is behind in charitable donations more than halfway through its 2011 campaign, according to Jill Davoll, director of communications.
The City of Middletown’s internal goal, which includes the , set in September, is $20,000. As of Dec. 21, $12,458 has been raised.
But the news is not entirely grim, Davoll says. “We still have some companies active internally running their own campaigns.” And donations from , headquartered in Middletown, are up 10 percent over last year.
“We’re a little bit behind,” Davoll acknowledges. “We try to set realistic and hopeful goals based on the needs we see in the community. It’s not something we pull out of the air.”
This year was especially tough financially on Connecticut. The closed schools for a week and caused power outages for some of up to 11 days.
The CT Power Restoration Report says, "the snowstorm and power outage resulted in significant economic losses in Connecticut." Schools, Davoll says, had to suspend their United Way campaigns during that time.
And let's not forget Hurricane Irene in late August. It's no wonder charitable giving is down.
"Our overall goal for the 2011-12 Middlesex United Way Campaign is $2 million," Davoll says. That encompasses the 15 towns it serves. Not all of the towns have set goals, however.
Portland, Durham and Middlefield all have active campaigns, Davoll says. Portland does an especially great job, raising about $2,200 annually but their 2011-12 results haven't been filed. The towns of Haddam and East Hampton participate as well.
Middlesex United Way, whose slogan is “Live United,” is the largest non-governmental funder of local community programs and services in Middlesex County.
“We focus our funding on four goals,” Davoll says, “education, income, health and housing — basic human needs.” And funds are given to “partners” like Middletown’s food pantry and Old Saybrook’s Shoreline Soup Kitchen.
Getting the word out — as well as the enthusiasm of the positive effects of giving — is a primary focus of the Middlesex United Way. All these were pulled together — united — in its award-winning and heartfelt 2010/2011 Campaign Film “Live. Share. Grow. Build.” It recently claimed a Bronze Telly Award.
Although it’s the end of 2011, Davoll says the campaign drive goes through May. For companies, “dress-down days are a really great, simple way to raise money.”
Donations to the Middlesex County United Way fund programs such as the Annual Diaper Drive and Appeal, The Connection Counseling, Community Health Center Mobile Dental Program and Homeless Prevention Fund.
The Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness has prevented 178 households, mostly families, from becoming homeless. This number includes approximately 242 children who are able to remain in their home, according to the United Way. The one-time grants provided through the Fund help those who are one step away from homelessness and may cover rent, utilities, or car repairs.
Learn how to organize a work dress-down day or make individual donations here.
The Middlesex United Way serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.