hours. In the coming days, the Fund will prioritize and qualify those who will be eligible for assistance.

The Fund is launching with $100,000 in support from the Aetna Foundation.

“We want to support people in the communities we serve by ensuring they have access to basic needs during this uncertain time,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of CSR and Philanthropy for CVS Health. “Through this donation to the Connecticut United Ways, we hope to provide access to food and financial support resources to help those most in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Fund will be used to help individuals and families that United Way calls ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). These are our hard-working neighbors who already live paycheck to paycheck. Many of them provide crucial services in our community—such as caring for our children and elderly parents. Without a financial cushion, they are particularly vulnerable to the rapidly changing scenario our country now faces. United Way expects that the number of individuals and families in the state that fall into the ALICE income threshold will grow as the crisis continues.

After speaking with ALICE individuals in the past few days, we know their needs are great and mounting.

“My children are at home eating three meals a day and I have no money left on my SNAP Card,” shared Karen, a Connecticut resident. “I’m not getting a paycheck this week, and I’m not eligible for unemployment.”

Already struggling to pay their bills, ALICE families may now be facing even more severe challenges, such as:

  • Inability to keep up with rent, mortgage, and utility payments as paychecks stop coming in or are severely reduced. People in the restaurant, entertainment, and travel industries are most affected.
  • Stressors on food budgets with children home from school and eating more. Gas is needed to pick up “grab and go” meals from the schools, and the pick-up schedules don’t always coincide with parents’ work schedules.
  • Higher food and utility costs as all family members are home all day in response to social distancing guidelines.
  • Fewer volunteers available to provide services to those in need, as many volunteers are over the age of 60.

Connecticut United Ways hope to mobilize a response quickly to get money to individuals who most need it to pay for food, utilities, and other basic necessities.

As this pandemic continues to evolve, so too will the needs of our community. This Fund will allow for flexibility in meeting those needs.

To donate to the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund go to Donors will have the option to pay a 3.09% credit card processing fee so that 100% of their donation can go directly to those in need. Connecticut United Ways will not charge any administrative fees on donations to the Fund.



Connecticut United Ways advance the common good by creating opportunities for all, with a particular focus on education, income/financial security, health, and basic needs – the building blocks for a good quality of life. We engage people and organizations throughout our communities who bring passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done, and we invite everyone to be part of the change.



Middlesex United Way

Kevin Wilhelm

President and CEO



United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

Paula Gilberto

President and CEO



United Way of Coastal Fairfield County

Jeff Kimball

President & CEO



United Way of Greater New Haven

Jennifer Heath

President and CEO



United Way of Greater Waterbury

Kristen Jacoby

President and Chief Professional Officer



United Way of Greenwich

David Rabin

President & CEO



United Way of Meriden and Wallingford

Maria Harlow

Executive Director



United Way of Milford

Gary Johnson

President & CEO



United Way of Northwest Connecticut

Owen Quinn

Executive Director



United Way of Southeastern Connecticut

Virginia Mason

President and CEO



United Way of Southington

Jack Eisenmann

Executive Director



United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls

Lisa Shappy

Executive Director



United Way of West Central Connecticut

Donna Osuch




United Way of Western Connecticut

Kimberly Morgan

Chief Executive Officer



Valley United Way

David Kennedy

Interim President and Chief Operating Officer