Do you have an idea for a project that will improve your neighborhood, school or community? United Way of Greater New Bedford is looking for all-volunteer groups to submit innovative, community projects that will bring people together while creating a positive impact in Greater New Bedford.
Groups with budgets of $40,000 or less located in Greater New Bedford (Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, New Bedford, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, or Wareham) are eligible to apply. Community groups are encouraged to attend an orientation session to learn more about the Mini-Grants Program and the new online application. Two orientation sessions will be held at United Way’s Office located at 128 Union St. Suite 105.
Orientations will be held:
“Mini-Grants is our community’s hidden gem,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO of United Way. “This program empowers people of all ages and walks of life to make a difference in our community, one project at a time. Every year we look forward to hearing about all of the great project ideas that people have developed.”
Registration is required for the sessions. To register for an orientation session please call 508-994-9625 ext. 219 or email email@example.com.
Applications will be available March 1st at www.unitedwayofgnb.org and will only be accepted electronically. Grants must be submitted by April 21, 2017.
In 2016, 28 all-volunteer groups made an impact throughout Great New Bedford with projects funded by United Way’s Mini-Grant Program. Since its inception in 1995, the Mini-Grants Program has granted $731,319 for local community projects. These projects range from garden projects and healthier living programs to outreach campaigns and family engagement opportunities. Be the change in Greater New Bedford, visit www.unitedwayofgnb.org to learn more about the Mini-Grants Program.
The Take This Child to Heart fundraising event raises thousands of dollars each year to support after school and summer enrichment activities for children and teens in foster care.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days early with an evening of Jazz, Rhythm & Blues at this year’s Take This Child to Heart fundraiser. On Saturday, February 11th from 8pm – midnight, over 350 guests will fill the Century House to enjoy a night of great music and food while supporting the Take This Child to Heart Fund.
The Take This Child to Heart Fund is administered by United Way of Greater New Bedford and supports enrichment activities for children and teens in foster care. To date, the event has raised over $100,000 to awards foster children and teens scholarships to participate in activities such as sports programs, summer camp and music lessons.
“Take This Child to Heart brings to light the need for enrichment programs for children of all ages in foster care,” said Darlene Spencer, Executive Director of New Bedford Community Connections Coalition and chair of the Foster Care Task Force in New Bedford. “Many children in foster care are vulnerable and have been impacted by neglect and abuse. They deserve to have the experiences other children have and this event is a way to raise money and awareness for just that.”
This year’s event is being produced by Jackie Santos, who will also be performing with the A-List, and will feature Wannetta Jackson, Stan Strickland, Keith Robinson, and DJ Lady K. These musicians have entertained crowds around the country and are sure to please.
Take This Child to Heart will also feature a wine pull, along with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Tickets for the event are $50 each and can be purchased at Celia’s Boutique or Worley Beds Factory Outlet, online at https://unitedwayofgnb.org/take-this-child-to-heart/ or by contacting New Bedford Community Connections Coalition at 508-994-9625, x219.
Wannetta Jackson is one of Boston’s treasured queens of soul and jazz. She has recorded voice-overs for Sesame Street and performed black history gospel programs for Young Audiences of Massachusetts, Express Yourself Inc., and the Beverly Massachusetts Youth Organization. She has also performed with recording artists Andre Ward and Pieces of a Dream and many more.
Saxophone player Stan Strickland has toured extensively throughout the world and performed with the Boston Pops, The Village People and many Jazz legends, including Herbie Mann and Yusef Latif. He is a professor of voice at the Berklee College of Music and teaches the flute and saxophone at the Longy School of Music as well as Lesley University. He is also the leader of Stan Strickland & Ascension and the Stan Strickland Trio.
The event is being produced by Jackie Santos, who will also perform along with members of his band, The A-List. From touring the world to performing with his idols, Jackie has set the standard for performance and stage presence. He has toured with Tavares, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and many others. He is currently on tour with John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band and is a full professor of Percussion at the Berklee College of Music.
Keith Robinson is a legendary guitarist whose talent spreads across the Soul, Funk, Pop, R&B, and Gospel genres. He has played Lead and Rhythm guitar with many well-known artists such as James Brown, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Jennifer Hudson and Willie Nelson. Keith is currently on tour with Vanessa Williams and is working on his debut Blues CD honoring the great Bluesman of the South.
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health announced today that it is partnering with the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Commission to provide leftover food to the homeless and less fortunate across eastern Massachusetts.
Southcoast Health is freezing its leftover non-dairy-based soups, which are picked up weekly and brought to local soup kitchens and shelters by the Hunger Commission. All three of Southcoast Health’s acute-care hospitals — St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, and Tobey Hospital in Wareham — are participating in the initiative.
