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Press Contact:
Shannon Cobb
United Way of Westchester and Putnam
914-997-6700 x 720
scobb@uwwp.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


Symposium Rallies Community to Increase Reading Rates
National Speakers to Address Successes across the Country - May 24

Yonkers, NY, (May 24, 2016) – Anthony learned to write his name in second grade, more than two years behind his peers. Pervasive homelessness and spotty attendance were the primary causes of his delays and costly wrap-a-round services were needed to get him back up to grade level by the end of third grade. But United Way is working to reduce costs to help kids like Anthony by reaching them earlier and with a wider network of people focused on the same things.

““It does not have to cost a lot to get our children back on track,” said Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “By focusing on a few key areas such as attendance, engaging and reading to pre-K children, and summer reading loss, we can all make a huge impact in the lives of our children.”

That is why United Way of Westchester and Putnam is rallying the community together for a Reading Symposium in partnership with Yonkers Schools and BOCES. Attendees will include all members of the community who are interested in the future of our children such as teachers, parents, after-school professionals, foundation representatives, child care workers, literacy experts, local business leaders, elected officials and nonprofit staff.

Three keynote speakers will touch on how we can enhance literacy among children from pre-K into the early school years. The event will take place on Tuesday, May 24 at 1 Larkin Plaza in Yonkers, NY from 9:00 AM to 12:00PM. A special afternoon workshop is available for summer reading programs. There is no fee to attend.

“By bringing people together around an issue, we can find affordable, creative ways to improve the reading skills of children regardless of their economic background,” Sweeny states.

This symposium will bring nationally recognized leaders to present and share some of the best practices in reading instruction and literacy research. The three presenters are: Dr. Carol Connor, Chancellor’s Professor from University of California; the managing director champion for “Grade Level Reading”, Ralph Smith; and Dr. Susan Neuman Department Chair, Professor of Childhood Literacy & Education at New York University.  The presenations will share best practices in reading instruction and literacy research and begin a dialogue that will lead to community-wide efforts to bring all students to third grade reading proficiency

Ralph Smith calls himself a “recovering law professor,” but he acknowledges that his background as a corporate and securities lawyer helped him to appreciate the role of markets and the private sector and the value of cross-sector collaboration. As managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading since 2010, Smith has been forging consensus work across the country. The Campaign is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. Smith made his early mark in academia by teaching corporations and securities regulation at the University of Pennsylvania, and also served as the Philadelphia School District chief of staff.

Carol McDonald Connor, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a Chancellor’s Professor in Education at University of California, Irvine. She is also a Distinguished Research Associate at the Florida Center for Reading Research. Her research investigates individual child differences and the links between children’s language and literacy development. The goal of her work is illuminating reasons for the perplexing difficulties children who are atypical diverse learners, including children who are deaf or hard of hearing, have in developing basic and advanced literacy skills. Awarded the Presidents’ Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE, 2008), the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD, 2009) Early Career Award, and the Richard Snow Award (APA, 2008). Currently, she is the principal investigator for studies funded by the US Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, including the Early Learning Research Network and the Reading for Understanding Network. With her background in speech language pathology and teaching, she is well aware of the many challenges teachers face.

Dr. Susan B. Neuman is a Professor and Chair of Teaching and Learning at New York University in New York City specializing in education and early childhood policy. Previously, she has been a Professor at the University of Michigan and has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education under George W. Bush. In her role as Assistant Secretary, she established government policies that we were targeted to improving the lives of people who live in poverty. She has served as Advisor on national and international boards, and has conducted many evaluations to better understand how community resources can be used to enable families to prosper in often-difficult circumstances. Dr. Neuman has authored 11 books that focus on how education and educational policies among them, “Changing the Odds for Children at Risk” and “Giving Children a Fighting Chance.”

United Way of Westchester and Putnam has launched the United2Read program in order to give teachers and parents the tools and resources to increase the reading rates of local children.

Third grade is a turning point for children because up until then they are learning to read, but after 3rd grade, they need to read to learn. Currently, 62% of children in Westchester and Putnam are not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. This disturbing statistic is made even worse by the fact that more than four out of every five low-income students miss this critical milestone. Children who are not reading at this critical stage are 4 times more likely to drop out of school.

 “Our goal to double the percent of children reading at grade level by the end of third grade by 2026.”  Alana Sweeny, President of United Way of Westchester and Putnam, said.

To register for the event, visit www.uwwp.org/symposium or call 914-997-6700.

Hundreds Attend Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit
Adam Braun and Jonathan F.P. Rose as keynote speakers

Hundreds of nonprofit leaders have joined Westchester Community Foundation and United Way of Westchester and Putnam in a day of learning, networking, and idea sharing at the Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit XIV at the Doubletree Hotel Tarrytown on May 2nd, 2016, 8:00 AM to 4:00PM.

“The Summit allows for productive and useful idea sharing across the nonprofit arena,” said Alana Sweeny, CEO and President of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “When nonprofits work together like this, it is a win for our community.”

The summit featured a full breakfast, sixteen workshops, lunch, and a networking reception to complete the day. There are two inspiring keynote speakers, author and founder of Pencils of Promise, Adam Braun along with the president of the Jonathan Rose Companies, Jonathan F.P. Rose.

“Westchester’s nonprofit sector is talented, committed, and bursting with bold ideas and great energy,” said Laura Rossi, Executive Director or the Westchester Community Foundation. “Today’s program is essential to ensure that the sector maintains the highest standards of excellence to strengthen our community.”

Braun is a New York Times bestselling author and the founder of Pencils of Promise. By the age of 31, he had already been named to Business Insider’s“40 Under 40,” Wired Magazine's “50 People Who Are Changing the World,” and was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s first ten Global Shapers. The idea for his organization, Pencils of Promise, came to him when he was traveling abroad in India. Seeing a young boy begging, Braun asked the child what he wanted. The reply was simple, “a pencil.” Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, Braun meshed for-profit business acumen with non-profit idealism, proving that anyone can build a movement that matters.

Jonathan F. P. Rose is the president and founder of Jonathan Rose Companies LLC. The company is a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, and investment firm which touches many aspects of community health; working with cities and not-for-profits to build not only affordable and mixed-income housing, but also a cultural, health and educational infrastructure. The company has successfully completed more than $1.5 billion of work. Mr. Rose is also a Vice Chair of Enterprise Community Partners and serves on the Board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects. Rose and his wife, Diana, are also co-founders of the Garrison Institute. Mr. Rose’s book on resilient cities, The Well-Tempered City, will be published by Harper Collins in September of 2016.

