Now that’s how to start the day!  More than 350 people attended our Campaign Kickoff Breakfast at La Bella Vista, 380 Farmwood Rd., Waterbury, and the only thing better than the French toast and coffee was the energy!

Kristen Jacoby, CPO and president of United Way, introduced our campaign theme of Help Every Voice be Heard by premiering our new campaign produced by Platinum Marketing Corporate Sponsor WORX.

Afterwards she shared, “We at United Way never lose site that at the heart of our work is the individual, or the family, with a voice, that we must all hear,” Kristen told attendees.

Followed by United Way Board Chair Mark Casey of Drew Marine, along with Community Impact Cabinet Chair Yarixa Lopez of Waterbury Hospital, the event continued with the latest updates in the impact areas of Education, Financial Stability, and Basic Needs.  The Basic Needs segment included the premier of a new video showcasing the success of this summer’s Day of Action to Stock the Pantry food drive.

Board First Vice Chair Attorney Adrienne Parkmond of The Workplace, along with Waterbury Arts Magnet School and UPSTARTER Nadina Bhadrasain shared information on United Way’s 3 affinity groups, Emerging Leaders, UPSTARTERS, and WOMEN UNITED.  The latter featuring a video highlighting July’s Summer Social.

This year’s campaign chairs David Rotatori, CEO of Ion Bank, and Pam Rotatori, local educator, helped motivate the attendees as the campaign officially started.

Dave calculated what he called United Way Math, first noting that $.85 of every dollar raised goes directly to the community.  “If you put a very small dollar amount on each hour donated by amazing United Way volunteers, the amount going to those in need jumps to $1.20 or $1.50 for every dollar donated. Then, you can multiple that number by the positive outcomes of the individuals and families that are now able to help themselves and in some cases help others – there is an exponential difference in our community and the numbers are absolutely off the charts!”

Pam has been working with schools to not only kickoff campaigns but to invite students to contribute to the community through projects as UPSTARTERS..

“You shouldn’t have to choose which voices to respond to, and who gets left behind,” she said as she described United Way’s holistic approach.  “You shouldn’t have to choose between supporting a food bank or an after-school program.  You shouldn’t have to choose between helping a family avoid eviction or supporting a job training program.”

She continued, “One gift to United Way – combined with others and strategically invested – ensures every voice is heard.  We all win when a child enters school ready to learn, a parent can provide for their family, our neighbors have enough to eat and a roof over their heads, and when there is access to adequate healthcare.”

Experience the Help Every Voice Be Heard audio series by CLICKING HERE.