Greenwich Jr United Way Provides Teens with Opportunities to Positively Impact Their Community.
GREENWICH, Conn., Monday, March 6, 2017 — The second Greenwich Jr United Way (GJrUW) meeting of 2017 happened on Wednesday, March 1, at the Greenwich United Way office. At the meeting Joanne Delone was introduced as the club’s new Program Coordinator at Greenwich United Way. GJrUW kicked off 2017 with a pizza party sponsored by Arcuri’s Pizza and Salad of Cos Cob (www.arcurispizza.com) and a presentation led by Greenwich United Way CEO, David Rabin during the first meeting on Wednesday, February 1. The club’s new ambassador, Miss Connecticut USA, Olga Litvinenko, was also introduced.
In a Facebook post Litvinenko wrote “Yesterday was our first planning meeting of 2017 with the Greenwich Jr United Way and boy was it educational! We were able to go through the ALICE simulator (which you can too by going to (www.makingtoughchoices.org) and experience the difficult and limited options that many families face today.” She also requested that more teens in Greenwich get involved by joining GJrUW meetings on the first Wednesday of every month at the Greenwich United Way office (1 Lafayette Court).
GJrUW teens are given the opportunity develop social and recreational outlets and work on community projects together. The goal of the GJrUW is to organize events and promote members participating in activities that not only give back to their community but also help to create a new generation of leaders for Greenwich. During the month of February GJrUW club members were given the opportunity to learn more about Greenwich human service needs by reviewing the 2016 Needs Assessment and asked to think of fundraising ideas. “At our next meeting we will start putting together ideas for a GJrUW project to help raise awareness and support,” said Rabin in an email to GJrUW members. He continued, “Since GJrUW is run by the teens (YOU!) you have the option to work on a project together that you choose”.
On Monday, February 14, the club delivered chocolates with handmade cards to Kids in Crisis to celebrate Valentine’s Day. “Kids in Crisis is incredibly grateful for the Valentines and treats donated by Greenwich Jr United Way,” said Kristen M. Tomasiewicz, Director of Community Services at Kids in Crisis. She continued, “These items will go a long way in making our kids feel appreciated and we thank GJrUW for such a meaningful gesture. It is so meaningful when young people in our community do so much to help others.” Artist Jane Coco Cowles (www.janecococowles.com) visited the Greenwich United Way office earlier that week to work with GJrUW teens who learned about the emergency shelter serving Connecticut children, teens, and families of all socio-economic levels. Kate Miele, a sophomore at Greenwich Academy, worked with Cowles to create the cards. Miele’s father, Tom, encouraged his daughter to join the GJrUW and is on the Greenwich United Way’s inaugural golf tournament committee. The tournament is scheduled for May 4, 2017 at The Stanwich Club.
On Tuesday, February 28, Greenwich United Way CEO, David Rabin, led another interactive A.L.I.C.E. presentation for teens at Greenwich High School as part of the high school’s Diversity Awareness Week program. GUW posted a live broadcast on Facebook from the event which included Litvinenko and more than 100 students. At the end of the presentation GHS Headmaster, Chris Winters thanked Rabin for raising awareness for economic diversity in Greenwich and said, “Speaking of your race, skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic status– these things make us all different and yet the theme this week is to celebrate these differences and show respect, dignity and inclusion to everybody. So when you think about being a high school student, what can you do about income inequality? You can volunteer, and you should, and you can also keep that same message we repeat over and over in mind: the small things I do have a big impact. If you treat everyone with the same level of respect and dignity, you will be able to make the world a better place.”
On Thursday, March 2, GJrUW met with the Greenwich High School (GHS) Outreach Club (S.A.D.D. Chapter) to plan the next “Stress, Success and Teenage Setbacks” community wide event set for Tuesday, April 4, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Arch Street Teen Center. The free event for all Greenwich teens and parents is part of a town wide teen substance abuse talk series and will focus on athletes, injury and recovery. “Collaborating makes us stronger when we come together to work towards a common cause,” said Greenwich High School Health Teacher, Kathy Steiner. She continued, “The Greenwich High School Outreach SADD Club, the Greenwich High School CODA Club, and the Greenwich Jr United Way have worked together, over the past year, to organize two Stress, Success and Teenage Setback events to bring parents, students and community organizations together to discuss the health and safety of our youth”. GJrUW first collaborated with GHS Outreach and Arch Street Teen Center last April and provided the event keynote, Scott “Scooter” Braun and again in November the clubs partnered on an event which featured, Giovanni Rivera from MTV.
Greenwich Jr United Way meetings are open to all Greenwich teens in middle school and high school. Teens interested in joining GJrUW can email Greenwich United Way (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (203) 869-2221. To sponsor GJrUW events please email Jeremy Nappi (email@example.com). Follow Greenwich United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/greenwichunitedway/) for the latest GJrUW club news and activities.
About Greenwich Jr United Way:
The Greenwich Jr United Way was created by local teens to enable them to get involved in solving problems in their community. Led by and for young people under the guidance of adults, teens choose focus areas, develop their own ideas and make a measurable difference. All middle school and high school students in the Town of Greenwich are eligible to volunteer.
About Greenwich United Way:
The Greenwich United Way shares a name with approximately 1,400 other similar organizations across the nation, although the Greenwich, Connecticut division is a privately incorporated, locally governed, nonprofit agency. As a volunteer driven organization, the Greenwich United Way exists to help identify and address the human service needs specific to its local community and to create and affect meaningful solutions. Through various fundraising efforts, the organization is able to directly allocate the funds necessary to accomplish this goal. The Greenwich United Way also invests in and conducts collaborative efforts to address broad based community needs with partnering nonprofit agencies.