Grow Your Own

If this sounds like something your business is interested in engaging in, please call
203-926-9478 or email.

We are still looking for financial, volunteer
and in-kind supporters.grow-your-own-flyer-final

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Countdown to the Great Give – May 2nd 8am

Ready, Get Set, Give!! May 2-3rd 8am-8pm. #36hours. Make a Difference!
 Click Here to Give 

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Jack Walsh is the 47th Recipient of the Charles H. Flynn Humanitarian Award

walshJack Walsh has been named as the 2017 recipient of the Charles H. Flynn Humanitarian Award. The award is 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 involving more than one organization or one town.

Click here to read more about Jack and the award.

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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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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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A.L.I.C.E. Report Updated – Has Anything Changed?

aliceOct2016.inddUnited Ways across the state recently released an update to the groundbreaking A.L.I.C.E. Report first issued in November 2014. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – a household with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. In 2014, United Ways in Connecticut, along with United Ways in four other states, released state-specific reports to put a face on working families who struggle financially. Two years later United Ways in 15 states are now reporting on ALICE in their states. You can read the short Executive Summary here. To download a copy of the full report click here. Continue reading

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New Videos Tell United Way Story


Thanks to the generous support of Griffin Hospital, Valley United Way has five new videos showcasing the work of Valley United Way and its relationship with area companies and nonprofits. The five videos feature Michael Law of Edgewell and Jeff Bruner of Iroquois Gas speaking about their involvement with Valley United Way while Shaye Roscoe of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys & Girls Club and David Morgan of TEAM, Inc. talk about their agencies and how they work with Valley United Way. The fifth video features VUW President Jack Walsh sharing his perspective of Valley United Way and its role in the Valley.

Griffin Hospital sponsored the videos which were produced by Webouts, which does much of Griffin’s own videography.

You can see the complete playlist of videos here.

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Sara Aylward Selected for Prestigious United Way Program

German,SaraValley United Way would like to congratulate Sara Aylward, Director of Resource Development, for her recent acceptance into the exclusive, United Way Worldwide LEAD Program. Leaders Engaged in Accelerated Development (LEAD) is United Way’s global headquarter’s engagement and professional development platform for high- performing and high-potential leaders. This is a significant accomplishment and an honor to receive, as LEAD only accepts 30 members worldwide, each year. Continue reading

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America Red Cross Installing Free Smoke Alarms

The American Red Cross is installing free smoke alarms and providing fire safety education to residents in the Lower Naugatuck Valley. The program has been made possible in part, due to grants from the Valley Community Foundation and the Valley United Way.

The smoke alarm installations are part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries. The grant from the Valley Community Foundation focuses on smoke alarm installations and education in the towns of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton. Continue reading

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