Local service organizations merge

The Greenwich United Way and Community Answers have teamed up to create a unified community-oriented organization.

Community Answers is a Greenwich United Way funded local information and referral service located at Greenwich Library. The nonprofit organization began as a United Way and Junior League collaboration that opened to the public at Greenwich Library in 1969. During business hours, volunteers offer assistance in person and by telephone.

Assistance is also available 24 hours a day via its website, which was redesigned and expanded last year with the assistance of a United Way grant.

The United Way is the largest non-governmental source of funding for local health and human service programs in Greenwich. Also volunteer driven, it leads local entities in researching, assessing, documenting, and responding to community needs. A part of its mission is to serve as a local connector of people and services, to support a collaborative network of service providers and to enhance the community’s awareness of needs and services.

“This coming together is logical from every perspective,” said Greenwich United Way Chair Virginia Meyer. “The United Way’s needs assessments repeatedly identify the need for improved communication about Greenwich programs and services. The best of these are not worth much if those who need them most don’t know that they exist, don’t know how to access them and cannot distinguish among their varied purposes.”

United Way President Stuart Adelberg sees the merger as a boon to the United Way’s most critical work. “Knowing first hand what issues matter most to Greenwich residents, quantifying the questions and the subjects about which they are being asked, understanding those issues for which appropriate responses may not be available… this will all enhance our ability to document local needs and develop effective solutions,” Mr. Adelberg said.

Community Answers Executive Director Chitra Shanbhogue added, “Information empowers our community and Community Answers is committed to continue being the go-to source for reliable local information. Our new relationship allows both organizations do what they do best, even better.”

Community Answers’ dynamic new website communityanswers.org has surpassed 100,000 visits since it launched last summer. It will be integrated prominently with the United Way’s site — unitedway-greenwich.org — currently undergoing redesign.

Both organizations rely on the success of their annual campaigns and special fund-raising events.

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