In addition to these keynote speakers, there were workshops which touched on: mergers, small nonprofit fundraising, board governance with passion, building your brand, legal and HR practices, diverse workplace harmony, volunteer engagement, benefit corporations, and cyber security. These workshops are designed to help nonprofit professionals, volunteers, and board members improve their own skills and enhance their services to the community.

The event was partially underwritten by TD Charitable Foundation, and sponsors included ConEdison, the Westchester County Local Development Corporation, and 14 additional sponsors.  Thanks to this support nonprofit professionals are able to attend the event for only $25-$35, making it one of the best sources of affordable professional development for local charities on a tight budget.

About the Westchester Community Foundation
The Westchester Community Foundation connects generous people to the causes they care about and invests in transformative ideas and organizations to improve lives and strengthen our community. The Foundation can be reached at (914) 948-5166 or by visiting www.wcf-ny.org. Follow the Community Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WestchesterCommunityFoundation) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/WestchCommunFdn).

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam
For the past 50 years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam has operated with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. United Way works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. All contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Westchester and Putnam. United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, covering Westchester and Putnam as well as Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers up to 500 calls and 1,000 online inquiries per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates.

High Resolution Photos can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yj3e47b1fenp0ku/AAAET42C0EmUL6uk4McpJpI2a?dl=0

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United Way Celebrates Week of the Young Child
Alana Sweeny Disseminates Hundreds of Reading Kits to Children

Westchester and Putnam, NY, (April 10-16, 2016) – Reading unlocks many doors for a child’s future, and this week many low income children will have some additional tools for that success. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is bringing reading kits to small eager hands and their families as part of its celebration of “Week of the Young Child”.

“I am touched by the eagerness of the children we have met,” said Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of the local United Way serving Westchester and Putnam. “One little boy said ‘I don’t have any books at my house, only one comic book.’ This is an easy fix that we can all help solve.”

He is not alone. An estimated 61% of children in low income families do not have any children’s books in the home. United Way is not only giving out books in the reading kits but also information for parents on infusing educational play into everyday activities.

“The parents we meet adore their children and they want the best for them, but they don’t know how important it is to carry on a dialog with their babies and toddlers…talking about shapes, sounds, colors and even feelings will greatly enhance their learning,” Sweeny advises.

Low income children, especially children of color, will start kindergarten with an estimated 30 million fewer words spoken to them. Reading to young children is a great tool to decrease this significant word gap.

Two groups at the WJCS Infant-Toddler Learning Center at the Mary J. Blige Center in Yonkers received reading kits. The center fosters healthy relationships between parents and their children and uses play, songs, literacy, fine and gross motor activities to support parent-child interaction and learning.

 “WJCS is grateful for the generous and timely book donation to the Infant-Toddler Learning Center. They will help to reinforce the early learning skills the center teaches,” says Vicki Forbes, director of the center and the Building Better Beginnings Program.  

Children from the WestCOP Head Start Infant-Toddler Learning Center in New Rochelle received over 110 reading kits. Sweeny introduced the kits to the children during circle time and encouraged them through songs, sharing and games to read books with their family. “Who likes books?” she asked as a circle of hands flew up into the air eager to participate.

“Reading books with a child is one of the best ways to help him or her love books and loving books is one of the most important keys to a child's success in school,” said Cirelle Bloom, Disabilities Coordinator, Head Start Infant-Toddler Learning Center. “We try to ensure that each child has one or more books to call his/her very own.  Thank you United Way for assisting us with that goal!”

At the Putnam Family & Community Services, Diane E. Russo, Chief Executive Officer and Christina McGuigan, Coordinator, Community-Based Services accepted reading kits for the families they support through home visits.

Diane Russo said “I know that the children will be so grateful for these precious gifts which will open the door to new and exciting adventures and knowledge for them as well as their families.”

Having all children reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade is one of United Way’s key touch points for helping people become self-sufficient through a new initiative called United2Read. This initiative gives parents, teachers and children the reading tools they will need for success. Currently only 38% of the children in Westchester and Putnam are reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade.

“We know that if our children are reading on grade level, their chance of success later in life significantly increases,” said Sweeny “We must get these children on track.”

To learn more about how you can be a volunteer with United2Read through tutoring, book drives and other supports, visit www.uwwp.org/smartstart.

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam
For the past 53 years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam has operated with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. United Way works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. All contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Westchester and Putnam. United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, covering Westchester and Putnam as well as Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers up to 500 calls and 1,000 online inquiries per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates.

 

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High resolution photos can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fkkvlmn2ogls9bx/AADoZqw6RCL7meubkltG6WUta?dl=0

 

 

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APPLICATIONS SOUGHT FOR RUTH TAYLOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Awards will go to graduate students in social work or public health

April 1, 2016 – White Plains, N.Y. – Westchester County graduate students pursuing careers in social work or public health are invited to apply for scholarship assistance through the Ruth Taylor Award Fund.

The fund was established in tribute to Ruth Taylor upon her retirement as the county’s Commissioner of Public Welfare and in recognition of her nearly four decades of outstanding service. The annual awards are sponsored by United Way of Westchester and Putnam, Westchester County government and the Urban League of Westchester County.

Applicants must be residents of Westchester County and enrolled in graduate studies in Social Work or Public Health on a full-time basis. For the 2016-2017 academic year, awards will range between $1,000 and $5,000 for tuition or maintenance, or both.

The submission deadline is Wednesday, June 15, 2016, by which time the application and all supporting documents must be received.

Financial need, public service and scholastic capacity are part of the evaluation criteria. Recipients must maintain the minimum cumulative university GPA for the duration of the award. Awards are issued annually, and students are eligible to apply if they have not previously received the scholarship. A change in major or enrollment status (to part-time) will result in loss of the scholarship award.

Inquiries can be directed to: United Way of Westchester and Putnam, Bo Zhang, Project Manager & Executive Assistant to the President, via e-mail at bzhang@uwwp.org or download application and cover letter at www.uwwp.org/rt.

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam
United Way of Westchester and Putnam (uwwp.org) is a local organization that advances the common good by focusing its work in three key areas: quality education that leads to stable jobs; income that can support families through retirement, and good health. Everything United Way does supports these three building blocks for a better life. United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is located at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates.

