Working Together: Our Inspiring Goal for a Thriving Fairfield County

Nov 26, 2018

by Juanita T. James, President & CEO
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
As published on 11/25 in Hearst Connecticut Media Group’s daily newspapers

As nonprofit organizations gear up for Giving Tuesday on November 27, we are reminded of the powerful work they do to address the most pressing social needs facing too many individuals across the globe and right here in Fairfield County — hunger, homelessness, denial of access to a quality education, unemployment and underemployment — to name just a few.

Just as we hope to inspire you to be generous not only on Giving Tuesday, but throughout the year, we too have been inspired to take a deeper look at how we can improve lives in the communities we serve. As the result of more than a year of research and community conversations, we have finalized and begun to implement a new strategic plan, which focuses our organization around an ambitious, long-term goal: To close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County.

Our vision is a vital and inclusive region where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. And our success depends on creating an environment in which anyone can be a philanthropist and play an active role in changing their community for the better.

Based on values that have guided the Community Foundation for the past quarter century, we are committed to focusing on our most vulnerable and underserved populations to eliminate disparities in income, education, employment, housing and health. In collaboration with our region’s nonprofits and partner foundations, and informed by our educational and community leaders, our Community Foundation has identified key goals we seek to accomplish in Fairfield County. First, we want to ensure that all students graduate with a meaningful high school degree that prepares them with skills they need to be successful in life. That includes the motivation to pursue the training, learning and credentials that lead to meaningful careers and to becoming active, engaged citizens. We aspire to communities in which women and girls are economically secure, healthy and safe. Furthermore, we want all residents to have stable, safe, and affordable housing.

We recognize the magnitude of this ambition, but we believe there is no more important focal point for our region at this time. This transformative vision will not be accomplished by any singular organization, but requires all of us — in the public, private and nonprofit sectors — to work together for the well-being of our communities.

We need your support.

By leveraging partnerships and fostering a culture of collaboration, we can advance a more united county — from Bridgeport to Brookfield, Darien to Danbury, Norwalk to Newtown, Stamford to Sherman, and every city and town in between.

We encourage you to start planning your own giving experience for this Tuesday, November 27 — #GivingTuesday — the global giving movement built over the past seven years by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities here and abroad. Whether it’s a gift of your time, a monetary donation, contributions of food or clothing or simple acts of kindness, Giving Tuesday harnesses the power of humanity to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in philanthropy.

Moments like Giving Tuesday and Fairfield County’s Giving Day (February 28, 2019), inspire people to take collective action to improve their communities and give back tothe charities and causes they believe in. We urge you to support our extraordinary local nonprofit organizations or consider a donation to Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Community Impact Fund on our donation page.

Guided by our strategic plan, we are dedicated to fulfilling the philanthropic interests and passions of those individuals who entrust us with their charitable giving.

As we spread joy during this season of giving and look toward the start of a new year with renewed spirit and energy, and an eye on a brighter tomorrow, we hope you will be as inspired as we are by what lies ahead for Fairfield County.

Best wishes to you and yours for a meaningful and inspiring holiday season.