People’s United Community Foundation presents employee matching gift to United Way

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County recently accepted a $184,108 donation from People’s United Community Foundation on behalf of 70 United Way organizations within People’s United’s footprint throughout New England and New York.

People’s United Bank employees raised $457,251 during the bank’s 2016 United Way campaign. The campaign was chaired by Kathy Schirling, marketing and community services director, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and Tom Griesing, vice president, customer experience manager, Hartford.

People’s United Bank has been a supporter and partner of United Way for more than 80 years. From its headquarters in Bridgeport, the bank has been a local member of United Way of Coastal Fairfield County’s Chairman’s Circle, comprised of corporate donors that invest more than $100,000 in the Coastal Fairfield County community through United Way, for more than 25 years.

“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with People’s United Community Foundation and that we are the only organization to receive support through an employee-matching gift,” said Merle Berke-Schlessel, president and CEO, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. “Our partnership with the employees of People’s United Bank and the Foundation continues to grow, providing critical resources to help the children and families of Coastal Fairfield County prosper.”

Projects over the last year include:

  • Supporting efforts to align resources (community, business, educators, government) across Connecticut, which not only prepare young children for school but create a path for success, cradle to career;

  • Providing funds in Maine to help United Way begin a community mapping project (needs assessment) that will create  quantifiable goals that all partners will report against;

  • In Massachusetts, supporting the United Way’s work to identify 18 priority communities by the United Way that ranked the most distressed, with families living at or below 130% of the poverty line, in order to best serve those neighbors in need; and

  • An alliance was created in Vermont to combat the growing crisis of opioid use, the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance, an umbrella alliance focused on reducing the impact of this burden on the community.

“Our employees are aware of the challenges that many individuals and families face in our communities,” said Jack Barnes, president and CEO, People’s United Bank. “I’m proud of the ways in which they strive to help others in need through our employee giving campaign and volunteering.”

“We know that our partnerships with United Ways across our footprint makes a measurable difference through building stronger communities, providing educational support for children, and making available services for our neighbors in need,” said Karen Galbo, executive director, People’s United Community Foundation. “We are proud to work with our community partners and the business community to create stronger neighborhoods.”

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County serves the towns of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton. More information may be found at, or on social media @UWCFC.