A Message From Our President and CEO

United Way of Greater New Haven is on the cusp of a major milestone: we’re celebrating our 100th anniversary in 2020. Our country, state, and region have certainly changed over the past century and we have too. But one thing has grounded our work through the decades: we are in the business of helping people today, and creating hope for tomorrow.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think the photo of Carmello and his mom, Ivanna, on our report’s front cover proves that point well. Doesn’t it make you feel good just looking at it? I think that’s, in part, because Carmello’s bright eyes and broad smile capture the joy and hopefulness we want all children to experience. The way he’s leaning into his mom conveys their close connection. And the look of pride and love on Ivanna’s face as she looks at her son is clear. This photo looks like hope to me.

You have another reason to feel good when you look at this photo: as a United Way donor, you helped Carmello and his mom overcome homelessness. Today they are living in a bright, welcoming apartment, Ivanna is working full-time again, and Carmello is thriving in school. Because of their own perseverance, the hard work of United Way and many partner organizations, and your support, Ivanna and Carmello, and many other families and individuals who have experienced challenges, have hope for a brighter future.

And isn’t that what we want for everyone in our community? To feel hopeful about what’s ahead, and to have the opportunity to live into their full potential. To have a stable job and a safe home where they can raise a family, be a positive community member, and help make this a better place for all of us. I believe we can achieve that vision, and I hope you’ll join me. As we look ahead to United Way’s next 100 years, I’d love to hear your ideas about how we can work together to help even more people in our community, and deliver a sense of hope for tomorrow that uplifts our entire region.

In partnership,

Jennifer Heath

President and CEO