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Rey Insurance Agency Contributes $2,500 to
United Way of Westchester and Putnam Fundraiser

Sleepy Hollow/Putnam County, NY (January 11, 2015) United Way of Westchester and Putnam recently hosted their 7th annual “Best Chefs and Fine Wines” event, welcoming a sold-out crowd of 300 local residents, community advocates and volunteers to sample food, wine and craft beer from two dozen area restaurants. Rey Insurance Agency was one of the many local supporters and sponsors in attendance.

In addition to being a Sustaining Sponsor to the event, Rey Insurance also donated $2,000 from an award they received earlier this year from Erie Insurance for their local charitable efforts. The agency was given the 2015 Erie Insurance Giving Network Agency of the Year Award as recognition of their exceptional commitment to the community through volunteerism. Since taking over the business in 2008, sisters and Co-Owners of Rey Insurance, Linda Rey and Laura Rey Iannarelli, have worked with numerous charitable organizations and remain dedicated to bettering their community.

“Our involvement in the community has been the cornerstone of what we do at Rey Insurance Agency. Making this kind of connection was the reason our father started this business and much of the reason it continues to thrive,” said Laura Rey Iannarelli, Co-Owner of Rey Insurance Agency. “United Way makes great efforts to help Westchester and Putnam counties prosper and we’re happy to support the important work they do.”

Held at Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac, the event included silent auctions along with live music from Art Labriola. The proceeds, which reached over $25,000 in total, will be used to support health initiatives in Westchester and Putnam, including proving healthy foods to low-income families, reducing childhood obesity, and answering thousands of crisis calls through United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline.

“Rey Insurance is a wonderful example of a business that truly cares about their local community and weaves philanthropy into their business model,” said Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “Through their sponsorship of United Way, they have made a strong statement about their commitment to helping residents get back up on their feet after a crisis.”

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam
For the past 53 years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam has operated with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. United Way works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. All contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Westchester and Putnam. United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, covering Westchester and Putnam as well as Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers up to 500 calls and 1,000 online inquiries per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates.

 

About Rey Insurance Agency
Rey Insurance Agency is a family-owned-and-operated, bilingual (English/Spanish), independent insurance agency located in Sleepy Hollow, NY. Rey Insurance specializes in personal insurance including automobile, renter and homeowner as well as commercial insurance including professional liability, commercial general liability insurance, umbrella and workers’ compensation. Rey Insurance also provides life insurance and all forms of health insurance, including disability and long-term care insurance. Rey Insurance is a proud member of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York and Professional Insurance Agents.

Rey Insurance is located at 219 N. Broadway in Sleepy Hollow NY. Call (914) 631-7628, visit www.reyinsurance.com or email service@reyinsurance.com.

 

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Left to right: Laura Rey Iannarelli, Rey Insurance; Sara Mendez; Vanessa Mendez, Rey Insurance Agency; Ava Iannarelli.

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Strong Women Leaders Work to Eliminate Poverty for Other Women
Keynote Dawn Hudson, NFL Inspires and Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor, SUNY
Recognized with “Woman of Distinction” Award

Tarrytown, N.Y. (December 1, 2015) – The United Way Women’s Leadership Council’s 3rd Annual Celebration of Women in Philanthropy brought together over 180 attendees to network and recognize the powerful impact of women in Westchester and Putnam on December 1st, #GivingTuesday, in the beautiful Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill.

The event focused on raising critical funds to help low income women in Westchester and Putnam, with an emphasis on stopping poverty at the source through early reading skills for children. Studies show children who aren’t reading proficiently by 4th grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

Attendees arrived at the event with hundreds of children’s books to be donated to children in poverty. A national study found that 61% of children living in poverty do not have any children’s books in their home.

Dawn Hudson, of Bronxville and Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the NFL, was the event’s special keynote speaker. When addressing marketing challenges during her extensive career Dawn stated, “We have to lean in to those things that are negatives.” She advised attendees to use challenges as opportunities to vocalize pertinent issues, and educate the community. Dawn’s speech also focused on fostering support for women. As the number of working women increases, Dawn emphasized the importance supporting underrepresented women in the workplace. She said, “I think we’re now at a point where women can support each other.” 

Ms. Hudson joined the NFL in September 2014 and is responsible for building its fan base and growing the NFL brand. Ms. Hudson spent 11 years at PepsiCo, where she was the Global CMO of Frito-Lay, then CMO of Pepsi-Cola North America, and became President and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America. In 2005 and 2007, she was listed among Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” and she was twice named to Advertising Age’s list of “Top 50 Marketers.”

The Women’s Leadership Council proudly awarded its “Woman of Distinction” recognition to Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, ChancellorState University of New York, for her dedication, advocacy and leadership in the pursuit of education. Dr. Zimpher is a recognized leader in the areas of teacher preparation, urban education, and university-community engagement, and as co-founder of StriveTogether, she has been instrumental in creating a national network of innovative systemic partnerships that holistically address challenges across the education pipeline.

The Strive model is now supported locally by many nonprofits including United Way of Westchester and Putnam through the Yonkers Thrives initiative, which helps children by focusing on cradle to career success.

“United Way is really committed to working locally to grow people so they can live self sustaining lives” said Dave Yawman Esq., Chair of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam Board and, SVP, General Counsel, PepsiCo Americas Beverages.

Lisa Salvadorini, News 12 Westchester Anchor and Managing Editor, once again emceed the annual WLC event. PURE Group of Insurance Companies was the patron breakfast sponsor and other supporters included IBM, and the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency. KeyBank was also recognized for its year-round support of the Women’s Leadership Council work.

Women’s Leadership Council members help Westchester and Putnam women living in poverty and their children attain financial self-sufficiency. Members volunteer year-round with resume writing, reading to children and philanthropy to help other women rise out of poverty. To find out more about joining the Council contact Margaret Tramontine, 914-997-6700 x737 or visit www.uwwp.org/wlc.

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam
For the past 53 years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam has operated with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. United Way works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. All contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Westchester and Putnam. United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, covering Westchester and Putnam as well as Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers up to 500 calls and 1,000 online inquiries per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates.

High Resolution Photos Can be Found Here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1h6jsvmt5cwqgag/AAAYKuOEUh0OUaPs-tb6rodja?dl=0

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Alana Sweeny (Mahopac), United Way of Westchester and Putnam President and CEO stands with keynote speaker, Dawn Hudson (Bronxville), NFL, and Emcee Lisa Salvadorini, News 12 Westchester at the United Way Women’s Leadership Council breakfast on December 1, 2015.

