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Bank of America Charitable Foundation Donates $27,000 to United Way of Pioneer Valley

April 20, 2017 – Springfield, MA — Representatives from Bank of America visited the United Way of Pioneer Valley offices in Springfield on Tuesday, April 18 to present a $27,000 check from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. The funds are unrestricted and will be used further the mission of the United Way.

BankofA10“We are so grateful to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for this generous donation,” said Dora Robinson, United Way President Emeritus. “This donation will go a long way as we continue to fight for the health, education and financial stability of children and families in our communites.”

“As part of our commitment to investing in healthy communities across the Commonwealth, Bank of America is proud to partner with the United Way of Pioneer Valley toward our mutual goal of helping people become economically mobile and set them on a path to financial stability,” stated Miceal Chamberlain, Bank of America Massachusetts President.

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About United Way of Pioneer Valley
United Way of Pioneer Valley fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community by finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crises.

United Way of Pioneer Valley Hosts Grand Friends Day to Help Seniors Learn Technology

April 10, 2017 – Pioneer Valley — Wednesday April 19 – Friday April 21, United Way of Pioneer Valley will partner with senior centers across Western Massachusetts to host Grand Friends Day, an intergenerational event matching senior citizens with teen volunteers that will help them learn and navigate new technologies. During this inaugural event, nine senior centers will open their doors to teen volunteers as they teach seniors valuable skills including managing email accounts, video chatting and maintaining social media accounts.

 

“In an age where technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in our lives, the senior population is falling behind on this trend,” said Jennifer Kinsman, United Way Director of Community Impact. “Through Grand Friends Day, United Way aims to get seniors more involved and comfortable with technology.”

 

The United Way recruited volunteers from Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, church groups, and Key Clubs for this event with the goal of empowering kids and teens to make positive change in their communities.

 

Grand Friends Day is sponsored by The Massachusetts Service Alliance and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The schedule for Grand Friends Day is as follows:

 

Wednesday April 19th

9am-12pm

Holyoke Soldiers’ Home

110 Cherry St, Holyoke MA 01040

 

Thursday April 20th

10am-11:30 am

Jewish Geriatrics Services

770 Converse Street, Longmeadow MA 01106

 

12:30pm-2:30 pm

South Hadley Council on Aging

45 Dayton Street, South Hadley MA 01075

 

Friday April 21st

9:30am-11:30 am

Southwick Council on Aging

454 College Highway, Southwick MA 01077

 

11am-12:30pm

East Longmeadow Council on Aging

328 North Main Street, East Longmeadow MA 01028

 

1:00pm-3:00pm

West Springfield Council on Aging

128 Park Street, West Springfield MA 01089

 

2:00pm-4:00pm

Springfield Senior Computer Learning Center

1600 East Columbus Ave, Springfield MA 01103

 

 

About United Way of Pioneer Valley
United Way of Pioneer Valley fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community by finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crises.

 

United Way of Pioneer Valley Announces Grand Opening of Westfield Thrive Financial Success Center

February 28, 2017 – Springfield, MA — United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) along with key partners will hold the grand opening of the Thrive Financial Success Center in Westfield on Tuesday, March 14 at 11:00am at Episcopal Church, 36 Court Street in Westfield. Senator Don Humason, State Representative, John Velis, Westfield Mayor, Brian Sullivan, as well as representatives from program funders including Westfield Bank and the Davis Foundation will attend the grand opening.

 

The center, to be housed at Episcopal Church is the fourth of its kind in Western Mass.

“After the success of the Thrive Financial Success Centers at Holyoke Community College and in downtown Holyoke, we are thrilled to open a third Thrive Center at Springfield Technical Community College,” Dora D. Robinson, President and CEO, United Way of Pioneer Valley said. “At the United Way of Pioneer Valley, we believe basic financial literacy should be a key aspect of everyone’s education. No career goal or life’s ambition should be hindered because a person doesn’t know how to balance their checkbook or maintain a good credit rating.”

Thrive@ STCC anticipates it will serve 400 individuals in its first year of operation. Program offerings include confidential benefits screening and enrollment; money skills class; individual financial coaching sessions; free income tax prep through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program; links to workforce development and training workshops; and MassMutual’s LifeBridge program, a free life insurance program.

Thrive Centers currently operate in partnership with the United Way at Holyoke Community College and at the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center in downtown Holyoke.

 

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About United Way of Pioneer Valley
United Way of Pioneer Valley fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community by finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crises.

 

United Way of Pioneer Valley Seeks Requests for Funding

Basic needs grant funding available for local organizations

United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) is seeking Requests for Funding (RFFs) for its Basic Needs Grant Program.  These grants will support programs and services in the Pioneer Valley that provide temporary and short-term food, shelter, and heating assistance to stabilize individuals and families faced with an emergency due to loss of employment, housing, natural disaster, domestic violence, etc.

Priority will be given for programs that serve seniors, veterans, residents living in communities with limited access to short-term emergency basic needs programs (e.g. rural communities), and residents ineligible for public assistance programs (e.g. fuel assistance) but in need of short-term emergency help to stabilize their situation.

Organizations should not approach this application with the expectation of ongoing annual operating support.  Grants will be awarded for a period of 12 months from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.  The purpose of the Basic Needs Grant Program is to support and sustain strong communities in Hampden County, South Hadley, and Granby, Massachusetts.

