Over the years, Valley United Way and its predecessor organizations have raised and distributed millions of dollars to help improve the quality of life in the five town Valley area. Its strength has always been the volunteers who live and work in the community and make the funding decisions important to the community.
We led the effort that resulted in the creation of the Valley Council for Health and Human Services which brings together the Valley’s nonprofit community to work together on issues of importance to the community. Working with the Council and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, we created the Leadership Greater Valley program to recruit and train a new generation of volunteer leaders for the Valley.
Valley United Way was also a leader in several other initiatives that helped build the foundation for the Valley’s selection as one of 10 All America City award winners in 2010.
Valley United Way's mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. Valley United Way will measurably improve the lives of people in our community through:
During the past year we have not only conducted a successful community campaign funding a variety of needed programs in the Valley area, but also clothed 197 low income children for school bringing our total for this program to over 2,700 children. Our Corporate Volunteer Council conducted monthly food and clothing drives. Our Youth Leadership Program celebrated its 25th anniversary and our Leadership Greater Valley Program also graduated and placed 20 new adult volunteer leaders for our community.
We are the fiscal agent for the Discovery Early Childhood efforts for the region as well as Ansonia and Shelton's city efforts.We continued to host and provide administrative support for the Valley Council of Health and Human Services.
It is my pleasure to serve as President and CEO of Valley United Way. It is my commitment to the Valley that we will always look at what is in the best interests of our residents. We have many residents who are struggling and it is incumbent on us to be an active part of the solutions to community issues . Our children, elderly and low income families are a priority and I am excited that Valley United Way has the opportunity to work with community partners, including Valley Community Foundation and others to serve our communities better
One of the real strengths of Valley United Way is the volunteer leadership of the organization. It is my pleasure to now serve as Board Chair after having served on the Board not only of Valley United Way, but several other organizations that make our Valley great.
Though we have an excellent staff, an active and involved Board of Directors is critical to the success of the organization. Ultimately, it is the Board that sets the policy and the vision for the organization and is responsible for the governance of Valley United Way. We are fortunate to have a diverse, knowledgeable and dedicated group of community leaders serving on our Board. They are people who live and work in the community and have a great desire to serve the community.
Board members take leadership roles in all our activities and Board members chair all of our committees ensuring that the Board is always fully engaged in our programs and services. I would also like to point out that all Board members are also donors themselves, and very generous in sharing their time, talents and treasures.
Like all Boards, we are faced with the challenges of a difficult economy and increasing demands for financial and other support. We are also dealing with the changing demographics of our population, shifting needs in the community and the technological changes affecting our business and the way that we communicate with our community.
The Center maintains a database of volunteer opportunities listed by nonprofit agencies in the Valley. It also coordinates the Corporate Volunteer Council (Area Businesses) and the High School Volunteer Council (Area High Schools) as well as United Way's Youth Leadership Program.
The Center's new on-line e-Volunteer site is always available to supplement live contact with the Center's Director, Patricia Tarasovic.
Close to seventy companies are members of the
Corporate Volunteer Council
which is a program coordinated by Valley United Way's Volunteer Action Center. The group's enthusiasm, skill and community spirit is leaving an indelible mark on the Valley and improving the quality of life through their everyday efforts that demonstrate that they and their employees care about the community in which they live and work.
The purpose of the CVC is:
1. Networking: Providing a way for companies operating corporate volunteer programs to exchange information and help other companies in the community start corporate volunteer programs.
2. Community-needs identification: Providing a forum where member companies can learn about community needs for employee volunteers. Information is transmitted when the CVC invites a local nonprofit agency to present information on its need for volunteers during a regularly scheduled CVC meeting.
3. Joint Projects: Providing a way for member companies to work together on a community need or problem that is too large or complex for one company to handle alone. Currently active ongoing projects include:
Monthly Food Drive
Clothes Drive & more
Cell Phone Collection - For victims of domestic violence
Since 1994 the CVC has also taken on major projects on an annual basis. The two annual projects are the Week of Caring projects which generally involve a very hands on "construction and renovation" project for an area nonprofit organization and the Back to School Clothes for Kids Project which adopts the neediest children in one Valley grammar school providing children with back to school clothing and encouragement for a successful start to the new academic year.
