United Way seeks community’s help with Adopt-A-Child; 538 children signed up

Sorting through donations for the United Way of West Central Connecticut's Adopt-A-Child program.

Sorting through donations for the United Way of West Central Connecticut’s Adopt-A-Child program.

The first day of school can be a tough time for needy children whose parents cannot afford a nice outfit and/or appropriate school supplies. A child’s self-image has a dramatic effect on performance in the classroom and the lack of a positive self-image can create lasting consequences.

In a press release, the United Way of West Central Connecticut explained the nonprofit believes that the first day of school is an important event in a child’s life that is often overlooked. Thus, the organization began the Adopt–A–Child Back to School Program in 1999, helping 30 children. They have continued this program each year and it has grown dramatically, with over 500 children served last year alone. This year, the number of children signed up is 538.

The United Way said in a release that it needs the public’s help. Out of the 538 who applied for the program, approximately 170 children are still in need of being matched with a donor. Even a small monetary donation can go a long way to help the United Way staff purchase items for these children.

United Way said in its news release that it is hoping the “generous spirit of our local residents” will extend to the many needy children in the area as they make their way back to school in the fall. “The future of many of these children depends on their performance in school and United Way wants to ensure that all children are on a level playing field,” the release said.

If you or your company wants to take part in this valuable program and help a child in need, call Emily at the United Way, (860)582-9559). You will be asked to provide a first day of school outfit for a child, along with a backpack filled with school supplies. United Way will provide you with a child’s first name, gender, clothing sizes, and favorite colors to help you in purchasing your gift. Donations can be dropped off to United Way on either Aug. 5 or 6 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., so that they can distribute the gifts before the first day of school.

“Thank you in advance for your unending support of United Way and the communities they serve,” said the release. “Remember you can LIVE UNITED by helping a child in need today.”