Every four years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) engages in Community Conversations to help guide its important work in its three core areas – education, income, and health. This month, UWWP opened its third and final on-line survey, Community Conversation on Health, and is seeking at least 1,000 people to respond. In as little as 10 minutes, residents of Westchester and Putnam Counties can complete a survey and express their concerns about health and well-being in their own community and help UWWP to direct its volunteers and services to the places that they’re needed most.
“The Community Conversation survey on health takes the pulse of our communities regarding health care, mental health, obesity, safety, and other factors,” said Naomi Adler, United Way of Westchester and Putnam CEO and President. “Ten minutes of time now can translate into community support for important issues through United Way’s advocacy, volunteerism, and grants over the next four years.”
United Way’s health survey will run now through September 30th and can be found at www.uwwp.org/cc. Participants who complete the short survey can enter a raffle to win an iPad mini.
Health issues particularly impact area youth. Over one-third of surveyed children in Westchester elementary schools are overweight or at risk of being overweight. High percentages of middle school and high school students in Westchester and Putnam report drinking alcohol, coming to school drunk or high, or engaging in risky behaviors. Many experience also high levels of stress.
“As a result of the last Community Conversation four years ago, we ramped up two of our major community health initiatives,” said Susan Schefflein, SVP, Community Impact at the local United Way. “Step Up 2 Health works to reduce obesity rates through community gardens, education, exercise and nutrition, and Voices for Positive Choices gives teens and parents tools and support to make positive choices and reduce risky behaviors.”
United Way encourages all Westchester and Putnam residents to participate in the Community Conversation on Health, with two ways to help: 1) take the survey, and 2) spread the word to friends, family and co-workers so that others take the survey. Those interested in getting others involved are welcome to become a Community Conversations Leader, or use United Way’s online resources to share the initiative through social media and email. United Way offers sample emails, graphics, Facebook, and Twitter posts for personal use at http://www.uwwp.org/help-promote.shtml.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, the United Way of Westchester and Putnam operates with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. United Way works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. Contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Westchester and Putnam. United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, covering Westchester and Putnam as well as Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers up to 500 calls and 1,000 online inquiries per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls.
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