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'Community House' Happenings
A publication of the West Haven Community House - October 2017
 
Lots of Love for Lowe's  
 
The main building, playgrounds and a couple residential homes of the Community House have been upgraded, renovated and newly landscaped thanks to approximately 30 Lowe’s employees who recently worked for three very hot days on various projects as part of Lowe’s Heroes volunteer program.  Read full story here. 
 
Our 6th Annual Family Fun Walk took place on September 24th at West Haven's historic Savin Rock boardwalk.
 
Through the generosity of our sponsors, donors, volunteers, staff and event participants, more than $13,000 was raised to help support our programs. 
 
The event, which saw more than160 walkers and about 40 University of New Haven volunteers, was followed by a health and wellness fair and a raffle inside the conference center. View final team stats here and view our photo gallery of the event here.
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With state and federal budget cuts looming, we find ourselves seeking additional financial support to continue to provide the level of service that more and more families have come to depend on each day.
 
We invite you to become a Corporate Sponsor for the year. In return, your company’s support is promoted throughout the year highlighting your business while reinforcing your reputation as a leader in our community.
 
Click here to learn more about our sponsorship opportunities.
Staff Shout Out
The Community House is one of the largest employers in the city of West Haven with more than 160 full and part time employees, some who have been here for more than 30 years. 
 
After three major hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria) and an earthquake ravaged the Caribbean and the United States Gulf Coast, the Community House staff members worked tirelessly to help those in need. Many of our staff members have friends and family in the areas that were hit the hardest, including Puerto Rico and Mexico.
 
Head Start staff members Arianis Marte & Stacey Empric organized a "Food and Essentials Drive" for Puerto Rico and Mexico. "After not hearing from my family for several days and seeing the devastation that occurred in Mexico as well, I knew I could not just sit still and hope that someone would help. Since I could not physically be in Puerto Rico to volunteer, I knew that asking our community for help would turn out to be a success. I am so joyful and humbled by the donations received; this collection became bigger than I envisioned", said Arianis. 
 
Together with the help from all departments, hundreds of essential items have been collected and will be delivered to Mexico and Puerto Rico.
 
In addition, teachers and students from our Children & Youth Services program at Pagels Elementary school raised $200 for hurricane survivors in Texas and Florida.
 
They designed handmade beaded bracelets and sold them to family, friends and teachers for $1.
"Their little hands are helping to make a difference", said Candace Simmons, Head Teacher at Pagels childcare program.
The Walking Warriors Takes First Place ... Again!
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The Walking Warrior's Fun Walk team, once again, took first place in number of participants and amount raised with 70 walkers raising more than $6,000. This team consists of staff, clients and families from our Community Connections program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Each year the team starts their fundraising in February with movie nights, raffles, 50/50's and more.  Click here to read more about our Community Connections program.
The Board Bulletin
The Community House is governed by a 30-member board of directors. 
 
Join us in congratulating Grace Hendricks, the city of West Haven’s 2017 Italian-American of the Year. Grace has been a long-time supporter of the Community House serving on our board for 8 years. She is an active member of Head Start Committee, the Head Start Policy Council, as well as on our Personnel and Fund Development Committees. Grace was also the recipient of the 2011 Pauline Lang Exceptional Board Member Award. We are so grateful for all that she does in our community.  Read more about the Italian-American of the Year award here. 
 
In addition, we recently welcomed new board members Michael Todd Taylor, Program Manager with DCF and Chet Latin, Office Manager – Senior Tax Specialist with H&R Block.  
 
We couldn’t do what we do without the expertise and support of our Board of Directors. We thank each and every one of them for all the time and effort they devote in support of the Community House. See full list of board members here.
State-Wide Budget Cuts Hits Home
Connecticut state budget cuts caused a reduction of 5 days of CT’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS) funding, which means a potential loss of $50,000 in Community Connections’ day program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Meanwhile, the Care4Kids program remains in crisis shutting thousands of families out of a program that offers parents an affordable way to pay for childcare while they work.
 
As a result, all of our programs suffered significant losses this past year forcing lay-offs, reductions in our capacity and furlough days.  We are doing everything possible to raise money through fundraisers and donor solicitations in order to provide these services to the community with the least amount of disruption to our participants and to our staff, who also face financial challenges of their own through furlough days and/or layoffs.
 
The deficit should not be balanced on the backs of children or the disabled by cutting services to these individuals and families who rely on these programs. Our legislators need to hear from us and others who support the services we provide.  
 
West Haven State and Local Representatives
State Senator Gayle Slossberg: (800) 842-1420  - Slossberg@senatedems.ct.gov
State Senator Gary Winfield: (800) 842-1420 - Winfield@senatedems.ct.gov
State Rep Dorinda Borer: (800) 842-8267 - Dorinda.Borer@cga.ct.gov      
State Rep Charles Ferraro: (800) 842-1423 - Charles.Ferraro@housegop.ct.gov
State Rep Michael DiMassa: (800) 842-8267 - Michael.Dimassa@cga.ct.gov
This e-newsletter is brought to you by our 2017 Platinum Sponsors:
 
 
        MdDermott         

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