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2-1-1 Community Connection

December 2013

Message from Richard Porth
President/CEO, United Way of Connecticut   

Giving your time as a volunteer is one way to make a difference in our communities this year and in the coming new year.  Whether you're serving holiday meals, putting your skills to work on a community project, or reading to students, your act of volunteerism makes your community stronger.   


It's estimated that in Connecticut, each hour of volunteer time is worth over $28,  but the real value is the positive impact that you will see in your community as a result.  To find volunteer opportunities near you, call 2-1-1 or visit the Volunteer Connecticut website at


You can also make a difference in your community by giving food, gifts, and donations to help those in need, and the need this holiday season is great.  2-1-1 call data shows that statewide, 1-in-4 requests for information about holiday meal and gift programs are unfulfilled.  If you want to help meet these needs, please reach out to local faith-based and service organizations to see what assistance you can provide in your community.


At United Way, our call to action is GIVE, ADVOCATE, VOLUNTEER.  We thank each of you for doing just that throughout 2013, and wish you a happy new year.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expires December 28

At the end of this month, over 20,000 Connecticut residents will receive their last benefit payment as part of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program.  The week ending on December 28, 2013 is the final payable week for EUC benefits. The program is not being phased out -- no EUC benefits will be paid after this date, regardless of remaining eligibility.  Traditional unemployment insurance benefits, which last for 26 weeks, will continue to be paid.


Connecticut residents who need assistance in light of these changes are encouraged to dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in the state to be connected with resources to help with job searches, food, basic needs, temporary financial assistance, and more.

Minimum Wage Increases on Jan. 1st
As of January 1, 2014, the state minimum wage will increase from $8.25/hr to $8.70/hr.  This is the first stage of a two-year increase, and the state minimum wage will rise to $9.00/hr in 2015. 

Operation Fuel Opens

As of December 2, Operation Fuel is open and accepting applications for their 2013-2014 Winter program.  

The program provided $3.49 million in cash grants for heating fuel assistance to over 8,000 Connecticut households last winter.  If you need heating assistance and want more information about Operation Fuel, dial 2-1-1.

Free Income Tax Help

2-1-1 has information about several free resources available to help you prepare and file your tax return.  When you begin receiving your W-2 forms and other tax documents, keep in mind that you may be able to get free help with filing.   


You can click here for information about the programs and resources available, and starting in January you can call 2-1-1 to be connected with income tax preparation assistance in your area.

The mission of United Way of Connecticut is to help meet the needs of Connecticut and its residents by providing information, education and connection to services.

For more information, contact us at


United Way of Connecticut  |  1344 Silas Deane Highway  |  Rocky Hill, CT 06067