By TAYLOR HARTZ
Earlier this month, the United Way of Southington kicked off a series of events for its annual fundraising campaign.
The 2015-2016 campaign, led by Town Councilor and Campaign Chair Victoria Triano, began with speeches at the Music on the Green on Sept. 9.
Triano and United Way of Southington President Marc Pelletier addressed the crowds to discuss their initiatives to aid residents who fall into the category of “Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed” (ALICE).
The fundraising campaign is geared toward raising awareness and aid for those who meet the ALICE criteria. The program, according to Director Jack Eisenmann, “represents the growing number of individuals and families who are working but face financial hardship in meeting the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation.”
Following speeches at the Music on the Green, more than 60 guests reconvened the following morning at the campaign Kick-Off Breakfast, where Triano and Pelletier discussed ways in which donors and volunteers can help those who are struggling financially in Southington and called residents to action.
The ALICE program is one of the United Way’s many community service initiatives, that serves individuals and families whose income falls above the poverty line, but below the average cost of living.
According to their website, the United Way estimates that 35 percent of households in the state “are struggling to meet ends meet” and 1-in-4 household incomes exceed the poverty level but do not earn enough for basic living necessities.
The fundraising campaign, said Eisenmann, “will allow us to continue our mission of ‘Southington People Helping Southington People’ which this town has a proud tradition of following.”
Eisenmann said the two events were just the beginning of a long-standing effort to raise money that will be donated directly to those in need of assistance in the town this year.