A message from our co-chairs

Co-chairs, 2023-2024 Wesleyan United Way Campaign

Stephen Angle, Director -Fries Center for Global Studies, Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, and Professor of Philosophy

“Think global, act local” goes the slogan – and I think this gets it just right. It’s of course important to pay attention to the national and international issues which shape our values and motivate us to action. But it’s in our local communities that we can most readily impact the lives of our fellow citizens. And supporting the Middlesex United Way is the easiest way to enable great, local organizations to do their work – work that helps our neighbors every day.

For a number of years, I have been on the board of one of the local organizations that benefits from United Way support: The Connection, a wonderful non-profit, based here in Middletown, that for fifty years has been dedicated to “building safe, healthy, caring communities and inspiring people to reach their full potential as productive and valued citizens.” The Connection runs Middletown’s Eddy Shelter, a statewide program called “Supportive Housing for Families,” and a wide range of other terrific programs in areas including addiction services, community justice, and behavioral health. I am continually moved by the energy, dedication, and sensitivity of the staff at all levels of The Connection.

Middlesex United Way supports many, many local organizations like The Connection. I urge you to contribute whatever you can. It’s an easy way to make a real difference.


Rani Arbo, Campus Community Engagement Manager - Center for the Arts

I have made my home in Middletown since 1998 and have been on staff at Wesleyan since 2016. Both of these communities have given me a sense of belonging, given me many gifts, and also opened opportunities for me to pay those gifts forward to others. For me, contributing to Wesleyan's annual United Way Campaign is one of the easiest ways I can pay it  forward, and I’m incredibly  grateful for the work they do to research and prioritize areas of local need (education, health, housing, financial stability, racial equity and inclusion), to create relationships with local organizations, and to distribute our donations.

I live between Wesleyan and Main Street. My neighbors include both the folks who run organizations that United Way supports and many folks who benefit from those services.

Gilead Family Services — founded by two Wesleyan students –  is one of those organizations. Gilead provides profoundly compassionate services for individuals and families who are living with mental health challenges and addiction, and they solicit support for this work in a way that brings a community together in care.

Gilead Community Services and Middlesex United Way both remind me of the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.”  But I would add: to do so, the village has to remember - that it is - infact, a village.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have daily reminders of this in my neighborhood, and at Wesleyan. 

Contributing to United Way is one of the ways I can be a part of this caring community. I hope you will join me in supporting this year’s campaign!