2017-2018 Youth Leadership Class Accepting Applications

2014-01meeting-025Valley United Way’s Youth Leadership Program is now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 class!

Click here to learn about the program

Click here to view application

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United Way Accepting Nominations for Flynn Humanitarian Award

Deadline for nominations Wednesday, March 1, 2017

flynn_smallValley United Way is accepting nominations for the Charles H. Flynn Humanitarian Award – the Valley’s oldest and most prestigious award for Community Service. The award has been presented annually since 1971 and recognizes individuals for lifetime service in the Valley area. It is restricted to living individuals and their service must encompass more than one town and more than one organization. The award will be presented at United Way’s Annual Meeting in April. The deadline for nominations to be considered for this year’s award is March 1st.  Click here to learn more and to make a nomination.

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Valley United Way’s Youth Leadership Program to Distribute Grants; Request for Proposal Wanted

Valley United Way’s Youth Leadership Program to Distribute Grants; Request for Proposal Wanted

The Valley United Way Youth Leadership Program is in the process of conducting its annual allocations process. This marks the 27th year that the Youth Leaders will allocate $2,000 to benefit Valley non profits that support and meet the needs of Youth in the Valley. After much discussion the Youth Leaders decided that the following areas will be considered:

  • Mental illness/suicide awareness
  • Cultural diversity
  • Drug and alcohol abuse/awareness
  • Distracted driving
  • Bullying
  • Programs for Special
  • ESL – programs to help students connect with other students
  • High School planning – assist students who are not planning to attend college find the perfect job.

On-line applications must be submitted by Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

Click here to complete the application.

Watch for announcement of the grant awards in February

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3rd Annual Community Gala


3rd Annual Community Gala 

 2nd-invitationSaturday, January 21, 2017
(Snow Date – February 4, 2017)

6:30-11:00 pm

Trumbull Marriott
180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull, CT

For $75 per ticket, guests will enjoy:

-Cocktail hour with cash bar (cash or credit accepted)

-Full sit down dinner (any allergies or dietary restrictions need to be arranged with Valley United Way prior to the event)

-2 1/2 hour performance by Keys to the City Dueling Pianos Show – with audience participation and dancing encouraged!

-Access to a spectacular Auction

Sponsored by: Hubbell Inc., Edgewell, Edward F. Adzima and Riverview Funeral Homes, Webster Bank, Dworken, Hillman, LaMorte & Sterczala, P.C., Griffin Hospital, People’s United Bank, Edward F. Adzima and Riverview Funeral Homes

Sponsorship Opportunities – please click here

For more information or to RSVP please call Jillian Carroll at 203-538-6343
or email


To view past year Click Here


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Valley United Way Encourages Generosity for Giving Tuesday

giving-tuesday-vuw-logoValley United Way Participates in #GivingTuesday!

#GivingTuesday celebrates generosity by providing people everywhere with an opportunity to give more, give smarter and give great. This day transforms how people think, talk and participate in the giving season and to take collaborative action to improve our local community.

In the last year alone, donations helped the Valley United Way to assist 107,964 Valley residents by providing basic needs, assisting people in crisis situations, aiding senior citizens and preparing youth to be successful in their endeavors.

The old adage is true – with the United Way, you give once but help many. Please join us in Giving Tuesday this year, and help us fight for a stronger community now and in our shared future.

Please consider making a contribution that will have an impact here in our community by giving online at; or by check to the Valley United Way, 54 Grove Street, Shelton CT 06484 or call Jillian Carroll at 203-926-9478 for any questions regarding #GivingTuesday or ways to support Valley United Way.


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Valley United Way Participates in Giving Tuesday, November 29th

giving-tuesday-vuw-logoValley United Way has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

Valley United Way is fighting to improve the lives of every person in our community. United Way envisions a world where all individuals and families achieve their potential through health, education and financial stability.

Each year, the dollars Valley United Way raises are invested into local programs, services and our Volunteer Center. In the last year alone donations to Valley United way allowed us and our funded partners to help 107,964 Valley residents by providing basic needs, assisting people in crisis situations and preparing youth to be successful in life.

