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Stories - Community Impact

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Below are two inspiring letters from young people who were helped by our partner agency Adelante of Suffolk County, Inc:  "My name is Estefani. I am a senior student at Central Islip Senior High School. I would have never imaged being in the positioned I am today. Six years ago, I migrated to the United States and came to live with my parents for the first time. The fact that I did not speak any English seemed an astronomical obstacle to overcome. However, my parents' sacrifice gave me the fuel to one day have a better future and be able to attend college. I love being part of the National...
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Before the first United Way ALICE report, ALICE was a population and a community issue without a name or face. The release of this study offered a new way to accurately quantify these households and to talk about the challenges that they face, just like Richelle of Long Island.  Richelle, a wife and mother of three was struggling to pay her bills on time and keep the house warm during the frigid winter months. She and her husband had both fallen on hard times, severely impacting their income and ability to keep up with household expenses. Despite Richelle and her husband both working full-...
Thursday, October 20, 2016
  My name is Nia and my life matters. I am the only child of a teenage mother who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. During my childhood I felt depressed, worthless, misunderstood and ashamed; I had thoughts of suicide. I thought that suicide would bring me peace and that my absence would take the burden off my family.  I didn't have many friends going up because my mother separated me from my peers. I saw my mother being mistreated because of her condition and constantly worried about a future for my mother and me. I knew what my dad looked like, however he was never a...
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
October 2-8 is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Week. Below is an example of the many Long Islanders our partner agencies in the mental health field are making an impact on every day.  "NG" is a 15-year-old boy referred to United Way of Long Island partner agency Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay (YFCA) by his school social worker at the age of 11. He had been acting out in school, had very few, if any, friends, and was frequently the subject of ridicule by his peers. He reportered that he felt bullied by other children. Upon admission, he exhibited signs and symptoms of...
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
  Steve, 18 years old“I grew up in a normal family. I really can’t blame circumstances or hardship or mistreatment for my actions and my situation. I wanted to be somebody. I saw that people who cheated and stole got things I wanted. The music I listen to promotes all that. So I did it. My dad is a pastor at a church, the church I grew up in. I robbed a store with another guy, and got caught. I shamed my family. Now that I’m at the Ranch, I’m proud to say that I am changing. I’m doing well here and regret what I did to get here. When I leave I will succeed and make my dad proud again. I’m...
Friday, August 12, 2016
Some might say she had an ideal life; with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from C.W. Post and a full-time position as a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) in the Plainedge School District’s Special Education Program - Janice was off to a fantastic start. When Janice’s grandmother died, however, Janice noticed a decline in her mental health. After being terminated from her TA job, a tale too upsetting for her to recount due to the connection she felt towards the children she mentored, Janice began to ricochet from in-patient stay to residential program.   Janice, who was subsequently diagnosed with...
Monday, March 28, 2016
A grateful mother's experience with the Long Island Head Start Program "I am very happy with the Long Island Head Start Program. The program has provided my family with the opportunity to create an early learning environment and gives a lot of support to my husband and I regarding my children's development. One of my kids started in the Long Island Head Start Program in February 2012. My husband and I were very happy when one of our two girls was enrolled. The next year my oldest child was accepted too. I became an expectant mother and was enrolled in the Expectant Woman's program. Now my son...
Monday, March 28, 2016
Joshua, a 15 year old high school sophomore, was struggling with staying on track towards earning a high school Regents diploma. With a 2.0 GPA and several behavior incidents throughout the school year, Joshua was facing possibly suspension and risked not being promoted to his junior year of high school. His mother, Lori, approached Littig House after hearing the success of the Youth Council and College/Career Exploration program to see if Joshua could enroll in the program. Joshua, who was reluctant to participate at first, felt he wasn't being heard by those around him. Assigning him to a...
Monday, March 28, 2016
Joseph’s wife Helen is living with progressive MS and uses a wheelchair. Some years ago, as a devoted husband, Joseph began attending a support group offered by the National MS Society -Long Island Chapter. He quickly became a dedicated and regular member. As time moved on the group was no longer able to continue to meet due to a turnover in volunteer leadership which caused membership to dwindle. Joseph, who saw the value of the group both for himself and Helen, stepped forward to ask how he could help. Joseph participated in training offered by the National MS Society and has been the well-...
Monday, March 28, 2016
James became homeless after his mother passed away. He lived in a tent in the woods that he pitched. After three years of living outside, James turned to Maureen’s Haven for warmth and safety during the winter months. For two years James took advantage of the winter shelter program but always returned to the woods as soon as the weather warmed up. As James trust in Maureen’s Haven staff grew he decided to sit down with a case manager to discuss supportive housing options that could lead to permanent shelter. A little over a year ago James moved into permanent housing where he is doing very...

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