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United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut announced the establishment of the United Way COVID-19 Fund with an initial contribution by Stanley Black & Decker.

“We’re grateful to Stanley Black & Decker for this leadership contribution,” said Paula S. Gilberto, President and CEO of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. “United Way’s COVID-19 Fund provides businesses, municipalities, philanthropic and community partners with an opportunity to join together in effectively meeting the needs of residents, now and as people recover from the longer term economic and health effects of COVID-19.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, United Way quickly mobilized the Neighbors in Need emergency response fund. Donations to this fund were focused on meeting immediate needs such as telehealth and counseling services, and emergency assistance for rent, utilities, food and shelter. In addition, they provided direct financial assistance to individuals who lost their jobs, were furloughed or experiencing other hardships.

As they begin to move towards long-term recovery, United Way’s efforts will focus on rebuilding at the systems level while still ensuring that basic needs are met. The newly established United Way COVID-19 Fund will meet the growing needs of local families for food and housing assistance, while also addressing employment and health services and education support for children and youth.

Stanley Black & Decker’s donation of $140,000 will be used to address longer-term recovery needs through the United Way COVID-19 Fund. In addition, the donation will help launch a new initiative in Hartford to virtually connect struggling readers, K – 3rd grade, with volunteers to build literacy skills. Social distancing practices related to COVID-19 have led to disruptions in volunteer-based programs that support literacy development by giving students additional opportunities to read one-on-one with caring volunteers to help build comprehension and vocabulary skills. Stanley Black & Decker employees will be among the first to be matched with students.

Navigate Affordable Housing Partners also contributed to United Way’s COVID-19 Fund, with $125,000 to provide emergency rental and housing assistance for families.

Corporate and municipal leaders came together to announce the initial investments and discuss long-term recovery at a press conference on Jan. 27, 2021.

Donald Allan Jr., Executive Vice President and CFO at Stanley Black & Decker and Chair of United Way’s Board of Directors shared, “United Way’s work is integral to help families in our region who are struggling as a result of COVID-19. The efforts through the COVID-19 fund are off to a great start, but we need more support in order to rebuild our community. I hope other companies and individuals will join us in support of this important effort by getting involved with United Way and donating to the fund.”

“United Way’s new COVID-19 Fund will help families facing so many challenges right now, and Stanley Black & Decker’s financial commitment, combined with their employees’ commitment to help our youngest learners at a time when so many kids are at risk of falling behind, is a powerful example of the way our broader community continues to step up to support one another during this pandemic,” said Mayor Luke Bronin, City of Hartford. “I want to thank Stanley Black & Decker and Navigate Affordable Housing Partners for supporting United Way, and the entire team at United Way for the work they do every day.”

“We are extremely grateful and offer gratitude and praise for the work and efforts being done by Stanley Black & Decker, which remains a committed corporate partner, consistently innovating opportunities that positively impact and transform lives in the Capital City and throughout Connecticut,” said Mayor Marcia Leclerc of East Hartford. “Their commitment stands as an example of how businesses and organizations can become the structural foundation for the state’s long-term recovery from this pandemic.”

About United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

United Way brings people and resources together to address immediate needs and finds long-term solutions to challenging problems. United Way does this by investing in programs and services, leading community change initiatives, and mobilizing resources and volunteers to ensure that: children succeed in school; people get jobs and are financially secure; people are healthy; and, basic needs are met during tough times. For more information, visit