HEADLINES

Fairfield Receives Support From United Way of Coastal Fairfield County

Fairfield, CT - United Way of Coastal Fairfield County has awarded the Town of Fairfield a grant to support residents impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, along with a supply of KN95 protective face masks. Presentation was made to First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick and Director of Human and Social Services Julie DeMarco.

On hand from the local United Way were CEO Jeff Kimball and Anne McCrory, a long-time Fairfield resident who serves on the non-profit’s Board of Directors. 

“On behalf of the entire Town, I am deeply grateful to United Way for giving our Social Services Department this generous grant that will help struggling Fairfield families who have been financially burdened by COVID’s impact,” commented First Selectwoman Kupchick. “I appreciate all of United Way’s good work and its support for our community.” 

The Covid Relief Grant provides emergency assistance for food, rent, utilities and critical bills to help keep families in stable homes. This is the third round of grants awarded by United Way to support those impacted by the pandemic.

The goal of the KN-95 mask donation is to help stem the rapid spread of the coronavirus.  Additionally, masks can be an important support for families whose budgets are strained by this additional cost.  

Fairfielder and United Way Board Member Ann McCrory commented, “Our neighbors need our help, and many of them are seeking help for the first time in their lives.  We’re honored to work with the Town of Fairfield—my home town-- to bring help and hope to those who are struggling.” 

According to Director of Social Services Julie Demarco, “Families are doing everything they can to get back on their feet after being out of work or having reduced work hours due to the pandemic.  Even though they may be back to work full time, the crisis is not over.  Utility bills, rent groceries must still be paid, and it’s tough to catch up.”

Even before the pandemic, more than one out of four Fairfield families struggled to make ends meet.  The pandemic and the rising cost of living have exacerbated the situation.  This surging need is reflected in the increased calls to United Way’s 2-1-1 Infoline.  Last year, Fairfielders’ requests for help more than doubled; overall, requests have tripled since the beginning of the pandemic.    

The current grant of $2,000 follows previous Covid relief grants and financial supports provided to both the Town of Fairfield and Operation Hope during the pandemic. As of today, United Way has also donated 3,500 protective face masks to the town for resident use. 

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County (UWCFC) has made investments in every one of the 12 towns it serves, offering:

  • Supports for basic needs: Approximately $216,000 in grants to support towns and community partners providing for basic needs like food, rent, and utilities. Also, over 3,000 freshly-made lunches were delivered to hungry neighbors in 3 towns, through a partnership with Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company.
  • Direct Help to Families: Over $89,000 in electronic gift cards to families in need, distributed by towns and local social service agencies.  
  • Protective Equipment: Over 140,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, including protective masks, gloves, and face shields to help neighbors including frontline workers, teachers, and families, thanks to donor partners like Bank of America and Yale New Haven Health.
  • Virtual Learning Support: For remote learners in Kindergarten to 12th grade, UWCFC has provided online tutoring, STEM learning programs, and college financial aid workshops. During summer, United Way supported enriched learning in robotics, engineering, e-sports, leadership, and college preparation. These innovative offerings were made by the Greater Bridgeport STEM Learning Ecosystem, an initiative of the United Way’s flagship collective impact movement, Bridgeport Prospers. 
  • Connections to Resources: Through the 2-1-1 Infoline, United Way fielded over 123,000 service requests from Fairfield County residents in the past two years.

These supports were made possible through grants, partnerships, local fundraising, and state-wide relief efforts.

Noted CEO Jeff Kimball, “Throughout the pandemic, our United Way has worked innovatively and tirelessly to ease the burden shouldered by our neighbors.  Together with our partners, we will overcome this crisis and keep building more equitable and resilient communities — where all our neighbors have the opportunity to thrive.”

About United Way of Coastal Fairfield County: 

Mission: “Together, we empower people to improve their lives. We do this by working innovatively with partners to tackle the most pressing issues in a community. Our vision is that all children and families will thrive in school and life. UWCFC serves the towns of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. Find out more at: https://unitedwaycfc.org/

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