 

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Over 180 people attended the United Way Women’s Leadership Council breakfast on December 1, 2015. From Left: Claire Simonelli (Scarsdale), United Way, Kevin Plunkett, Westchester County, Elizabeth Bracken-Thompson, Thompson & Bender (Briarcliff Manor), Jean Marie Connolly (Croton-On-Hudson), BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Wilson Kimball, City of Yonkers, Bill Mooney III, Westchester County.

 

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Last year’s Honoree Mary Murray, IBM, (at right) presented the Women’s Leadership Council “Woman of Distinction” award to Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, ChancellorState University of New York presented at the United Way Women’s Leadership Council breakfast on December 1, 2015.

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From Left: Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) member Marsha Gordon (White Plains), The Business Council of Westchester, attended the WLC Breakfast with founding member, Janet Walker (White Plains), and guest Joan Gorman on December 1st, 2015.

 

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From Left: Founding Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) members Donna Goldman (Katonah), Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. and Susan Corcoran (Bedford), Jackson Lewis, P.C., welcome new WLC member Tameka Walters, Citrin Cooperman (Elmsford), at the Women’s Leadership Council Annual Celebration.

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Dawn Hudson, Executive VP & Chief Marketing Officer of the NFL
To Speak at Women’s Leadership Council Breakfast
Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor, State University of New York
Will be Recognized with “Woman of Distinction” Award

White Plains, N.Y. (December 1, 2015) – Mark your calendars to join women of influence and inspiration on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 for United Way Women’s Leadership Council  3rd Annual Celebration of Women in Philanthropy. The breakfast event, from 8-10 am at Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill in Tarrytown, brings together like-minded business women and community leaders to network, while raising critical funds to help women and children in Westchester and Putnam.

Dawn Hudson, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the NFL, will be the event’s special keynote speaker. Ms. Hudson joined the NFL in September 2014 and is responsible for building its fan base and growing the NFL brand. This includes responsibility for strategy, advertising, promotions, entertainment marketing, cause-related marketing, customer relationship marketing, and supporting NFL Clubs. She also oversees marketing for the NFL Network, and planning and execution for all NFL Events, including Super Bowl and Draft. Ms. Hudson spent 11 years at PepsiCo, where she was the Global CMO of Frito-Lay, then CMO of Pepsi-Cola North America, and became President and the CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America. In 2005 and 2007, she was listed among Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” and she was twice named to Advertising Age’s list of “Top 50 Marketers.”

The Women’s Leadership Council proudly awards its “Woman of Distinction” recognition to Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, ChancellorState University of New York, for her dedication, advocacy and leadership in the pursuit of education. SUNY is the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education with 463,000 students and 64 colleges and universities. Dr. Zimpher is a recognized leader in the areas of teacher preparation, urban education, and university-community engagement, and as co-founder of StriveTogether, she has been instrumental in creating a national network of innovative systemic partnerships that holistically address challenges across the education pipeline.

The United Way Women’s Leadership Council is forging the way to a better future for others through their gifts of time, leadership and financial support. WLC members focus philanthropy and volunteerism on helping Westchester and Putnam women in poverty attain financial self-sufficiency and ensuring at-risk elementary school children stay engaged in school and learn to read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.  

Lisa Salvadorini, News 12 Westchester Anchor and Managing Editor, will once again emcee the annual WLC event and KeyBank is a proud to return also as the Patron Sponsor. IBM is also supporting the event as a Sustaining Sponsor.

Individual tickets are at $125, with tables and sponsorships also available. To learn more and reserve your seat today, please visit www.uwwp.org/wlcbreakfast  For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Margaret Tramontine at mtramontine@uwwp.org or 914.997.6700 x737.

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam
For the past 50 years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam has operated with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. United Way works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. All contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Westchester and Putnam. United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, covering Westchester and Putnam as well as Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers up to 500 calls and 1,000 online inquiries per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates.

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Dawn Hudson, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the NFL, will be the keynote speaker at the United Way Women’s Leadership Council Breakfast on December 1st, 2015.
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The United Way Women’s Leadership Council awards its “Woman of Distinction” recognition to Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, ChancellorState University of New York at the December 1st breakfast.

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PepsiCo and United Way Team Up to Help 50 Women Get Jobs
Employees leave their jobs for a day to help others get a job
White Plains, NY (October 30, 2015) – Sixteen women and men casually talking in a conference room on October 15th in White Plains may not seem inspiring until you know a little about how they came to be there.

With the help of a $75,000 grant from the PepsiCo Foundation, the event is the first in a series of volunteer days where PepsiCo employees work one-on-one with women from the United Way of Westchester and Putnam’s Teach Me to Fish initiative. 

The goal of the PepsiCo Foundation grant for Teach Me to Fish is to recruit, assess, train, and place at least 50 women in jobs in 50 weeks.  The life stories of the women vary drastically, but they all have one thing in common…they all have had significant difficulty getting a job.

“Some of these women have had long careers but now find their skills have become out-of-date, others are addressing serious employment barriers such as a disability, a prison record, lack of a high school diploma or have recently left abusive relationships,” said Mary Ann Luna, VP of Community Alliances at United Way of Westchester and Putnam.

The energizing, caring power of PepsiCo volunteers is a critical ingredient in helping these women secure new skills. On October 15th candidates were matched one-on-one with a PepsiCo employee at the United Way office, where the conference room was equipped with computers and phones for a “hands-on” discussion and training session. 

PepsiCo volunteers worked with Westhab job seekers to review resumes, talk about interviewing, practice phone skills and share expertise depending on the needs of each woman.  The volunteers helped each job seeker explore their past work and life experiences which could be translated into marketable skills. Role playing helped candidates practice answering questions confidently for both a job interview and phone calls during the job hunt process.

“PepsiCo is committed to supporting, respecting an investing in the communities in which we live and work,” said Sue Norton, vice president of Global Citizenship and the PepsiCo Foundation. “Our partnership with United Way and Teach Me to Fish is a wonderful example how PepsiCo is contributing its financial and people resources to have a positive impact on the community.”

For more information about United Way’s Teach Me to Fish or other initiatives, visit www.uwwp.org. To find help for a job search, call United Way’s 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 from any phone in the Hudson Valley.

 

High resolution PHOTOS can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tq2olwjqkar03j7/AADAkZv0NJI0Cor9wbaKcuT6a?dl=0

 

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PepsiCo employee Ming Peng (Peekskill), helps a Westhab job seeker, Virgil Dantes practice for her next interview as part of a partnership between United Way and PepsiCo to help 50 women obtain a job in 50 weeks.

