Since its founding in 2005, the United Sole Sisters has been Stepping Up to Help Others Step Forward — raising over $1.1 million dollars.

In 2015

In 2015 the Sole Sisters are focusing on the United Way's work supporting programs and services that help those seeking economic security.

In 2014

In 2014 the Soles Sisters learned about the variety of local mental health initiatives the United Way supports and contributed the funds it raised to this crucial cause.

In 2013

The United Sole Sisters learned about and supported the United Way's efforts in improving educational services for the very young, young adults and older individuals.

In 2012

The Sole Sisters chose to learn about and help the United Way strengthen local programs serving Children, Youth & Families in 2012. Every year, the United Way provides support for a number of programs that encourage the well-being of children and youth, helping them to grow up safe, secure and able to reach their potential. Through this initiative, the Sole Sisters learned about and supported a number of programs focused on childcare, education, developmental and recreational opportunities, substance abuse counseling and mental health counseling.

The Sole Sisters were proud to raise and distribute more than $191,000 for "Children, Youth & Families." As a result of their support, hundreds of needy children received scholarships to attend preschool, childcare, and after-school programs, as well as dozens of children received the support of counselors and social workers to help them through a difficult crisis.

In 2011

The Greenwich United Way identified as a part of the research done during its 2011 Assessment of Human Service Needs, that there is a need for our community to strengthen the "local safety net" and to ensure that all members of the community have access to the services, supports and help needed to meet their most basic human needs.

Of the organizations that participated in the United Way's Needs Assessment survey, 90 percent reported that the demand for services had grown over the past two years, with 65 percent calling this growth significant. Through the same two years, agencies reported that reserves had been depleted, contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations and events plummeted and the number of people without insurance or the ability to pay for services was climbing. 69 percent of these organizations list the government as one of their top three sources of revenue — funding that provides anywhere from 10 percent to 85 percent of their budgets. Though some revenue sources have begun to recover, it is very unlikely that they will be sufficient to replace the major funding reductions most of us anticipate from the state and federal government.

For the first time in many years, the Greenwich United Way welcomed two new partner agencies, at the same time that program funding requests from existing partners was up approximately 18 percent over the funds distributed the year prior.

The Sole Sisters were proud to learn about the increasing needs in the community and help the United Way respond by raising more than $188,000.

In 2009-2010

Nationally, charitable giving to Human Services is down 18 percent, and when coupled with dwindling endowments and government cutbacks for services provided by non-profit agencies, our fragile network of service providers is hovering near its breaking point. At any other time, a non-profit organization might weather this storm by reducing expenses and cutting back programs deemed less critical. But the economic crisis that created such a significant drop in revenue, has also brought with it a dramatic increase in the demand for programs and services.

In an effort to help local agencies address growing needs and continue to provide essential services, the Greenwich United Way has created the Critical Response Fund. This Fund, which the United Sole Sisters will learn about and support this year, will provide special grants to local agencies that can demonstrate a need that has been created or exacerbated by the economic crisis. The funds are not intended to simply plug a hole in an organization's budget that may reappear once the grant is used up. If the funding is to help manage a difficult financial situation, part of the process will be to ensure the development of a plan for longer term sustainability. In addition to funding essential programs and services, these funds can be used to help address an agency's need for professional assistance, strategic planning, to launch discussions or processes that explore closer collaborations or different business models, staff training, etc., all with the caveat that the economic crisis must be a factor in whatever is being proposed and there must be a plan for the continued provision of services (or processes) once the grant is gone.

In 2008

This year, the Sole Sisters focused their fundraising and educational activities on Youth Services through the Greenwich United Way. As a result of a United Way study several years ago, a Youth Services Coordinator was hired for the community, supported in part by the Town of Greenwich and State of Connecticut. Similar to the role played by the Town's Commission on Aging — another project created years ago thanks to the United Way's initiative &mash; the Coordinator manages the delivery of services for the youth in town.

Now, the United Way has become the lynchpin creating connections between youth and service providers, the Police, non-profit agencies, and the like.

We have been instrumental in encouraging teens to be a part of the solution through the creation of Junior United Ways on every high school campus in town.

