United Way of Southeastern Connecticut wants to help everyone and anyone give back to their community through volunteer and engagement opportunities. Whatever your interests might be, United Way can help connect you to these opportunities.
Why volunteer? Studies have shown that while volunteering provides essential help to nonprofit groups and causes, it is also excellent for your own mental and physical well-being. The majority of people who volunteer have reported being happier, feeling healthier, and have an enriched sense of purpose in life. Below we’ve noted a few ways in which you can get engaged in the community, but there are many, many more beyond this. Please visit www.uwsect.org/volunteer for more ideas.
If your group or business is interested in supporting education and literacy efforts, United Way of Southeastern Connecticut has Child Literacy Kits available for assembly (photo at left). Kits include an age-appropriate book and activities created by you and others relating to the book’s theme. This project makes a terrific team-building exercise. The kits are delivered to local elementary schools, and you may choose to accompany United Way staff with the delivery. There is a cost associated with the Literacy Kits to cover the cost of supplies.
If you’d like to support our work to end hunger and food insecurity in New London County, then consider running a food drive. You can conduct the drive at your place of business, with your civic group or school, at a local store, at your child’s sports game – the list goes on! We can provide you with promotional materials. It’s a great idea to limit your drive to collecting 4-5 specific nonperishables to have the greatest impact. We can inform you of what is most needed at our Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center at any given time.
If gardening is your thing, then put your skills to work at the Coogan Farm Giving Garden, located in Mystic at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. At the garden, all of the produce is donated to our Food Center for distribution to families facing hunger through our Mobile Pantry program. The garden must be maintained and harvested regularly throughout the season, and they are always in need of extra hands to help.
Perhaps you’re more interested in getting involved hands-on with how United Way works. Then becoming a United Way Allocations Volunteer is the right fit for you. As an Allocations Volunteer, you are the eyes and ears of more than 14,000 United Way donors. You will carefully review our partner programs to ensure they are wisely using donor dollars. If you have an expertise in the financial industry, then we have a separate Financial Review Panel that reviews agency and program budgets as well. There are additional opportunities throughout the year within our Community Investment department, so just ask and we’ll find something to meet your needs and interests.
Other opportunities include running a school supply drive, becoming a United Way Volunteer Reader to elementary school students, running a toy drive, sponsoring and hosting a meal packing event, and much more.
Please visit our Volunteer page to read about all of the engagement and volunteer opportunities available. And get involved in the community – it’s good for you!