American Savings Foundation donates to Neighbors in Need Fund to help support city residents, families

Published on Friday, 14 August 2020 16:24
Written by Catherine Shen


NEW BRITAIN – Supporting more city residents and families, the American Savings Foundation has donated $35,000 toward United Way’s Neighbors in Need Fund.

In March, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut launched the Neighbors in Need fund as part of its local covid-19 response fund to help people and families with food, emergency assistance and childcare.

“At our board meeting in March, we were trying to figure out a multi-prong way of responding to the community,” said Maria Falvo, the foundation’s president and CEO. “We knew we wanted to contribute to emergency response needs, but we didn’t want to come up with another vehicle for nonprofits to apply and create more challenges. By giving through United Way, it was a way to streamline the process.”

Because United Way already specializes in supporting local nonprofit organizations, the funds were able to get a quick turnaround and have been given toward six New Britain nonprofit organizations, including the Community Mental Health Affiliates, Inc., Human Resources Agency of New Britain, the Prudence Crandall Center, YMCA of New Britain and Berlin, the CCARC Services for people with disabilities, and the Consolidated School District of New Britain.

Paula Gilberto, United Way’s president and CEO, said through a collaborative process, they were able to provide much needed funds for the organizations to continue to support the people who need them.

For CMHA, the funds will go towards getting cell phones to clients so they have access to telehealth services, said Gilberto. The HRA saw a significant increase in demand for food and basic household items and both the YMCA and CCARC also saw a large need for food, toiletries, personal protection equipment and cleaning supplies.

Because of the pandemic, the Prudence Crandall Center needed to figure out ways to transition people into hotels or motels in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines within their shelters. The funds will also help with rent and utility assistance for those who can move into apartments, according to Gilberto. The school district is using the funds to continue to support families through its family resource program with rent and utilities assistance, food, clothing, and basic household items.

“The great strength of New Britain is people work together in a time of need,” Gilberto said. “We connect with the organizations that can be support its community to provide opportunity and success for families. And we do that with the support of individuals and the community. That’s the value of the collaborative process; we’re able to effectively and efficiently get resources to those who need them.”

Falvo agreed with the sentiment, stating one of the foundation’s business strategies is figuring out how to be flexible and accommodating to the needs right now.

“Figuring out how funds can be best deployed and partnering with our colleagues is something we always do,” she said. “It’s very important to us and the best way for us to serve the community.”

For more information on the Neighbors in Need Fund, visit:

Contact Catherine Shen at

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 14 August 2020 16:24. Updated: Friday, 14 August 2020 16:27.