In addition, through a partnership with the Board of Education, the first Greenwich Parent Leadership Training Institute was created through which a group of 21 parents from varied backgrounds are being trained to be advocates and participants in their children's education and ultimately to become community leaders.

Finally, we launched a school readiness initiative with the Board of Education. Though the vast majority of local children enter kindergarten having had some type of pre-school experience, children begin their formal schooling at varied levels of preparation which educators indicate play a major role in creating the much publicized achievement gap. We are now striving to define what "school readiness" looks like, identify the "magic formula" of those programs that seem to result in a higher degree of "readiness" &mash; and use this information to improve services and help parents make informed choices.

The Sole Sisters were proud to raise and distribute more than $135,000 for "Youth Services."

In 2007

The United Sole Sisters were proud to raise and distribute $100,000 to "Promote Self Sufficiency" which helps people who are economically disadvantaged, physically or mentally challenged, or are dealing with other issues such as illiteracy. By supporting this important initiative, the Sole Sisters helped the United Way achieve the following:

  • Provide support to hundreds of local kids with special needs through ARC, enabling them to demonstrate, every single day that anything is possible.
  • Help every member of our community's neediest families with social work, education and support through Community Centers Inc.
  • Link local volunteers with hundreds of adults motivated by their desire to learn reading, writing and conversational English as a second language through Literacy Volunteers.
  • Help our neighbors with psychiatric disabilities transition to a normal life through job training and placement coordinated by Pathways.
  • Provide a safe haven through the Shelter for the Homeless for men so that they can take important steps each day in their journey toward self-sufficiency
  • Open so many doors each year for the hundreds of proud graduates of the Urban League's Workplace Options training program.

In 2006

The United Sole Sisters were proud to donate $60,000 to the Greenwich United Way to "Assist Individuals in Crisis" — which includes shelter for the homeless; food for the hungry; services for victims of disasters; immediate assistance for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse. By supporting this important initiative, the Sole Sisters helped the United Way achieve the following...

  • Helped the YWCA Domestic Abuse Service respond to 1,800 "hotline calls" provide immediate assistance to 389 "walk-ins" and provide ongoing support to over 1,000 existing clients — 100 of whom are children.
  • Helped the American Red Cross collect and distribute blood from 1,500 local donors, respond and coordinate service needs for the entire community during the January blizzard the spring storm that darkened half the community and several local fires and floods. The Red Cross also provided training in disaster preparedness to well over 1,200 local citizens.
  • Helped the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County gather and distribute 41,420 pounds of food valued at over $62,000 to agencies in Greenwich feeding the hungry.
  • Helped the Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis and Education Center provide preventive educational programs for over 1,000 local children and direct counseling for close to 50 Greenwich residents impacted by sexual assault.
  • Supported the work of Kids in Crisis, providing immediate intervention 24 hours a day for well over 350 Greenwich teens, a number of whom eventually needed KIC's shelter services and longer term help, as well.
  • Provided a warm bed and a safe haven from the streets for approximately 600 homeless men at the Shelter for the Homeless.
  • Enabled over 200 Greenwich children and an additional 1,400 from throughout the immediate area receive immediate crisis intervention services due to severe traumatic or psychiatric issues from the Child Guidance Center of Southern CT.

In 2005

The United Sole Sisters raised and distributed $50,000 in support of "Supporting Seniors" through the Greenwich United Way. Here is a sampling of what the United Way has been able to do with those dollars.

    The United Way helped TAG provide almost 135,000 trips for 1,600 clients
  • We subsidized sliding scale clients at Greenwich Adult Day Center allowing some of their 118 clients to engage in valuable activities and avoid nursing homes
  • Helped provide free food shopping services for 240 homebound frail elderly clients through Jewish Family Services
  • Assisted in providing free medical equipment to 250 clients of the Red Cross through their loan closet program
  • Funded the Red Cross motor services which provided over 7,000 rides to medical appointments and dialysis.
  • In addition, your focus on senior issues encouraged and enabled the United Way to increase our financial commitment to senior services through the allocations process by nearly 4 percent.



Greenwich United Way  •  1 Lafayette Court  • Greenwich, CT 06830  • 203.869.2221  • info@unitedsolesisters.org
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