Something to Celebrate

“Look for the helpers.” This advice from Mr. Rogers about how to handle scary situations rings true now more than ever.


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With the increased needs in our community as a result of the impact of the coronavirus, we are fortunate to have so many people in our community who are stepping up to help others. We see it every day – people who go above and beyond to make our community a better place. We call them Game Changers and we are proud to honor individuals and groups throughout 2020 who exemplify what it means to Live United.

You can support the Live United movement by taking 3 minutes out of your day to nominate a group or individual who has been a Game Changer in your community. In times like these it is important to find the bright spots, and United Way is excited to highlight the work of Game Changers who provide help for today and hope for tomorrow.

See below for some of those who have already been recognized as Game Changers this year, and help us add to this list.

In partnership,

Jim and Mary Ann Emswiler were awarded for their efforts in leading the Hamden VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) site, which they started from the ground up. The Hamden VITA site has brought in more than $2.3 million in tax returns for low-income families in the region. The Emswilers have a heart for helping people, and they go above and beyond to make sure their VITA services are provided with excellence, dignity, and compassion.

Kim Harris is a community activist, business owner, and Chair of the Newhallville Community Management Team. Kim co-founded a child-care coalition called Cercle to tackle a wide range of concerns about early education for black and brown children and also launched the “One City Initiative.” Kim is committed to changing the narrative about Newhallville and building partnerships to improve lives in her community.





2020 is an important year for America’s democracy, with critical resources and political representation at stake. We want to help people make their voice heard during these challenging times.

The United We Count, United We Vote campaign seeks to help people be civically engaged during this time of uncertainty and social distancing. We invite every person in every community to join us by pledging to complete the census and pledging to vote in 2020.




We surpassed our goal and raised $43,309 for Neighbors United! Thanks to the generosity of all who gave, Giving Tuesday Now was a huge success!

100% of the funds raised are going directly into the hands of families impacted by the pandemic through fast, innovative mobile technology.

Through Neighbors United donations, families are getting the funds they need to buy food, pay for utilities and meet other needs during this time of uncertainty.

“My family really needed help. Because of the pandemic, I have been out of work for weeks and don’t know when I will be able to return. The funds helped me buy groceries when I had no other income.”  – Hamden Recipient 

 “I live on a fixed income, so I don’t have additional funds to buy groceries in advance. I really needed the funds and they came at the perfect time. I’m so grateful for the help.” – New Haven Recipient 

We believe no one should go hungry. There are more families who need help. Join us by donating today.


2-1-1 connects callers, at no cost, to critical health and human services in their community.