April is National Volunteer Month
A Message from Richard Porth         
President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut 

April is National Volunteer Month. Volunteers provide assistance to those in need through a variety of vital services that help improve life in the broader community. 

Developed as a collaboration between United Ways and volunteer centers in the state, the Volunteer Connecticut website can help you find opportunities to give back this month and every month. The Volunteer Connecticut website makes it easy for people to connect with the volunteer center that serves their area. Simply select your town, or the town that you wish to volunteer in, and you will be connected to the web site of the United Way/Volunteer Center for that community.

For additional volunteer opportunities visit the Give Help page on the 2-1-1 website or search "Volunteer" at 211ct.org for a list of volunteer options across the state.

Start Planning for Summer
kids_playing_with_ball.jpg The State of Connecticut website for children, ConneCT Kids , recently published their 2018 Summer Planning Guide. This guide includes advice for parents and teens about finding summer jobs, volunteer opportunities, summer safety tips and links to summer programs throughout the state. 
In addition to ConneCT Kids' new summer guide, 2-1-1 Child Care maintains a comprehensive directory of camps in Connecticut.

The 2-1-1 Child Care search engine allows you to search for camps across the state and filter search results by criteria such as: hours of operation, the accreditations of the camp, cost, and opportunities for financial assistance. C lick HERE to  download an informational guide to summer camps. You can  also contact 2-1-1 Child Care online at 211childcare.org or by dialing 2-1-1 and selecting option 2.

Suicide the Ripple Effect

On May 14, 2018 Spotlight Theater in Hartford presents "Suicide the Ripple Effect", a powerful documentary about Kevin Himes, a young man who attempted to take his own life. Seventeen years later, Kevin is using his story to help others who are struggling. Click HERE for additional event details and to order your ticket today.

This event is being organized by the Jordan Porco Foundation. Through awareness, education, and innovative programming, the Jordan Porco Foundation is challenging the stigma around mental health and help-seeking, creating open conversations about the prevalence of suicide and mental health issues in the young adult population, and saving lives.  

2-1-1 Connecticut is certified in crisis intervention and suicide prevention and is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) as a certified crisis center. If you or someone you know needs help, call 2-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273- 8255.

Be Aware of Ticks and Know the Warning Signs of Lyme Disease

As the weather starts to warm, an increased awareness of ticks and the symptoms associated with Lyme disease is important.

Tips for preventing Lyme disease:
  • Avoid tall grass and over-grown, brushy areas.
  • Stay in the middle of trails when hiking in the woods.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to allow ticks to be more  easily seen.
  • Examine yourself, your children, and pets for ticks when returning indoors.
  • Remove found ticks as soon as possible.
It takes approximately 24 hours for a tick to infect a person with Lyme disease. The longer an infected tick stays on your skin the greater the chance it will pass the Lyme bacteria on to you. If you find a tick remove it immediately and be on the lookout for Lyme disease symptoms such as rash (sometimes in the shape of a bulls-eye) fever, muscle aches or fatigue.
Contact your doctor if any of these symptoms occurs and visit the Department of Public Health Lyme Disease page or download 2-1-1's Lyme Disease eLibrary Paper for more information.