 

Application deadline is March 10, 2017. For more information contact LaTonia Monroe Naylor, Senior Manager of Community Investments, 413-693-0215 or lnaylor@uwpv.org.

 

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About United Way of Pioneer Valley
United Way of Pioneer Valley fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community by finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crises.

 

United Way of Pioneer Valley Announces Personnel Changes

United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) is filling out its team as they expand services and bring new energy to staple positions. Today, they announced the addition of Jennifer Fernandes of South Hadley, as the new Case Coach for Thrive Financial Success Centers in Westfield and Holyoke, Chris Woods of West Springfield, as the new part-time Volunteer Coordinator, as well as the promotion of LaTonia Naylor of Springfield, from Community Impact Manager to Senior Manager of Community Investments.

Jennifer FernandezFernandes will coordinate the UPWV’s Thrive program, which serves to strengthen the financial capacity of community college students and residents. Through community collaborative efforts, Thrive promotes and supports activities related to financial literacy, including access to a one-stop financial resource center, workforce development services, and public benefit screening and enrollment. Fernandes has a B.A. in Psychology from UMass Amherst and a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley College. She has been working with the Adult Basic Education program in Holyoke, and has been involved in financial literacy, academic and career counseling.

 

Chris WoodsWoods earned his B.S. in Marketing from Bentley University. Following graduation, he became an Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) member for a year and traveled across the country working on volunteer projects. For the past year, he has been a math tutor with Springfield Math Fellows, and he continues as an assistant swim team coach with the West Springfield Torpedoes. Woods will be coordinating volunteer activities for United Way Youth Generate, Stuff the Bus, and Day of Caring programs, among other projects.

 

“We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer and Chris to our team,” said Jennifer Kinsman, United Way Director of Community Impact. “They both bring the type of enthusiasm and talent we need as the United Way continues to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community across the Pioneer Valley.”

LaTonia Naylor HeadshotNaylor’s promotion to Senior Manager of Community Investments will have her overseeing grants management for the education, basic needs, small grants and emergency food and shelter programs. She’ll also provide technical assistance to United Way grantees and community partners and become the UWPV community liaison for education initiatives.

Latonia is a strong and extremely capable employee. Her passion for and commitment to the mission of the United Way and the communities we serve make her the perfect choice for this position,” added Kinsman.

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About United Way of Pioneer Valley
United Way of Pioneer Valley fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community by finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crises.

United Way of Pioneer Valley President & CEO Dora Robinson to Retire in June

United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) today announced that the organization’s President and CEO, Dora Robinson, will retire effective June 30, 2017, starting an orderly leadership transition over the next six months. The Board of Trustees named Jeffrey Ciuffreda as the organization’s interim president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Robinson will continue to serve UWPV as president emeritus.

 

Robinson’s decision will bring to a close a remarkable career of over 40 years of non-profit leadership in the Greater Springfield Community, the last 7 with UWPV. “We thank Dora for her years of service, celebrate her contributions, and are excited to build upon them,” said Bennett H. Markens, president of the UWPV Board of Trustees. “It is our sincere hope that she enjoys this well-deserved retirement.”

 

“It has been an honor to lead this organization alongside our dedicated volunteers, staff and board members,” said Robinson. “I look forward to working with Jeff, the board and the management team during the six-month transition period.”

 

Robinson began with UWPV in 2009. Under her leadership, UWPV launched several new strategies to diversify revenues contributing to education, homelessness, basic needs and financial security programs, among others. During her tenure she co-founded the UWPV Women’s Leadership Council to engage local women leaders in supporting financial literacy and health initiatives for women and girls. She also led the effort to establish UWPV as a support organization for local and regional disaster recovery efforts.

 

With Ciuffreda managing day-to-day operations the board of directors will conduct an exhaustive search for Robinson’s successor. “As the search for a permanent replacement moves forward, we know that UWPV is in good hands and that there will be no interruption in the critical services we provide in our community,” said Markens.

 

“The United Way has been providing key support to families and organizations across the Valley for 94 years and has operated at a high level in this role,” said Ciuffreda. “It is my hope to not only maintain the organization’s success, but also build upon it. I am honored to lead an organization with such an impressive legacy.”

Ciuffreda becomes interim president and chief executive officer of UWPV after his August retirement from the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he served as president for five years. Ciuffreda joined the Chamber in 1987 as vice president of legislative affairs and became president in 2011. Prior to his work at the Chamber, Ciuffreda served as an aide to Congressman Silvio O. Conte for eight years and prior to that, served as deputy director of the United States Peace Corps program in the country of Lesotho in Africa. Ciuffreda has served as a board member with the Food Bank of western Massachusetts, the Friends of the Homeless, and the United Way of Pioneer Valley. A native of Pittsfield, Ciuffreda was a selectman in Williamsburg for 17 years, where he still lives with his wife, Mary Ann. They have two adult children.

 

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About United Way of Pioneer Valley
United Way of Pioneer Valley mobilizes people and resources to strengthen our communities. We envision a thriving, caring region where individuals have opportunities to realize their potential, become economically self-sufficient, and contribute collectively to improve the quality of life in their communities.

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