New Canaan Cares

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New Canaan Promotes ‘Tech-Free Family Time’ through ’30 Days of Family’

Town and local nonprofit officials are urging New Canaan families this month to unplug their mobile devices and spend more time communicating directly with each other. The Department of Human Services-led “30 Days of Family” initiative this year has taken up “tech-free family time” as its motto. Unplugging forces family members to talk to each other “with their voices and spend quality time making eye contact and practicing listening skills,” according to Jacqueline D’Louhy, the department’s coordinator of youth and family services. “Think about how much teens ‘talk’ to each other electronically,” D’Louhy said. “Sometimes they’ll be sitting in the same room but never utter a word to one another. Continue Reading →

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Kiwanis Club of New Canaan Is Now Accepting Local Nonprofits’ Requests for Funding, Feb. 29 Deadline

A local civic organization whose mission is “serving the children of the world” announced Wednesday that it’s opening its annual season for funding requests from nonprofit organization. The Kiwanis Club of New Canaan will be able to allocate up to $2,000 per applicant and will take applications through the end of this month (Feb. 29—it’s a Leap Year). “Those interested should submit a letter with the agency name, contact information, mission statement, detailed description of program, proposed use for funds and amount requested,” Kiwanis said in a press release. “Explanations of how your mission fits within the Kiwanis mission.”

Last year, with funds raised mainly through its summertime Zerbini Famiy Circus—presented in partnership with the New Canaan YMCA—Kiwanians gave a total of $16,000 to 16 local nonprofit organizations. Continue Reading →

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Letter: LiveGirl, A Story About Kindness and Community

Dear Editor:

I want to share a story about kindness and community. Topics that, too often, go unmentioned. One year ago, LiveGirl was just a seed of an idea for a one-week summer camp that would make a small difference. It has since grown into an organization that provides year-round programming, making a big difference, for over 100 middle school girls across Fairfield County. Our focus is on leadership, empowerment and diversity so that the young girls of our community are more confident and better prepared for the future. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

Exciting news: We’re hearing that New Canaan’s defunct Outback Teen Center is being renamed ‘The Hub’ by the re-formed board charged with developing new uses for the structure behind Town Hall. Word is, the board is looking at a mix of human services, as well as wellness and possibly food providers to generate revenue at the disused building. New info: New Canaanite Bob Albus, head of the board, told us a program for special needs adults in town will run in the lower level of The Hub on weekdays, and that other activities could include after-school tutoring and mentoring and babysitting for parents who are shopping or dining downtown, and notable local agencies such as Getabout and Staying Put In New Canaan are part of the conversation. “We want to touch virtually every life in town from infants to seniors and really have an expansive program that addresses what are some unmet needs in town,” Albus told NewCanaanite.com. An online fundraising campaign is underway here—designed both to secure some “start-up” money for The Hub and to engage the community, Albus said. Continue Reading →

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‘We Never Want To Say No’: State Eliminates Funding for Kids In Crisis, Jeopardizing Services

One day after school last week, a New Canaan teen phoned the Kids In Crisis 24/7 hotline because a friend here in town appeared to be suicidal. Familiar with Kids In Crisis because of its TeenTalk program at New Canaan High School, the adolescent connected with caseworker (and TeenTalk counselor) Ed Milton. Within minutes, he met with the troubled youth, performed a full assessment, secured a psychiatric evaluation and resolved the issue by referring to an outside agency. The interaction between a New Canaan teen and Milton—a fixture at NCHS who has earned his position as a trusted adult for scores of local adolescents, such as the friend in this case, by connecting and engaging with them—emerges far more frequently than locals may know. Through TeenTalk last academic year, Milton served 149 NCHS students in individual counseling sessions, according to Kids In Crisis, and cases can touch on everything from family conflict and domestic violence to depression, alcohol and substance abuse, peer and social issues such as bullying, divorce, depression, stress, anxiety and suicide—sometimes resulting in youths spending a night in a bed at the organization’s Greenwich campus (families to this point have not been charged for the service, as the state has been helping by paying a per diem—more on that below). Continue Reading →

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