See Jimmy Tickey and Jillian Carroll of Valley United Way speak on HAN about giving locally:

Those who are interested in joining Valley United Way’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit

For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (, Facebook page ( or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media.


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New Director of Resource Development

carroll-jillianShelton native and resident Jillian Carroll has been named as the new Director of Resource Development at Valley United Way. She comes to Valley United Way with a background in development having served as a Development Associate at the Jewish Senior Services Foundation in Bridgeport. She also worked in media with the A&E Television Network She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

At Valley United Way she will be responsible for all fund raising activities and will also be involved with marketing and communications.

Sharon Gibson-Ellis, the new President & C.O.O. at Valley United Way, said that she is very pleased to have Jillian as part of her team at United Way. “These are exciting times for Valley United Way and Jillian is going to be a tremendous assets to all of our operations. This is a great community and a great opportunity for both of us to continue and grow Valley United Way’s role as a community and philanthropic leader.”

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Campaign Updates

campaignsIt’s the busiest time of the year at Valley United Way with employee campaigns being held all over the Valley, and we’ve had some fun and creative campaigns already.

The good folks at Iroquois made their campaign a week long series of events starting with an ice cream social and ending with a buffet luncheon and a throwback balsam glider competition. As always, their results were outstanding and employee giving went up by 13%. Continue reading

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Valley United Way Selects New President

gibsonValley United Way is pleased to announce that Sharon Gibson Ellis has been hired as the new President and C.O.O. succeeding Jack Walsh who announced his plans to retire earlier this year. Sharon comes to Valley United Way with a wealth of experience in the United Way system including serving as the professional head of United Ways of Benton & Lincoln Counties (Oregon), United Way of Muscatine (Iowa) and most recently United Way of Greater Williamsburg (Virginia).

Valley United Way Board Chairman Jen Bull said, “We conducted a very thorough and lengthy search for Jack’s successor, and we are thrilled to have hired someone with such a successful track record within the United Way system. She is a very caring and knowledgeable person with excellent leadership skills who rose to the top of a very talented group of candidates. She will begin her tenure with Valley United Way on November 7 and work closely with Jack until his retirement at the end of the month.”

Ellis said that she is “…..excited to work with the United Way volunteers, staff and community to serve the Valley.  I have heard wonderful things about the Valley. This a very unique community and I am looking forward to the tremendous opportunities ahead.”

Throughout her United Way career, Ellis has earned a reputation for spearheading and facilitating numerous collaborations around housing, food security and homelessness. Of particular importance was the effort in Williamsburg to understand the root causes of homelessness among precariously housed populations. That effort resulted in the establishment of the Housing Collaborative that has effectively transformed and expanded the community system to more effectively deal with the issue.

She has managed disaster recovery efforts at two of her previous United Ways and even authored and taught curriculum on organizational management as well as serving as a consultant for other nonprofit organizations. She has also has a great understanding of for-profit business as she has had personal success in the retail arena where she owned and operated three successful businesses of her own.

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Valley Community Index Released

2016indicatorscoverHard on the heels of the ALICE Report issued by the United Ways in Connecticut, the Valley has a full report of its own – Understanding the Valley Region, A Community of Well Being. The new report which was produced under the leadership of the Valley Community Foundation with financial support from the Foundation, Valley United Way, Bassett Family Fund, Griffin Health Services, and the Katharine Matthies Foundation.

The Foundation convened an Advisory Committee of Valley leaders in 2014 which helped produce a Snapshot in 2015 and the full report this year. The report was written by Mary Buchanan and Mark Abraham of DataHaven, with assistance from staff at the Valley Community Foundation. It relies on data from federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as information collected directly from Valley residents as part of the statewide 2015 DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey.


The report was unveiled with a panel of Valley leaders offering comments and an overview of the report held at the Scinto Auditorium in Shelton. Sharon Closius of the Valley Community Foundation served as the moderator. Panel members included Jack Walsh, Patrick Charmel, David Morgan, Bill Purcell, Suzanne Reilly and Chris Clouet.

It is expected that the report will serve as a basis for further discussion and action as happened with earlier reports such as the Healthy Valley Study and others.

Click here to read the Executive Report. The full report can be found here.

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