Acting on the recommendation of the Stamford Community Council, the United Way of Western Connecticut Board of Directors renewed funding for the Person-to-Person Emergency Assistance Program in the amount of $28,000.

To meet the ongoing need for the basic necessities that P2P provides, the UWWC tapped reserve funds to supplement the fundraising shortfall that many nonprofits have experienced in recent years.

P2P Executive Director Ceci Maher is pleased the UWWC has continued its funding at this level.

"Many of the traditional funding sources have had to scale back and we are very appreciative of the UWWC commitment and support," she said.

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Through the Emergency Services Program, P2P not only provides free groceries through its Emergency Food Pantry and gently-used free clothing through its Clothing Center, but also provides financial assistance for emergency medication, utility bills or security deposits.

Maher notes that more than 80 percent of the people served by the agency live in Stamford, a fact acknowledged by the UWWC as it thanked P2P for its --¦ commitment to providing programs that make a positive difference and impact so many lives in Stamford."

Person-to-Person, Inc., a non-profit agency, was originally established in 1968 by St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Darien. Its mission was simple: to bring together the needs of people in disadvantaged areas of nearby communities with the resources of people in Darien and the surrounding areas, thereby providing basic emergency services to low-income individuals and families living in lower Fairfield County.

A volunteer-driven agency, Person-to-Person is committed to helping clients achieve self-sufficiency through practical help, advocacy, education and problem-solving initiatives. Programs include Emergency Assistance, Campership and Scholarship. In 2009, Person-to-Person helped 24,780 people avert crisis and make ends meet. These efforts are made possible by in-kind donations, a force of more than 2,000 volunteers and financial contributions. More information can be found on the web at www.p2pdarien.org or by calling 203-655-0048.

The United Way of Western Connecticut was formed in 2007 with the merger of Housatonic/Shepaug United Way, United Way of Stamford and United Way of Northern Fairfield County. The towns covered within these regions are Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Sherman, Stamford, Warren and Washington.

The United Way of Western Connecticut is a leader in mobilizing resources to improve lives and communities. It brings together community leaders, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and businesses to advance the common good through improving people's lives in the areas of income, education and health.

For more information, visit www.uwwesternct.org.