October 2020
United Way Responds, Recovers, Reimagines, and Rebuilds Windham County


~Carmen Derby, Executive Director, United Way of Windham County

Will the year 2020 be defined by the shared and individual challenges and traumas we have each endured or will it be remembered by the daily examples of strength, solidarity, and perseverance on display across all of Windham County? In a year of racial and social unrest, where inequitable systems have been laid out to bear, United Way of Windham County believes that 2020 will be remembered for what we have learned during these hard times. We believe this year will be defined by how much we rely on each other, with full knowledge that some in our community are more vulnerable than others, and yet our community is as connected as ever!

At United Way of Windham County, we know how to connect members of our community to keep it moving forward. It is the task of United Way of Windham County, as it has been for over 60 years, to Respond, Recover, Reimagine, and Rebuild a more resilient and equitable future. You as donors, partners, business leaders, and volunteers are vital pieces of this work. You define our priorities. United We Fight for the well-being of all individuals in our community.

United Way of Windham County responded to the needs of individuals and businesses by rapidly mobilizing the COVID-19 Response Fund. To date, that fund has distributed $70,000.00 to 47 unique businesses across all corners of Windham County. Our Recovery efforts are evident in the work being done to engage the community and address the needs coming out of those talks. We will continue addressing those needs by being present where the voices of our community’s most vulnerable need to heard and advocated for – this has never been more important!

As we begin the work of Reimagining a more equitable future in Windham County, in the next few months, you will be hearing from us as we reach out to our community for input. We want to know what your priorities are, so that we can make them our priorities. United Way of Windham County is not working towards “normal,” because we know that normal was just not working for too many people in Windham County. We are working on Reimagining and Rebuilding our community and we hope that you will be part of that conversation and process.

This reimagining and rebuilding will not be easy. Our new systems must withstand future needs. This is a very important time to support United Way of Windham County. The funding is needed to shore up our operations, so when something of this scale happens again, we can respond from a position of strength.

Please make your gift today by scanning this QR Code or using the "Donate Now" button Below! We are in gratitude, Thank You!
During these past few months, we have been shown how connected our community is, and just how much we rely on each other. We have seen how much we want all to see our community alive and thriving, and how all of us are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

We stand in great gratitude to all our donors and community partners. As Carmen said in her letter above, your incredible generosity made it possible for $70,000.00 in grants to be distributed to 47 unique organizations and business in Windham County. The fight to make Windham County a more equitable place to live and work is far from over. There are many people (your friends, family, and neighbors) who are still just making it through. Please join us in this fight!

In these unprecedented times, We find ourselves reimaging how we respond to the ongoing needs in our communities. The ability to reinvent how we care for the most vulnerable folks in our towns is vital as we move through these uncertain coming months.
 

Our Kids in Coats program provides an essential service to families in Windham County, and will be even more important this year, as many schools are expanding the use of outside spaces for safer learning. We fully support the work that teacher's have done to create outdoor classes and activities, and we are pleased to lend our support to them and to our youngest community members during this time.
 
This year, Kids in Coats will donate directly to our school systems in Windham County so they may use the funds to provide much needed winter gear to the students who would not be able to access these warm clothes without assistance. While this will be a change from the typical physical voucher system, we believe it is a safe and responsible alternative that is supportive to our local schools who are, just like all of us, reimagining their worlds and working diligently to keep our children safe.
 
Our communities are wonderfully connected and interdependent. Please join us as we work to respond to the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. Growing the Kids in Coats fund is important every year, and this year, it is absolutely critical. We can't do this work without you, and we are, as always, grateful to all of our donors, partners, and community members who help us to rebuild our communities into the strong, vibrant, and equitable places they need to be. Scan this QR Code to give to our Kids in Coats fund!
The CARES Act offers a new $300 tax deduction for donations to nonprofits. When you donate to The United Way of Windham County, you may be eligible for a tax break of up to $300, even if you don't itemize your taxes! This is a great time to donate.