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Make the Holidays Magical with the Tommy Toy Fund

To say Christmas is a big deal in my family would be an understatement. The Christmas carols start playing as soon as Thanksgiving is over, every room in the house is decorated with garlands and lights, advent candles are lit, and celebrating with extended family lasts several days. Tree-decorating and cookie-making are mandatory family traditions. As a kid, everything Christmas-related felt like absolute magic.

Giving Tuesday is here!

Black Friday tends to arouse strong feelings in a lot of people, both positive and negative. While many are excited to take advantage of deals and get their holiday shopping done, others feel that this kickoff to the holiday season is a shallow and dangerous tradition. Reports over the last few years have detailed the physical injury that retail employees and other shoppers have sustained at the hands of particularly fervent Black Friday shoppers, the details of which have only fueled this debate further.

Cold weather means energy assistance programs in higher demand, plus energy saving tips for your home

Project Warm-up is a winter heating assistance program of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut which collaborates with other local service providers to meet the home heating needs of families in southeastern Connecticut. Your donation to United Way is helping families in need through programs including Project Warm-up.


Appreciating Food Security This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week, and I’m looking forward to running the Manchester Road Race and then coming home to stuffing, pie, and my aunt’s sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans. But for many families who struggle to put food on the table, Thanksgiving isn’t so simple. In fact, it can be downright stressful. Social service agencies and initiatives like our Mobile Food Pantry are there for people who can’t consistently afford healthy food, but some feel a stigma or sense of shame associated with seeking help.

Providing Hope for Our Veterans

This Friday is Veterans Day, and if you don’t have close friends or immediate family who have served in the military, it may seem like just another day. I know that as a young child, I couldn’t have cared less about any holiday that wasn’t Christmas or Halloween. But as I’ve gotten older and begun to understand the sacrifices that my extended family members have made while serving, this holiday has taken on new meaning. And the more I understand, the more it upsets me that so many of our veterans end up struggling financially, mentally, and socially, upon returning home.

Preventing and Responding to Bullying

October has a lot of things going on (Halloween! Breast Cancer Awareness! People already selling Christmas stuff!) but it also happens to be National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Bullying is something that affects millions of kids across the U.S., and I’d bet that everyone reading this has some kind of bullying-related story. For me it was harassment from boys on my baseball team and comments from girls who decided I wasn’t cool enough. For my brother, it was a girl on the bus who tormented him for months before the school finally stepped in.


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