“Being able to deliver the soup donated by the three hospitals has given the pantries and their clients something different to look forward to each week,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO of United Way of Greater New Bedford. “It has allowed the Hunger Commission to increase the capacity in which we serve residents of the South Coast and will hopefully encourage others to follow Southcoast Health’s lead and donate their extra food to those in need.”
Since the project’s inception in April, St. Luke’s Hospital alone has donated approximately 260 gallons of soup, enough for more than 4,160 servings (on average each gallon serves 16).
“Staff have embraced the program, and have made it part of the everyday routine from the cooks saving the soup at the end of the day to the storeroom clerk helping the United Way driver load it into the truck. Our team really sees the benefit of the program and enjoy being able to help the community,” said Southcoast Health Executive Chef Andrew Zalisk.
“The cafeteria at St. Luke’s serves around one thousand customers per day, including staff and visitors of patients in the hospital,” said Greg Deliberis, Director of Food & Nutrition Services. “There are wide variety of food options from different stations in the cafeteria including made from scratch soups, two hot entrees, a full-service deli, grill and action station that serves tossed to order salads and stir fries. We offer one Wellness and You soup and entrée a day. Included in our menu are award winning recipes from our entries in the New Bedford Chowderfest that include our famous New England Clam Chowder, Kale Soup and Stuffed Quahog.”
Almost 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten, according to “Feeding America”, a non-profit network of over 200 food banks in the U.S. By one estimate, that equates to more than 20 pounds of food per person every month.
“Food security is such an essential part of good health, impacting not only wellness but also people’s ability to manage chronic diseases. We know that access to healthy food is a problem for many in our communities. In fact, a recent study by the Greater Boston Food Bank found that one in nine people in Eastern Massachusetts lack access to healthy and nutritious food. At the same time food is often wasted in our communities. Our ongoing efforts with the United Way Hunger Commission and other community partners helps bridge the gap for many local families,” said Kerry Mello, Community Benefits Manager for Southcoast Health.
The Hunger Commission is the only local program that coordinates food distribution to emergency food pantries and kitchens. Annually, the Hunger Commission distributes hundreds of thousands of pounds of food and fresh, locally grown produce – to local programs for those in need.
Southcoast Health’s Community Benefits program also works with the United Way to supply fresh vegetables and fruits throughout the growing season for the Mobile Food Pantry in New Bedford. Produce is donated weekly during the spring and summer from Southcoast Health’s Farmer’s Markets.
PHOTO CAPTION: St. Luke’s Hospital’s Kevin Alexandre (left) hands a tray of frozen soup to Mike Amado from the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Commission.
About The United Way of Greater New Bedford
United Way of Greater New Bedford is a non-profit organization that was established in 1953. The United Way brings together volunteers, community leaders, and corporate partners to provide quality programs and initiatives that achieve positive results. Its service area, which has a population in excess of 200,000, includes the City of New Bedford and surrounding towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and Wareham.
About Southcoast Health
Southcoast Health is a community-based health delivery system with multiple access points, offering an integrated continuum of health services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island. Southcoast Health’s mission is to promote the optimal health and well-being of individuals in the communities it serves. To achieve this aim Southcoast Health has built an integrated “Community of Care” that delivers safety, quality, convenience and an exceptional patient experience in an environment that offers the greatest opportunity for improved health.
Southcoast Health is comprised of four hospitals — Charlton Memorial in Fall River, St. Luke’s in New Bedford, Tobey in Wareham and Southcoast Behavioral Health in Dartmouth — two Centers for Cancer Care, two Urgent Care Centers, a physician’s network, an employed physicians group, a visiting nurse association and numerous additional ambulatory facilities and serves more than 719,000 residents in 33 communities covering over 900 square miles.
Southcoast Health is the largest provider of primary and specialty care in the region with more than 600 physicians, hospitalists and mid-level practitioners in the Southcoast Physicians Network — 450 of whom are employed by Southcoast Physicians Group (SPG). SPG unites Southcoast Health’s primary care, surgical, and specialty services into one seamless, region-wide provider. SPG is comprised of a wide-range of specialties and offers advanced care locally. Physician practices are located throughout the South Coast region and parts of Rhode Island.
With more than 7,500 employees, Southcoast Health is the largest employer in Southeastern Mass., and the 17th largest employer in the Commonwealth according to the Boston Business Journal.
Southcoast Health is a not-for-profit charitable organization that depends on the support of the community to provide services. More information is available online at www.southcoast.org. Connect to Southcoast Health through social media on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Southcoast® is a registered trademark of Southcoast Health System.
