Most people woke up the morning of August 4, 2020 expecting nothing more than a windy afternoon. There was some awareness that Western Connecticut would be on the fringes of Tropical Storm Isaias. But for most, the weather forecast wasn’t alarming—at least not by the standards of an already alarming year. But by mid-afternoon the trees were telling a different story, cracking and toppling in the 65 mph winds, bringing down power lines with them. By the end of the day, tens of thousands in Greater Danbury were without power.
For many, losing power is a nuisance involving a night or two of takeout food and no internet or TV. But for others, lack of refrigeration for essential medications and losing a weeks’ worth of groceries can be an extreme hardship. As one day turned into five with no power, the residents of Danbury’s Glen Apartments, who are mostly elderly or disabled, were in an increasingly dire state, especially as the temperatures began to climb to the upper 80s.
On August 9, Danbury’s Mayor Mark Boughton put out a call to the community. The residents at Glen Apartments needed help with water and food, in what he said was becoming a life-threatening situation.
Leadership at United Way of Western Connecticut connected with our community partners, and by the next day, Nestle Waters had delivered two pallets of water to the residents, with help from United Way volunteers and staff.
In the following days after the power was restored, resources were garnered from food providers and volunteers were rallied. Fresh, healthy food was delivered to the residents, who in the preceding days had lost all the food in their refrigerators and freezers because of the extended power outage.
The following organization supported these efforts: Nestle Waters North America, Union Savings Bank, Fairfield County Bank, Jericho Partnership, Killam & Bassette Farmstead, LLC, Clatter Valley Farm and CSA, Mitchell Farm, and AgeWell CT.
When disasters happen, a community needs an organization that they can count on to bring together manpower and resources. United Way of Western Connecticut has been standing at the ready, uniting community partners to help those in need during the difficult year of 2020. We bring together businesses, nonprofits, and volunteers to address needs in a way that no other single organization can.