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Here And Statewide, Programs Working To Provide Support



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Need knows no season.

So this week we are taking an opportunity to inform or remind Newtown residents about a few programs aimed at providing assistance to those who may need a hand, or a financial boost.

Linda Bates, one of our local angels who helps administer The Newtown Fund, is reminding residents that requests to help cover rent, mortgage and heating oil assistance, medical expenses, and car repairs have increased substantially over the last year because of the increased cost of food, rent, and the loss of jobs due to the pandemic.

In the not too distant past, Bates says each request would be in the $300 to $500 range, but they are now mostly above $1,000.

While the group’s main fundraising efforts — and when the fund is annually in the public eye — has always been for the Holiday Basket Program in December, volunteers are now asking the community to donate to the fund this month. All of the funds raised will be meted out by the Town of Newtown Department of Human Services and go directly to qualifying Newtown families. Just visit Newtownfund.org for instructions on how to give.

The Newtown Bee was also thrilled to learn this week that Friends of Newtown Seniors (FONS) recently received $8,600 in grants from NextFifty Flexible Support, a Colorado-based foundation supporting efforts to improve the lives of older adults. This funding will allow FONS to continue to expand its activities including communications, outreach, chore services, and the Livable Community Initiative.

We look forward to seeing how the leadership of FONS puts this wonderful windfall to work doing more good around Newtown. Visit friendsofnewtownseniors.org to learn more.

At the state level, United Way of Connecticut is working to ensure everyone qualified applies to receive Connecticut’s 2022 Child Tax Rebate. With the application deadline looming on July 31, only about half of those eligible have applied to receive between $250 and $750 from the program.

To be eligible for this rebate you must be a resident of Connecticut, you must have claimed at least one child as a dependent on your 2021 federal income tax return who was 18 years of age or younger, and you must meet certain income thresholds. Apply by visiting egov.ct.gov/drschildrebateform/

Finally, the Essential Workers COVID-19 Assistance Program, a statewide fund intended to assist frontline workers who suffered financial losses during the early stages of the pandemic, is also going untapped. As a result, the qualifying pool of eligible workers for the cash assistance fund has been expanded, and the deadline to apply has been extended from July to December 31.

The program was initially open to health care workers, first responders, teachers, grocery store employees, and others from the CDC’s 1A and 1B essential workers priority lists. The program has been expanded to include the CDC’s 1C list of essential workers including restaurant staff, gas station and utilities workers, and construction crews.

The program assists with unpaid leave and lost wages if an employee was unable to work after contracting COVID-19, or due to symptoms later diagnosed as COVID-19; out-of-pocket medical expenses related to contracting COVID-19 that were not covered by insurance; and burial/funeral expenses of $3,000 for the family of an eligible essential worker who died from COVID-19.

To learn more about the program or to apply visit CTEssentialWorkerRelief.org.

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