Letter: Consider supporting the United Way

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To the editor,

With the holiday season upon us, it is common for many to reflect on and look for meaning behind many of our traditions. As I struggle to schedule time, in our ever increasingly busy days, to shop for gifts for family and friends, I’m reminded that the reason that this time of year is so special is the warm feelings we receive when we give to others. Webster defines “charity” as generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering.

Being a public safety professional, I’m acutely aware of the impact that recent severe weather events have had on members of our community, as well as many of our friends and relatives living throughout our state. It is likely, that these severe weather events will continue to impact Connecticut in the future. Therefore, we should all be taking steps to ensure our families are prepared to weather the storm.

As a community, one way that we can be prepared is to consider donating to the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls (UWNBF). Working as the Chief of Police and serving as a member of the UWNBF Board of Directors, I have seen how this community comes together in times of need. As a person relatively new to the borough, I have been impressed that our residents have been able to maintain a small town community spirit, even as we continue to grow in population and needs. Being a part of the UWNBF, I have learned about all of the agencies that service our community who need our support. Decisions about how your contributions to the UWNBF are allocated are made by our volunteer Board of Directors and Allocations Committee. These volunteers, who either live or work, or both, in our communities, know the needs. Every year, they struggle to make decisions which will be most helpful for the present and future of those most affected. After a storm, we may see the result of a broken limb which has fallen through the roof or an entire house which is washed to sea. We may not see the family who lived in that house as they try to put the pieces back together: finding shelter, clothes and food; realizing that their cherished heirlooms and photos are gone; dealing with the anger directed at Mother Nature, the weather man or each other; spending more time on construction and less on recreation; and still trying to find time as a family to plan for their future.

Too often, as the Chief of Police, I am witness to the results of people’s bad choices.  Fortunately, this community and the UWNBF believe that we are all in this together and that people helping people is what will make life better for all of us. When a family struggles, after a storm of any kind, children are often left with time on their hands.  Programs for the youth in our community, our sports leagues, the Naugatuck Campership Fund, and the Naugatuck Y offer a better choice.

Working together with other borough officials, community volunteers, and business leaders, we are better able to see and address many of the needs of our residents. Our United Way uses your donated dollars to support local services and charities which are available to help our neighbors when they are in need.

I hope this holiday season, when you make your decisions on charitable giving you consider supporting our United Way.

Best wishes for a safe holiday,

Christopher Edson

Chief of Police

Naugatuck