Families and supporters gathered last Thursday night to celebrate United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Family Resource & Development Center official open house and ribbon cutting. In July, the Family Resource & Development Center moved to its new location in the DeMello International Center located at 128 Union Street in the heart of New Bedford’s Downtown.
In 2015, the United Way of Greater New Bedford was successfully awarded a contract from the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families to expand its Family Resource & Development Center. The center works year round to support families with a series of groups, workshops and guidance by family support workers.
“The Family Resource & Development Center is a place where parents can access information and resources to support themselves to be the best parents they can be,” said Darlene Spencer, Executive Director of New Bedford Community Connections Coalition and the Family Resource & Development Center. “It can be as simple as utilizing the computer to search for apartments or more intensive support such as meeting with one of the family support workers to support the parent in connecting to the many resources available in the community as well as within our own organization.”
Additionally, the Family Resource & Development Center offers programming at several of the New Bedford Public Schools including Gomes & Renaissance Elementary Schools and at their satellite site located in Ben Rose Gardens Housing Development.
New Bedford City Council President Linda Morad and Councilor Steve Martins gave brief remarks about the importance of the work being done to support families and presented United Way with a citation on behalf of the City.
“We are pleased to welcome the public to our new space at 128 Union Street and offer the programming needed to support children and families,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO of United Way of Greater New Bedford. “The new space allows us to expand our work and better serve clients seeking help.”
The Family Resource & Development Center is open Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5 pm. Support groups and workshops are held throughout the week. To learn more about the Family Center, call 508-994-4521 or stop by.
With the help of over 150 volunteers, United Way of Greater New Bedford was able to reach their goal of packaging and distributing 500 meals this Thanksgiving season. On Saturday, November 19th, Family Volunteer Day, 178 volunteers participated in shifts over an 8 hour period at Dennison Memorial Community Center to package Thanksgiving meals at the 2nd Annual Hunger Heroes Project: Families Helping Families.
Volunteers ranging in age from 2- 80 volunteered their time to make Thanksgiving cards, sort food from local food drives, package meals, and load completed meals onto the Hunger Commission truck. For many families, this event served as a way to teach children that not all families are as fortunate as they may be.
“Hunger Heroes gives families a chance to volunteer together during the holiday season, while making a difference for hundreds of area families,” said Victoria Grasela, Marketing and Community Relations Officer for United Way. “This event serves as a way to engage our community on many levels – whether it is the volunteer who donates their time, the local business who hosted a food drive, or the person who picked up an extra can or two to donate while out shopping. We are proud of what this event represents.”
Packaged meals are delivered with a turkey, provided by a City of New Bedford Department of Planning, Housing & Community Development Block Grant, to several area food pantries by United Way’s Hunger Commission. Over 20,000 pounds of food was donated by food drives in Greater New Bedford and 500 roasting pans were donated by Big Value Outlet. Hunger Heroes was sponsored by Bristol County Savings Bank and through a grant from generationOn and Disney to support Family Volunteer Day projects.
In total this Thanksgiving, United Way was able to distribute 807 turkeys and 500 packaged meals thanks to our volunteers, donors, and continued supporters. Food collected and not included in the Thanksgiving packages will be distributed to Hunger Commission partner food pantries as needed.
If you are interested in volunteering in our community please visit www.volunteersouthcoast.org, to learn more about United Way visit www.unitedwayofgnb.org.
To view more photos from the day, visit: https://www.facebook.com/unitedwayofgnb/
Strong leadership is essential to making great things happen in Greater New Bedford. At United Way of Greater New Bedford’s recent Annual Meeting, new Board Members and officers were elected to lead the organization.
Three new Board Members were voted in and welcomed to the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Board of Directors. Donald Hartley, Diane Howes and Vernon Miles will be joining the Board for a three year term.
“We are pleased to welcome Donald, Diane and Vernon to United Way’s Board of Directors,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO. “Each of them possess strong qualities that will help strategically guide United Way in the upcoming years. Most importantly, they believe in our mission and have a strong desire to serve with us.”
Mr. Hartley works as a Financial Advisor for business and retail clients at Edward Jones in New Bedford. He is no stranger to the non-profit world, before joining the Edward Jones team, Mr. Hartley worked as the Youth and Teen Director at the Gleason Family YMCA. Mr. Hartley is also a retired Rhode Island Army National Guard Officer and Aviator.
Ms. Howes is the Director of Clinical Integration & Practice Optimization for Southcoast Health Physicians Group. She has worked in the medical field for over 17 years and brings a wealth of experience in healthcare and management.
Mr. Miles is the local Branch Manager for Residential Mortgage Services in New Bedford. He has a strong financial background and serves on several local boards. He has been a member of the United Way’s Campaign Cabinet since 2015.