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PepsiCo employees help a job seekers from Westhab with resume writing and interviewing as part of a partnership between United Way and PepsiCo to help 50 women obtain a jobs in 50 weeks. From back left: Kimberly Morales, Michael Zarro, (second row) Mieke Prajugo, Jaquanna Fitzgerald, (front row) Ruby Arroyo, and Madison Dowswell.

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PepsiCo employee Mieke Prajugo, helps a Westhab job seeker, Jaquanna Fitzgerald practice for her next interview as part of a partnership between United Way and PepsiCo to help 50 women obtain a job in 50 weeks.

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PepsiCo employee Lynn Byrnes (Carmel), helps a Westhab job seeker, Johanna Luna practice for her next interview as part of a partnership between United Way and PepsiCo to help 50 women obtain a job in 50 weeks.

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PepsiCo employee Steven Li (Pleasantville), helps a Westhab job seeker, Kimblee Wright improve her resume and practice for her next interview as part of a partnership between United Way and PepsiCo to help 50 women obtain a job in 50 weeks.

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Yonkers Teachers Federation and Others Honored by United Way
United Way honors Spirit Award winners awardees at 53rd Annual Meeting

Mahopac, NY (Sept. 30, 2015) – United Way of Westchester and Putnam celebrated its 53rd Annual Meeting prior to the Best Chefs event Monday, Sept. 21. United Way gave their prestigious Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Awards to several individuals and organizations.

The Yonkers Federation of Teachers received the Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Labor Award for their work supporting Yonkers Thrives, helping children succeed from cradle to career through community collaborations and their past support of the United Way campaign. Their service even included rolling up their sleeves to pour cement, dig, and paint a United Way Born Learning trail at Tibbetts Brook Park.

TD Bank received the Corporate Award for their leadership in fundraising and commitment to the nonprofit sector, especially through support of the Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit training over 700 professionals each year.

Four organizations were recognized with the Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Partnership Award for their work with the Collective Impact Forum, Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, Westchester County Association, The Business Council of Westchester, and Westchester Community Foundation. These four organizations have partnered with United Way to bring hundreds of community leaders together so that all people will have opportunities to learn, earn, be healthy, give back and enjoy life.

While leading the festivities, Scott Morrison (Chappaqua), current Board of Directors Chair, was surprised with the announcement that he was the recipient of the Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Volunteer of the year award. Mr. Morrison has served on the United Way board in numerous capacities and is a tireless advocate for United Way’s 2-1-1 - taking his message to both houses of Congress and the NYS Legislators. The Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Community Award went to the Northern Westchester community for raising the most dollars for the United Way 14-15 campaign year.

After the annual meeting sold-out crowd of more than 300 Putnam and Westchester residents, community advocates, and volunteers supported United Way of Westchester and Putnam at the 7th annual “Best Chefs and Fine Wines” event. Proceeds from the event will  help support United Way’s health initiatives in Westchester and Putnam, such as providing healthy foods to low-income families, reducing childhood obesity, and answering thousands of crisis calls through United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline.

Two dozen area restaurants served up tastings of delicious dishes, fine wines, and craft beers to attendees at Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac. A silent auction and live music from Art Labriola entertained guests as they experienced the area’s top culinary offerings.

“Not only is Best Chefs a great opportunity to try the finest culinary talents in our area, but we also recognized some of Putnam’s hardest working volunteers!,” said Alana Sweeny, president and CEO of United Way. “We graciously thank all of the evening’s sponsors, participating restaurants, and the community for supporting this important work.” 

The event was made possible a grand sponsorship from NYSEG and premier sponsorship from Akzo Nobel and Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union as well as many other community-minded organizations.

 

Photos and captions (hi-res versions available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/33e1vly7rwq04s1/AACTVss_ykIexV-fUqQ_9h8ra?dl=0

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United Way of Westchester and Putnam present the prestigious Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Labor Award to the Yonkers Federation of Teachers.  From left Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam, Pat Puleo, president of YFT,  Lia Council, and board chair Scott Morrison.
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United Way of Westchester and Putnam present the prestigious Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Partnership Award to the Collective Impact Forum Sponsors.  From left board chair Scott Morrison, Dr. Marsha Gordon, President & CEO, the Business Council of Westchester, Bill Nulk, President, Putnam Chambers of Commerce, Marissa Brett, President, Westchester County Association, Laura Rossi, Executive Director, the Westchester Community Foundation, and Alana Sweeny, President and CEO.

 

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Kathleen Abels and Raquel Mercado, from grand sponsor NYSEG, enjoy culinary delights at United Way’s Best Chefs and Fine Wines on September 21st.

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United Way of Westchester and Putnam present the prestigious Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Corporate Award to TD Bank.  From left board chair Scott Morrison, Adam Kintish, Vice President from TD Bank, and Alana Sweeny, President and CEO.

 

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam
For the past 53 years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam has operated with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. United Way works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. All contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Westchester and Putnam. United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, covering Westchester and Putnam as well as Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers up to 500 calls and 1,000 online inquiries per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates.

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United Way of Scarsdale-Edgemont
Announces 2015 Local Grant Recipients
Supporting Local Efforts to Fight Hunger, Promote Education,
And Helping People in Need

August 2015 – United Way of Scarsdale-Edgemont is pleased to announce the 2015 Local Presence Program grants awarded to organizations in Scarsdale, Edgemont and surrounding locales, following the recommendations of United Way Local Presence Committee Members Janice Cohen (Chair), Sidney Witter, and Alfredo Gonzalez.

These modest grants awarded by United Way’s Local Presence Program help fund community-based human and health service organizations that do not currently receive United Way funding. Organizations that receive funding share with United Way the fundamental belief that education, income, and health are essential for a better life.

2015 Local Presence Grants were awarded to: Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund, Edgemont Scholarship Council, Duchesne Center at Manhattanville College, Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester, Greyston, Bread of Life Food Pantry, and Friends of Scarsdale Library.  

Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund provides one year grants to graduating seniors of Scarsdale High School to use towards their first year of college. These grants are given to need-based students after their families have exhausted all other resources. The grant funds will be used to further their efforts of encouraging students requiring financial aid to continue their  education.

The Edgemont Scholarship Council also provides important need-based tuition grants to high school graduates who are eligible for financial assistance for college education. Each year critical funds are raised to insure that graduates who demonstrate need are not denied a college education because of insufficient family finances.

