For release September 10, 2013
United Way and Community Answers are Merging
The Greenwich United Way and Community Answers are pleased to announce the merger of the two organizations. Community Answers is a Greenwich United Way funded local information and referral service located at Greenwich Library. The non-profit organization began as a United Way and Junior League collaboration that opened to the public at Greenwich Library in 1969. During business hours, volunteers offer assistance in person and by telephone. Assistance is also available 24 hours a day via its website, which was redesigned and expanded last year with the assistance of a United Way grant.
The United Way is the largest non-governmental source of funding for local health and human service programs in Greenwich. Also volunteer driven, it leads local entities in researching, assessing, documenting, and responding to community needs. A part of its mission is to serve as a local ‘connector’ of people and services, to support a collaborative network of service providers and to enhance the community’s awareness of needs and services.
“This coming together is logical from every perspective,” said Greenwich United Way Chair Virginia Meyer in making the announcement. “The United Way’s Needs Assessments repeatedly identify the need for improved communication about Greenwich programs and services. The best of these are not worth much if those who need them most don’t know that they exist, don’t know how to access them, and cannot distinguish among their varied purposes.”
United Way President Stuart Adelberg sees the merger as a boon to the United Way’s most critical work. “Knowing first hand what issues matter most to Greenwich residents, quantifying the questions and the subjects about which they are being asked, understanding those issues for which appropriate responses may not be available. . . this will all enhance our ability to document local needs and develop effective solutions.”
Community Answers Executive Director Chitra Shanbhogue adds, “Information empowers our community and Community Answers is committed to continue being the go-to source for reliable local information. Our new relationship allows both organizations do what they do best, even better.” Former Board chair Kath Burgweger (now a United Way Director) notes, “Community Answers’ purpose is to help individuals to make informed choices as to the many services and facilities at their disposal, to assist local research and planning, and to facilitate the sharing of information and resources. Our merger moves us well forward as we streamline and combine our efforts.”
Community Answers dynamic new website www.communityanswers.org has surpassed 100,000 visits since it launched last summer. It will be integrated prominently with the United Way’s site www.unitedway-greenwich.org currently undergoing redesign.
Both organizations rely on the success of their annual campaigns and special fundraising events. Community Answers’Comedy Night @The Cole taking place Friday September 20. Go to www.communityanswers.org for tickets or phone: 203- 622-7979.
The United Way’s annual community-wide campaign formally begins in September. Tickets to its September 27 kick-off benefit, Oktoberfest are available at www.unitedway-greenwich.com or phone 203-869-2221.