The United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Board of Directors provides direction, support, guidance, and governance to the organization by engaging local leaders as committed volunteers and leveraging expertise to advance the work of United Way.
In addition to the appointment of the new Board Members, Officers were also elected at this time. Roland Giroux, Vice President/General Counsel at Acushnet Company was elected as Board Chair, Scott Dubois, Co-Founder of Pidalia was elected Vice Chair; Robert Pielech, CPA, partner at CliftonLarsonAllen was re-elected as Treasurer; Christopher Hodgson, Principal of Coastal Financial will serve as Clerk and Beth Sylvia Caldwell, Vice President/COO/Owner of Sylvia Group will serve as Immediate Past Chair on the Executive Committee.
United Way also gave an update on their programs and role in Greater New Bedford at the Annual Meeting.
FamilyWize, Walgreens, and United Way Collaborate to Encourage Preventive Measures to Protect Against Influenza
Flu shots vouchers donated by Walgreens provided at New Bedford Connect in New Bedford on September 30, 2016.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – October 1, 2016—FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, together with Walgreens and United Way, are providing a series of community health clinic events at no-cost to make flu vaccination more accessible in underserved communities throughout the country. These organizations are working together to help deliver flu shots for uninsured and underinsured residents, and encourage preventive measures heading into the winter months and the peak of flu season.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for anyone six months of age or older to help protect against the seasonal flu epidemic. December through March is peak season for flu activity and individuals are urged to take preventative measures to keep themselves and those around them healthy.
On September 30th at the New Bedford Connect event, Walgreens administered no-cost flu shots to 50 people without health insurance coverage or are unable to afford a flu shot.
In addition to getting your flu shot, FamilyWize offers the following tips to help prevent the flu:
“At FamilyWize, we care about Americans affording what they need to stay healthy. Whether it’s prescription medications or preventative vaccines, our mission is to support the communities we serve and make a happy, healthy life accessible,” said Joseph Sanginiti, President and COO of FamilyWize.
For individuals affected by the flu and prescribed to antiviral drugs, visit www.familywize.org or download the app to find out how you can save on average 43 percent on your prescription medications.
Since 2005, FamilyWize has helped over 10 million Americans live healthier lives by saving them more than $1 billion on life-saving prescription drugs. By aggregating large groups of patients, FamilyWize advocates and negotiates for deep discounts on prescription drugs which it then passes on in full to patients. FamilyWize partners with some of the most respected community groups and health care providers in the country, including United Way Worldwide, National Council for Behavioral Health, Mental Health America, and American Heart Association, among thousands of other community organizations. To join FamilyWize, download our app at https://familywize.org/prescription-savings-card/get-your-free-card/.
This past summer United Way partnered with the New Bedford Bay Sox on the Homers for the Hungry Campaign to promote hunger awareness in our community. For every Home Run hit at the Paul Walsh Field by a Bay Sox Player, Liberty Utilities would donate $20 to the United Way Hunger Commission. This season, 10 home runs were hit and Liberty Utilities donated $200 to the Hunger Commission. United Way is pleased to have partnered with these two great organizations for such an important cause.
On Thursday, September 30th, Darlene Spencer, Executive Director of United Way’s New Bedford Community Connections and Family Resource & Development Center was honored by JRI. Darelene was awarded the Champion of Children Award for her work with children throughout her career.
New Bedford, MA Mom is No Roof Left Behind Winner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — September 26, 2016 — Sherri Watkins of New Bedford, MA was voted the winner of a new roof through Care Free Homes’ No Roof Left Behind contest last week.
Bristol County, MA homeowners were nominated by friends, family and neighbors for the roof giveaway. Care Free Homes, a local home improvement company, ran the promotion and selected four finalists before inviting the community to vote for a winner. Thanks to a partnership with United Way of Greater New Bedford, GAF, and Care Free Homes, Watkins will receive a GAF Timberline HD roofing system at absolutely no cost.
The other three finalists were Bonnie Clarke of Fairhaven, Arlene Harnett of Somerset, and Maria Neves of Dartmouth. Each finalist will receive a gourmet cookie bouquet from Black Tie Cookies. Flour Girls Baking Company, Carter’s Clothing and Footwear, Pasta House of Fairhaven, Sail Loft of Padanaram, and Care Free Homes will donate additional prizes.
No Roof Left Behind is a national initiative that partners local contractors with deserving and struggling homeowners in their community. This is the second year Care Free Homes has participated in the program. A Fairhaven, MA mother won the contest last year.
People or businesses interested in No Roof Left Behind are encouraged to follow Care Free Homes, Inc. on their website www.carefreehomescompany.com/no-roof-left-behind and their social media pages on facebook, twitter, instagram and Pinterest for their latest news and updates.
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