Local presence funds will also support Manhattanville College Duchesne Center and its Intergenerational Outreach Program which enables 200 to 300 Manhattanville student volunteers to visit various senior citizen apartment units and create educational and recreational programs for the residents. This important Intergenerational Program runs for 13 weeks each academic semester at the college.

Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester strives to provide extraordinary and dignified comfort, care and compassion to individuals and families facing a serious or life-limiting illness. The agency provides care to adults in their homes or in skilled nursing facilities, and to children in their homes. This year’s grant will support continued professional development and training for hospice staff.

Greyston, a pioneer in social enterprise, creates jobs and provides integrated programs for individuals and their families to move forward on their path to self-sufficiency. The 2015 Local Presence grant will support its Community Gardens Program in southwest Yonkers, which provides the community with fresh fruits and vegetables while teaching Yonkers youth the importance of healthy eating, an active lifestyle and other important life skills. 

Located in Rye, Bread of Life Food Pantry helps feed more than 9,000 residents of lower Westchester every year through a wide variety of programs. This year’s Local Presence grant will support these varied and much needed activities: an onsite food pantry open to the public every other Monday, an emergency food pantry for people in urgent need of food, a pantry for residents of Kingsport Housing for the Elderly in Rye, a Meat Alert that distributes meat donated by the Harrison A&P, and the distribution of soon-to-expire or slightly damaged food discarded by area grocery stores. In addition, the agency works to connect clients to local shelters, rent assistance programs and job placement agencies.

The Friends of the Scarsdale Library works to serve the community, by focusing efforts on funding for the library’s services, programs, facilities and needs. Local presence funding will support two children’s summer programs sponsored by Mad Science of New York City and Westchester. One program, “Every Hero Has Science,” looks at the various forms of science used by superheroes and real heroes in literature and history. The “Marvels of Motion” program inspires children’s creativity and imaginative learning through the exploration of different forces and Newton’s laws of motion.

Link to high resolution photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jixllh4l8x86btb/AABVtqB_-CRRMdV_VKuOxC6Ra?dl=0

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Caption: United Way announced Local Presence Program grant awardees. Greyston’s VP Development and Public Relations Jonathan Greengrass with Janice Cohen, Board Member of the United Way of Scarsdale-Edgemont and Chair of the 2015 Local Presence Committee.

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Caption: United Way announced Local Presence Program grant awardees. Elizabeth Bermel, Director of Scarsdale Public Library, with Janice Cohen, Board Member of the United Way of Scarsdale-Edgemont and Chair of the 2015 Local Presence Committee, and Kathy Gray, President of the Friends of the Scarsdale Library.

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United Way of Northern Westchester
Announces 2015 Local Grant Recipients
Providing Support for Financial Self-Sufficiency, Affordable Housing and
Safety and Health for Area Residents

July 2015 – United Way of Northern Westchester is pleased to announce the 2015 Local Presence Program grants awarded to organizations across the northern Westchester region following the recommendations of Local Presence Committee members Nancy Gould (Chair), Susan Tansey and Randi J. Brosterman.

These modest grants awarded by United Way’s Local Presence program help fund local community-based human and health service organizations that do not currently receive United Way funding. Organizations that receive funding share with United Way the fundamental belief that education, income, and health are essential for a better life.

2015 Local Presence Grants were awarded to: The Preservation Company, A-HOME, New Beginnings of Westchester, Neighbors Link, Search for Change; Support Connection, and Hope’s Door.

Located in Peekskill, The Preservation Company works to increase access to housing for low and moderate-income households and contribute to community development and revitalization. This year’s grant will help to support some of the organization’s tenant services such as landlord/tenant mediation, legal referral services and financial education workshops.

Founded in 1985, A-HOME (Apropos Housing Opportunities and Management Enterprises Inc.) is a community-based organization that works to strengthen northern Westchester neighborhoods by providing safe and affordable places to live for low-income seniors, individuals with a disability and single parent families. The United Way grant will help subsidize camp scholarships for children ages 6 to 11 residing in A-HOME housing. Camp activities are important for children living in families headed by a single working parent. Without those activities, families would be hard-pressed to find daycare for their children during the summer months when school is closed.

New Beginnings of Westchester provides direct assistance to homeless families as they make the transition to permanent housing. Families receive important items to meet immediate household needs. This year’s local presence support will cover the cost of “start-up baskets” for five needy families. A typical basket costs $250 and contains such items as bed linens, food, towels, pots, pans, utensils, etc.

Located in Mount Kisco, Neighbors Link of Northern Westchester strengthens the whole community by actively enhancing the healthy integration of immigrants through comprehensive services and training such as classes in English as a second language, financial literacy and computer skills. In addition, the Family Center offers parent education, early childhood programs and academic enrichment. They run a professionally managed Worker Center which includes a hiring site and jobs bank. The 2015 United Way Local Presence funding will help support a curriculum-based job skills training program at the Worker Center.

Search for Change is dedicated to improving the quality of life and increasing the self-sufficiency of individuals with emotional, social and economic barriers throughout Westchester and Putnam. The organization provides residential and vocational services focused on individual choices, needs, interests and abilities. United Way funds will help support vocational services, such as employment and retention services, and specific skills training like computer basics and clerical competencies.

Located in Yorktown Heights, yet serving people throughout the country, Support Connection provides free emotional, social and educational support to women, their families and friends affected by breast and ovarian cancer. The organization works to enable women to help each other and empower them to become their own healthcare advocates. The 2015 Local Presence funds will support the agency’s peer-to-peer program, which provides individualized support from the time of diagnosis, through treatment, during recovery and for years after.

The mission of Hope’s Door is to end domestic violence and to empower victims to achieve safety, independence and healing from the trauma of abuse. The United Way grant will be used to support their “Next Step Economic Empowerment Program,” which was launched in 2014 and serves to foster the economic empowerment and self-sufficiency of domestic abuse survivors.

Full resolution photos can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/spy5wppjm1sjarv/AACe2xWTcVzYH8_17zw-PDjua?dl=0

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Caption: United Way announced Local Presence Program grant awardees. Nancy Gould (center), Mount Kisco resident and the 2015 United Way of Northern Westchester Local Presence Chair presents the award to Neighbors Link staff members (left to right) Stephanie Rosado, Program Administrator, Susan Aarhus, Volunteer Manager, Gustavo Delgado, Café Manager, and Ramiro Rincon, Project Manager.

