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Find Your Best Way Through United Way - Guest Blog by Jim P. O’Meara

Aug 24, 2017

What inspires you?

Family? Friends? Faith? Perhaps it’s your career? Or maybe it’s volunteering for something you care about?

For me, it’s a combination of all these things, including being a donor and volunteer for United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. Why? United Way cares about what I care about: helping local children and hard-working families. 

And, just as United Way helped me find my best way to make a difference, it will do the same for you.

As a champion for the health, education and financial stability of us all, United Way is uniquely positioned to bring together people and resources for lasting change.

The children and adults who need our support right now live in the cities and towns where we reside and work. More than ten percent of households in our region are living in poverty; another 30 percent are struggling to make ends meet. They are ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Every day, ALICE households make tough choices on how to stretch their budgets, including skimping on food and other basics. They’re worried about how these choices affect their child’s health and ability to learn.

This is also a time of fiscal uncertainty for our state and local communities, and nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries are experiencing the trickle-down effect. In the midst of all this, one might ask if there’s anything that can be done. I say there is …. and it’s finding your best way to get involved and take action.

Finding your best way takes understanding what’s at stake. It takes the courage to find a new and better way. United Way is here to help.

I know first-hand. Thinking back, United Way has always been a part of my life.

As a young boy, I attended YMCA camp – a United Way community partner.

Fast forward, as a young adult, my wife and I unknowingly benefited from 2-1-1, a service of Connecticut United Ways in partnership with the State of Connecticut. When our son was born with complications, we turned to the Connecticut Birth to Three System for support to help meet his developmental and health-related needs.

It’s thanks to the generous support of United Way and its partners – people like you – providing a hand up, that children and families are able to get beyond their short-term challenges and prepare for long-term success.

Find Your Best Way

We all benefit when a child graduates high school, when an individual secures the skills and training for a job in our region, or when a family has access to health-related services and support in times of need.

I invite you to find your best way, to take a stand, to inspire others, to do something good … for children, for families, for our community. We live here. We work here. We can make a difference here.

To get us started, I hope you’ll join me for a morning of inspirational leadership on August 23 from 7:30-9:00 a.m. at Marriott Hartford Downtown for a MetroHartford Alliance Rising Star Breakfast in partnership with United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.

Jen Grace Baron, MAPP & PCC, Founding Partner and Chief Inspiration Officer at InspireCorps, will share inspirational leadership skills that lead to extraordinary results at work, at home and in your community.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Jim P. O'MearaJim P. O’Meara is Chair of United Way Board of Directors. He serves as Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO at Webster Bank.


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