Donors simply need to call or e-mail United Way with the list of items to be donated and the contact information.
What is it about?
Leadership Greater Valley (LGV) combines leadership skill building with community education. During the nine-week program, participants get a bird’s-eye view of the issues facing the community, begin developing the leadership skills necessary to assume leadership roles and are exposed to involvement opportunities in the community. The class is limited to 20 selected individuals – those who will have the personal opportunity to learn from the leaders of many local organizations and associations. Leadership Greater Valley is unlike other programs because it provides a catalyst for community vision and change – it builds a better tomorrow for all of us.
Sharon Gibson Ellis is the new President & C.O.O. of Valley United Way succeeding Jack Walsh who will be retiring at the end of November. Sharon comes to Valley United Way with a wealth of experience in the United Way system including serving as the professional head of United Ways of Benton & Lincoln Counties (Oregon), United Way of Muscatine (Iowa) and most recently United Way of Greater Williamsburg (Virginia).
Ellis has earned a reputation for spearheading and facilitating numerous collaborations around housing, food security and homelessness. Of particular importance was the effort in Williamsburg to understand the root causes of homelessness among precariously housed populations. That effort resulted in the establishment of the Housing Collaborative that has effectively transformed and expanded the community system to more effectively deal with the issue.
She has managed disaster recovery efforts at two of her previous United Ways and even authored and taught curriculum on organizational management as well as serving as a consultant for other nonprofit organizations. She has also has a great understanding of for-profit business as she has had personal success in the retail arena where she owned and operated three successful businesses of her own.
Pat Tarasovic is the Director of the Volunteer Action Center at Valley United Way. Pat was first Director of The Volunteer Action Center when it was started in 1991 and served until 1999 when she joined Birmingham Group Health Services as their Director of Development and dedicated over four years to the agency to help them as they launched a very aggressive Development Plan.
During her first tenure at Valley United Way, Pat created the Valley’s award-winning Corporate Volunteer Council and High School Volunteer Council in addition to running the Youth Leadership Program.
A very active member of the community, Pat was the Co-founder of the Oxford Cultural Arts Commission, and oversaw the building of Oxford’s bandstand and the initiation of its concert series. She co-chaired Oxford’s successful bicentennial and 350th anniversary events. She has served on the towns Beautification Committee and several other town committees. Pat was also a Co-founder of the award winning Oxford School Volunteer Program. She served as the Statewide President of School Volunteer Program and represented the State on National issues.
Pat served as President of the Oxford Junior Women’s Club and later went on to Serve as Director of the Connecticut Junior Women. She was also Co-Chair of the Valley’s All America City Weekend Gala and Celebration and a delegate in both 1999 and 2000.
Pat has been a driving force in the Valley’s LEAD Program which has now merged with the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce to become the Leadership Program. She is also Co Chair of Healthy Valley and is a Past-president of the Derby/Shelton Rotary Club.
She is a past recipient of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce's Gold Seal award, the Valley Council of Health and Human Services Lewis Savitsky Award, the Birmingham Group Health Services Good Neighbor Award, the Ansonia’s Women in History 2000 Award and the Valley YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award.
Her most recent award is the "Valley Women Making A Difference in the Valley " award which she received on October 1, 2009.
Jillian Carroll is the Director of Resource Development at Valley United Way. A Shelton native and resident, Jillian comes to United Way with a background in development with the Jewish Senior Services Foundation in Bridgeport, but she has also worked in media with the A&E Television Network. At Valley United Way all fundraising activities and will be working in marketing and communications as well
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
This organization receives designated funds from The
Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and has completed an abbreviated
This organization receives designated funds from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and has completed an abbreviated profile.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
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