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Greater Seacoast and Granite United Ways Align

Published Friday Oct 22, 2021

Greater Seacoast and Granite United Ways Align

Strengthening communities has never been more important, making this the optimal time for Granite United Way and the Greater Seacoast Region to officially align service areas; with the mutual goal of increasing impact both locally and across the state.

The boards of directors from both Granite United Way and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, under which United Way of the Greater Seacoast had been operating, announced a formal alignment, based on state lines, of the service area of the Greater Seacoast with Granite United Way to achieve greater community impact. The full alignment will be completed by January 1, 2022.

“Our number one goal has always been helping people. This partnership is a natural evolution of both organizations,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “Each United Way has worked to improve lives across New Hampshire, and now we have an opportunity to leverage our collective resources to drive increased impact across both of our regions.

“We are excited to welcome the Seacoast team – Lauren Wool, Liz Belsito, and Linda Lorrey – and are eager to work with them on a new level,” said Tufts. “Each of them possess a strong skill-set and have long-time relationships with local supporters, nonprofits and corporate partners.”

Some of the areas of expertise the Greater Seacoast team brings include fostering early childhood development, advancing housing stability, supporting youth, capacity and systems building, strategic planning, and strong volunteer engagement. The Seacoast region also has a strong advisory board who are active in volunteer work and support the team.

The team in Greater Seacoast region brings deep expertise around fostering early childhood development and advancing housing stability in the region:

  • In partnership with the Somersworth Early Childhood Coalition, United Way launched Somersworth Ready Together to help families better prepare their children for kindergarten. The program’s goal is to engage all the families of the 832 Somersworth children between the ages of zero and five.
  • United Way of the Greater Seacoast helped establish the State Early Learning Alliance, a cutting-edge shared services model for early childhood programs to strengthen business practices and enhance program quality in order to give children a better start.
  • Home for All, convened in 2009 by United Way of the Greater Seacoast as the Greater Seacoast Coalition to End Homelessness, is a partnership between service providers, government, business, education, healthcare, community leaders and other stakeholders. Together, leaders are working to create housing opportunities, secure supportive services and advocate for policy changes to end homelessness.

As part of the new alignment, four local Seacoast region volunteers will join the Granite United Way Board of Directors.

“This partnership identifies pathways towards leveraging additional funding opportunities and increasing  efficiency as we improve the lives of our neighbors,” said Nick Toumpas, Chair of the Seacoast Advisory Board. “As communities in our region recover and rebuild from the health and economic impacts of Covid-19, it is imperative that we look for ways to create impact at scale. Joining with Granite United Way is a solid investment in our community.”

The service area alignment better positions Granite United Way to secure additional State and Federal funding while working with corporate and agency partners across New Hampshire to strengthen communities.

“The Seacoast alignment with Granite United Way is not unlike the Upper Room working with all of the Family Resource Centers statewide; regionally responsive while working together toward statewide impact. It makes a lot of sense for NH’s children and families.” said Brenda Guggisberg, Executive Director of The Upper Room, a Family Resource Center.

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