 

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Caption: United Way announced Local Presence Program grant awardees. Scott Morrison, Chappaqua resident and Chair of the Board of Directors of United Way of Westchester and Putnam presents the award to Jeannette Phillips, Executive Director of The Preservation Company of Peekskill.

 

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Caption: United Way announced Local Presence Program grant awardees. Nancy Gould (left), Mount Kisco resident and the 2015 United Way of Northern Westchester Local Presence Chair, presents the award to CarlLa Horton, Executive Director of Hope’s Door.

 

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Caption: United Way announced Local Presence Program grant awardees. Scott Morrison (second from right), Chappaqua resident and Chair of the Board of Directors of United Way of Westchester and Putnam at New Beginnings of Westchester presents the award to (left to right) Board Member Denise Ciccio, Board President Jean Orr, and Executive Director Holly von Bernuth.

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Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Visits United Way’s 2-1-1

White Plains (July 16, 2015) – While visiting Westchester County, Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul made a point to get a tour of the regional United Way 2-1-1 call center serving the Hudson Valley. She met with Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam who showed the Lieutenant Governor the call center technology, introduced her to the trained call specialists, and discussed recent trends in caller needs.

“The work they are doing here is so critical to the well being of the people of this region,” said Hochul, “They are taking care of every human need, whether it is providing houses, assistance for child care, people in need of extra food, but also, they are prepared for a disaster and that is what is so important to me as a state official.”

Hochul also viewed the emergency disaster call center expansion room. During a disaster, United Way can be asked by the governor or county executive to increase services to 24 hours a day and open up additional stations to handle increases in calls. During Hurricane Sandy, 2-1-1 set up twenty additional stations and needed over 200 volunteers, who worked side-by-side with the trained call specialists, to answer over 28,000 disaster calls.

“It was an honor to show the Lieutenant Governor the full breadth of what the 2-1-1 call center does every day and during a disaster,” said Sweeny “It is a cost effective easy way for individuals to access needed services, no matter where they are in the state.”

United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free, confidential, multilingual information and referral helpline open 365 days a year, 9am-7pm. United Way's 2-1-1 Call specialists connect callers to services such as food assistance, housing, abuse prevention, elder care, mental health services, recycling, services for people with disabilities, medical help and more.

“It gives me a great level of confidence to know that they are here,” said Hochul, “I also want to help get the word out. They have handled 47,000 calls but we know there is a greater need then even that. It’s hands on. It’s working. It is making lives better and that is what is so important about this program.”

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Full resolution photos Can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/30hy630ip6zcnbq/AABTNgf6L5hXORkXRE0DyLupa?dl=0

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Caption: Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul (right) visits the United Way 2-1-1 call center serving the Hudson Valley. From left, Claire Satenberg, Call Center Director, Lini Jacob, Senior Vice President of 2-1-1, Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam.

 

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Caption: Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul (center) visits the United Way 2-1-1 call center serving the Hudson Valley. From left, Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam listens as Lini Jacob, Senior Vice President of 2-1-1, explains how the technology works.

 

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Caption: Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul (right) visits the United Way 2-1-1 call center serving the Hudson Valley. Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam explains the territories covered by the 2-1-1 call centers across the state.

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Caption: Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul meets the trained 2-1-1 call specialists who answer thousands of crisis calls each year, connecting people to assistance for issues such as hunger, housing, substance abuse recovery, suicide and others.

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IBM and United Way Prepare Nonprofits for Potential Disasters
Nonprofits learn to work seamlessly as part of long-term recovery strategies

(July 2015) It has been said that “it takes a village to raise a child”, well it takes a trained and coordinated group of nonprofits to help a community recover after a large scale disaster. Thanks to IBM and United Way of Westchester and Putnam, 41 local nonprofits will be working together even more effectively for any future disasters.

Many people don’t realize just how much nonprofits increase services for long-term recovery after a disaster. When nonprofits are not coordinated in these efforts the overall effect on the community can be staggering - everything from repairs to food assistance can slow down to a crawl.

Here in Westchester and Putnam nonprofits coordinate their recovery efforts as members of each county’s Long-Term Recover Coalition (LTRC). Select members from these LTRCs recently joined a June workshop on disaster preparation coordinated by United Way’s 2-1-1 and led by Patrick Corcoran, IBM Resiliency Services and Global Business Development and Technological Services.

LTRC agencies do not wait for a disaster to start planning; they meet throughout the year to be prepared if and when a disaster happens.

“There needs to be a constant focus on preparedness and dedicated time to review different scenarios,” said LTRC member, Toby Pidgeon of the Food Bank of Westchester. “Your planning documents cannot be shelved until a disaster happens,”

Trained LTRC members will now complete updated disaster plans for their agencies and train the remaining LTRC members how to do the same.

The Westchester and Putnam LTRCs partner with government to help the most vulnerable residents after a large scale disaster such as super storm Sandy. By working together they minimize duplication of services and better utilize resources through referrals, advocacy, education and direct aid to residents in need.

"I have witnessed firsthand the importance of having an established LTRC in a community,” said Anthony Sutton, Putnam County Acting Commissioner of Emergency Services. “The success of a community's ability to rapidly, effectively and compassionately address these anticipated and unanticipated needs for as long as necessary will hinge on a well-established and organized LTRC."

The IBM disaster training, part of IBM’s charitable Impact Grant  series, helps organizations continue to monitor, exercise and improve their disaster plan going forward including accessing what the organization provides during a disaster, which functions are critical to the organization, risk factors that could interrupt services, maintaining technology and more.

“The full day workshop gave participants concrete information to develop a total resilience program for business continuity in the event of disaster,” said Diane E. Russo, MS,CASAC, Chief Executive Officer, Putnam Family & Community Services, Inc.

United Way has partnered with IBM for many years and has introduced several IBM Impact Grants to the nonprofit sector in areas such as social media, website development, project management, strategic planning, and leadership and collaboration.

“IBM Impact Grants help nonprofits tap into IBM’s innovation technology and the deep expertise of its employees which, in turn, helps nonprofits to be more effective in their communities,” said Carlene Gentilesco, COO, United Way of Westchester and Putnam, “We are truly thankful for our partnership with IBM.”

“IBM's Disaster Readiness Planning Impact Grant assists not-for-profits in developing or improving their disaster preparedness plans, by exploring the principles of continuity planning and delivering evaluation tools, guidance and best practices,” said Mary Murray, IBM, Manager, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs at IBM. “A strong and effective nonprofit network means more people can get help when they need it most.”

