United News February 2020

Feb.28, 2020

February Edition

Battle of the Badges

Eight teams. One champion. On Sunday, February 23, United Way held its inaugural Battle of the Badges basketball tournament at University of Hartford’s Chase Arena, sponsored by Boards and Beyond. Teams representing municipal police departments from Berlin; Bloomfield; Bridgeport; Hartford; Simsbury; West Hartford; Willimantic; the Connecticut Department of Corrections; and, the Federal Bureau of Investigation competed for the top spot. The Hartford Police Department took home the championship while the Department of Corrections finished second and Willimantic took home third place. Proceeds from the tournament will be used for United Way-supported programs and initiatives that help ensure local children succeed academically and families are financially secure.


What Do Young Adults Really Want in a Workplace?

Young Adults@Work, a report on employment practices that motivate 18 to 29-year-olds, was recently produced by Hartford Generation Work, an initiative managed by United Way. More than 60 young adults, employed and unemployed, were interviewed for their recommendations on improving area workplace practices and culture and education and training programs. Hartford Generation Work is one of five partnerships nationally as part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Generation Work initiative. Hartford Generation partners include Capital Workforce Partners; the City of Hartford; the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Hartford Opportunity Youth Collaborative; Our Piece of the Pie; and, Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford.

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Volunteer Recognition: Aston Dakers

For years, Aston Dakers has been committed to helping children read at grade-level. As a United Way Reader, Aston volunteers weekly working one-on-one with children from kindergarten to 3rd grade who are behind with respect to literacy. Aston also volunteers in one-time events, like Read Across America Day. “Reading is part of the process of understanding the world. Learning to read should be fun and dynamic,” he said. Aston credits his former teachers with helping him to develop a love of reading and has carried that influence with him throughout his life, now paying it forward as a United Way Reader. Aston has been a staple in the program for years, starting with volunteering at the Fred D. Wish Elementary School and, more recently at Sarah J. Rawson Elementary School. Thank you, Aston for your time and commitment to helping children in our community succeed!

Want to be like Aston Dakers? Visit our website or email Phil Blonski, Senior Manager, Community Engagement at pblonski@unitedwayinc.org.

Thank You: Travelers

Employees from Travelers are using the leap year as an opportunity to do good. Earlier this month more than 160 volunteers from Travelers recently contributed to developing literacy skills in children by increasing access to books as part of their Leap of Kindness efforts. Thanks to their collective efforts, more than 1,000 children will receive United Way Literacy Kits comprise of a new book, a craft created by a volunteer and a read-aloud tip sheet. Nearly 50 employees from Travelers surprised students at Hartford’s Michael D. Fox Elementary School on February 19 with the delivery of the United Way Literacy kits, as well as hundreds of school supplies through their other efforts. The remaining kits will be distributed to local elementary and middle schools in Hartford and East Hartford throughout March. Efforts like this help ensure local students read at grade-level by the start of fourth grade, a key milestone for future academic success. Thank you, Travelers for supporting academic success for local children.

If your family, friends or co-workers would like to participate in a United Way Kit Project, email Annie Sommers Fazzino, Community Engagement and Marketing Manager, at asommers@unitedwayinc.org.

95th Annual Meeting and Presentation of the 2019 Community Service Award – April 2, 2020

5:30-8:30 p.m | Pratt & Whitney Hangar Museum | East Hartford, CT

Join us April 2 as we celebrate 95 years of uniting communities. This year we are recognizing Bob Leduc, Retired President and CEO of Pratt & Whitney with our highest honor, the Community Service Award, given in memory of Dr. Frederick G. Adams for his service to our community. We’ll also be highlighting key milestones from our past and what’s in store in our future.


Fashion, Philanthropy & Fun – April 30, 2020

5:30-7:30 p.m. | Morneault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon | 242 Trumbull Street | Hartford, CT

Join us for a free evening of music, refreshments and celebration of Power of the Purse Table Captains at Women United’s Fashion, Philanthropy & Fun. This intimate social event is hosted by Hartford clothing retailer Morneault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon where for 45 years customers have been building their signature styles as well as getting connected to charitable events. Join us as we gear up for Power of the Purse by “adopting” auction purses provided by Morneault’s and shopping for your signature Power of the Purse outfit.  A live DJ will be entertaining us, and a local caterer will be providing light appetizers and refreshments.



Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)  – Now-April 2020

Various Times | Various Locations

Our United Way, in partnership with The Village for Families & Children, Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc., City of Hartford and a network of municipal and community providers in the Greater Hartford, New Britain and the Windham regions, connects hard-working families with opportunities to keep more money in their wallets through the VITA and MyFreeTaxes campaign. This is just one way we work with our partners to help local families become more financially secure.

There are two opportunities to receive no-cost, quality tax assistance and preparation services: VITA and MyFreeTaxes.

VITA: Get help from an IRS-certified volunteer, if your household income is up to $56,000:
• In Greater Hartford and Windham County, dial 2-1-1 and press ‘3’ for an appointment or sign up online atwww.211ct.org.
• For a VITA site in New Britain, call 860-612-3983.
• Get your refund in 7-10 days.

At our local VITA sites, IRS-certified volunteers will make the process easy, helping you get all the tax refunds and credits you’ve earned. Most appointments take 30 minutes to an hour.

MyFreeTaxes is completely free for anyone of any income who needs to file a simple return.
• Prepare and file your taxes at MyFreeTaxes.com.
• Online help is available.

Spread the word to receive free professional tax help from an IRS-certified volunteer at our upcoming Dollars and Sense Day tomorrow, February 29 from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Hartford Public Library. There are no appointments necessary, walk-ins are accepted on a first-come, first served basis until 1:00 p.m.

United Way Women United Power of the Purse – June 11, 2020

11:00 a.m-1:30 p.m | Connecticut Convention Center | Hartford, CT

Join United Way Women United at the Connecticut Convention Center as we host our 9th Annual Power of the Purse Luncheon and Silent Auction, presented by TD Bank. As Women United’s signature event, this fundraiser attracts more than 1,200 guests from businesses and community organizations. It’s a great opportunity to network with others while bidding on auction items and hearing from inspiring women.

Event proceeds support United Way-funded economic mobility services that include financial education; budgeting; establishing credit; savings; and, employment programs. These services make a measurable difference in the lives of local women and families who are on the path to financial stability.

Don’t forget to invite your friends, family and colleagues!