May
2020
COMMUNITY CONNECTION
IRS-Certified Volunteers Can Help You File Your Taxes For Free Through the Virtual VITA Program
A Message from Richard Porth
President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut  
There is still time to file your taxes for free with the help of IRS- Certified Volunteers! The deadline to your file taxes has been extended to July 15, 2020.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) coalitions across Connecticut are working hard to help eligible households access free tax preparation assistance.

In an effort to ensure the health and safety of volunteers and the clients they serve, free, online tax filing though virtual VITA platforms is now available statewide.

Visit www.211ct.org/taxhelp and select a Virtual VITA Program.

Eligibility for the Virtual VITA Program is the same as traditional VITA. Households who earned $56,000 or less last year and have access to a smartphone or computer, internet/WiFi, and a valid phone number and email address, may utilize the Virtual VITA Program.

For more information on free tax preparation options visit www.211ct.org/taxhelp.
Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health 
Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health is a great free resource to help families with sad, mad and worried feelings during this tough time. The guide introduces mental health and wellness, mental health self-care and encourages self-identification of warning signs.

Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health is available online in English and Spanish. Click HERE to access fun activities parents, caregivers, and kids can do alone or together inside and outside. You can also order free print copies. Please note: free quantities are limited to a max of 4 outside CT.

It is important to find ways to foster joy, hope and to strengthen our mental health. One fun way to do this is to use the Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health and host a “Read Aloud” or “Read Along” for the children and families in your community.

How PAWESOME would it be if faith groups, libraries, youth service organizations, schools, and others hosted a “Read Aloud” or “Read Along” video? These videos can be posted on your preferred online platform, such as You Tube, for children and their families to view and participate together.

Free Financial Coaching
Connecticut United Ways have partnered with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners to offer free financial coaching to Connecticut residents.

Known as TrustPlus, the program provides one‐on‐one support for clients with challenges such as dealing with creditors, finding emergency resources, and reducing debt. The program is available to all Connecticut residents, but has particular relevance for easing the burden on those struggling financially amid the COVID‐19 pandemic.

How To Sign Up:

To sign up for TrustPlus, text “AliceSaves” to 646-349-5959, or click HERE. Once you sign up you can schedule your first 30-minute appointment with a Neighborhood Trust Budget Coach of your choice. All appointments are conducted by phone or Skype. Enrollment provides clients with lifetime access to free financial coaching.

To learn more about TrustPlus, click HERE.
We Are In This Together!
The current COVID-19 public health emergency is creating a labor crisis for health care facilities and nonprofits across the state that serve vulnerable people on the front-lines.

Many agencies have implemented creative and innovative service delivery techniques in order to continue serving those in need in a way that keeps their workers and those they serve safe. THANK YOU!

Are there changes to your agency due to COVID-19? Please update your information with 2-1-1 CT.
 
Click  HERE  to download a "How to Update Your Agency?" instructional flyer.
 
Thank you for continuing to provide critical services to those in need!
The mission of United Way of Connecticut is to help meet the needs of Connecticut and its residents by providing information, education and connection to services.