Marisa O'Leary, MA, Assistant Director, Putnam Community Action Program Westchester Community Opportunity Program, said “I have attended numerous disaster preparedness workshops, but this one by far provided the most detailed instruction and model to follow,”

Disaster preparedness training attendees included staff from Arc of Westchester, Catholic Charities, Hispanic Resource Center, Putnam CAP, Putnam Family & Community Services, The Food Bank for Westchester, United Way of Westchester and Putnam, Village of Mamaroneck, Volunteer New York!, and WestCOP.

To learn more about United Way nonprofit support, training and professional development, go to www.uwwp.org.

 

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Photo Caption:
Putnam Long Term Recovery Coalition officers sharing the IBM Training the Trainer Disaster Preparedness with other members.

 

About IBM
IBM’s comprehensive approach to corporate citizenship aligns with the company’s values and maximizes the impact it can have as a global enterprise. IBM focuses their community engagement and corporate service programs on specific societal issues, including the environment, community economic development, education, health, literacy, language and culture. These are areas of urgent societal needs where IBM’s technology and talent to solve problems can be applied.

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam
For over 50 years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam has operated with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. United Way works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. All contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Westchester and Putnam. United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, covering Westchester and Putnam as well as Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers up to 500 calls and 1,000 online inquiries per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates.

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LOCAL UNITED WAY BOARD CHAIR TO ADVOCATE ON CAPITOL HILL on Earned Income Tax Credit and Elementary and Secondary School Education Act

WHAT  -- Scott Morrison, the Board Chair of United Way of Westchester and Putnam, will travel to Washington, DC to speak to local members of Congress to help working American families who may be struggling in the Westchester and Putnam communities.

WHEN -- Scott Morrison will be meeting with the offices of Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Nita Lowey on June 17, 2015.

WHY – As part of United Way’s larger effort to improve financial stability, Scott Morrison will be advocating for:

  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which funds volunteers to become IRS-certified tax preparers and help low-wage people file tax returns for free. Most families benefiting from VITA earn less than $53,000/year, and include people with disabilities, limited-English speakers and the elderly.  This year, 90,000 VITA volunteers working at more than 11,000 locations prepared more than 3 million tax returns nationwide. Returns filed by VITA programs brought more than $2.4 billion back in refunds for low-wage taxpayers.
  • Tax reforms helping working families, including expanding incentives for charitable giving in the U.S. tax code, strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps low-wage working families keep more of what they earn, and the Child Tax Credit, which helps families offset the cost of raising children.  Research shows that the two tax credits lifted 9.4 million people out of poverty between 2009 and 2011.
  • Legislation to scale the response to human trafficking from increases in victim identification, to comprehensive services for survivors, examining supply chains and prevention strategies. With more than 21 million victims worldwide, including cases in every country and all 50 states in the U.S., the pandemic of human trafficking fundamentally undermines access to the building blocks of a good life. The bipartisan End Slavery Initiative Act, would authorize $250 million in U.S. funds to leverage a $1.5 billion dollar global fund to combat human trafficking around the world. 
  • A long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) that holds states and school districts accountable for graduating students who are college-and career-ready; ensure that students have access to a comprehensive system of wraparound supports; and meaningfully engage parents and families.
  • Additionally, Scott Morrison will be thanking Congress for their support and bipartisan work on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health coverage to nearly 8 million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicare, but who can’t afford private coverage.  CHIP provides federal matching funds to states that provide this coverage.  

    Scott Morrison is available for phone interviews that day, or to be interviewed by your Washington, DC bureaus while on Capitol Hill.    

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house tourPRESS RELEASE

Press Contact:
Shannon Cobb
United Way of Westchester and Putnam
914-997-6700 x 720
scobb@uwwp.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


United Way of Westchester and Putnam Hosts Historic Mahopac House Tour
Frank Lloyd Wright inspired house, as well as other local gems, available for touring.  


Mahopac, N.Y. (June 20, 2015) –
United Way of Westchester and Putnam will host a rare tour of the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Massaro House and Chahroudi Cottage on Petra Island in Lake Mahopac on Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Two other historic sites in that area, The Freight House and the Whipple House, will be available for touring as well.

The Massaro Family has graciously agreed to open the doors of their privately-owned residence, known as “The Massaro House,” inspired by designs of world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This tour will be given by Joseph and Barbara Massaro and includes the first showing of the newly renovated “Chahroudi Cottage,” the original structure designed and built by Wright in 1951.

The Massaro House is often compared to the elegance of Wright’s famous “Fallingwater” structure. It not only accommodates, but actually incorporates the island’s topography into the design. In 1949, Wright worked with A. K. Chahroudi to build a house on Petra Island, which Chahroudi owned at the time. The 5,000sq-foot project was cancelled when Chahroudi realized he was not able to afford the budget that Wright had in mind. Instead, Wright then built a smaller 1,200sq-foot cottage that still exists today, known as the Chahroudi cottage. The 5,000sq-foot beauty that exists on Petra Island today, based directly on Wright’s plans, was brought to life by the Massaro family nearly 50 years later.

The Whipple House was built circa 1900. It has been meticulously restored as originally built replete with horsehair plaster. The home also contains an extensive collection of material relating to Putnam County’s history.

“My family has had a long commitment to Putnam County. The artifacts on display have been gathered by them over hundreds of years and I am pleased that others will have the opportunity to appreciate the history reflected by them,” said George Whipple, journalist for “On the Town” on NY1, lawyer at Credit Suisse, and local farmer, “I am so pleased to support one of my favorite charities in this unique way.” Light refreshments and croquet start at 10am for guests.

The Freight House is a historic ice house that was built in 1872 for use as a storage facility for the New York Central Railroad. Ice cut from Mahopac Lake was stored in sawdust at this house year-round. Newly renovated and restored, the Freight House is a now a café and historic site. There will be a local historian on site for questions and discussion.

Guests can tour all three sites for $85 per person including the boat ride to and from Petra Island at the designated times.

The Massaro and Whipple houses are privately owned and not normally open to the public. Don’t miss this opportunity to view these incredible treasures in our community.

Register at www.uwwp.org/tour

house tour
The Massaro House, inspired by the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, will be available to tour on June 20th, from 10am to 3pm, to benefit United Way of Westchester and Putnam.
house tour

The historic Whipple House, built in 1900, will be available to tour on June 20th, from 10am to 3 pm, to benefit United Way of Westchester and Putnam.

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