Letter: United Way offers its thanks to the community

To the editor:
In this season of thanks, we’d like to take a moment to thank the community for its support of our organization. As the United Way of West Central Connecticut, we serve the towns of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth and Terryville. We have been working to improve lives for more than 90 years. Our mission is to unite our communities to create opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on education, income and health. We could not achieve this mission without the support of so many in our community. 
We’d first like to thank our donors. Our organization would not exist if we did not have the loyal support of so many individuals who invest in our work. United Ways do not receive money from a national overarching organization. We must raise all of our funds locally and these funds stay local. That’s why when donors invest in United Way, they can be assured that their gift stays right here to help their friends and neighbors in our community.
We’d also like to thank the many companies that support our work. From the companies that hold workplace campaigns, to those who donate a corporate gift, to those who sponsor our special events – we are so grateful. We are especially grateful to our Top 10 Companies: The Barnes Group/Associated Spring, GE, Webster Bank, Bristol Board of Education, Bristol City Hall, ESPN, Bristol Hospital, Farmington Bank, Arthur G. Russell Company, and The Ultimate Companies.
While we couldn’t do our work without donors, we also couldn’t do it without volunteers. And we have the best volunteers. From our Allocation Committee, which decides how the donations we receive will be used in our communities, to our tax volunteers and financial coaches, to our campaign volunteers, Team United – the people who donate their time and talents to our different committees and initiatives are our backbone. We are also grateful to the hundreds of individuals that come out each Day of Caring to lend a helping hand to our local non-profits.
A special group of volunteers that need their own acknowledgement are our Board of Directors. Our local United Way is part of a worldwide network of independently-operated organizations that are governed by local Boards of Directors and respond to the individual needs of our communities. Our board members are our biggest advocates and we are very grateful for the expertise and resources they bring to the table.
Finally, we’d like to give a big thanks to The Bristol Observer. Its editor, Mike Chaiken, has always been a big supporter of United Way and has always found a way to make “room” for us in the paper. We are also very grateful to reporter Lisa Capobianco for the wonderful series she wrote about our organization.
We hope our donors and volunteers know that they have made a difference by giving to United Way. Their contributions support the building blocks of better lives and stronger communities: a quality education that leads to a stable job; enough income to support a family through retirement; and good health.
United Way tackles the source, not just the symptoms, of our community’s core challenges. That’s how we go beyond short-term charity for a few to long-lasting solutions that lift up the whole community.
Donors and volunteers are essential to United Way’s work – changes are now happening thanks to each of you and your generosity. By supporting United Way, you are supporting your community. Thank you for joining together with us. Because great things happen when you Live United.
For more information about our United Way, visit our website: www.uwwestcentralct.org.
Colleen Bolingbroke
Director of Marketing and Community Relations
United Way of West Central Connecticut
Bristol