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Descrooge Your Christmas: Help Buy Gift Cards for Darien’s Low Income Families and Seniors

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The Darien Department of Human Services provides gifts to low-income families and seniors in Darien. Gift cards are especially helpful and needed for the “sometimes hard-to-buy-for” teens and seniors so their families can pick out just the right gift for them. _____________

— This is an announcement from Community Fund of Darien on Impact Vine. _____________

Please help us raise the money to purchase:

15 $10 gift cards and ($150)
15 $25 gift cards ($375)

for 15 of our neighbors in need! Your donations will help us:

Spread Some Holiday Joy – Help parents buy toys for their children with a $25 gift card from Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, or Kohl’s, or
Provide A Holiday Meal –Fresh produce and meat is expensive.

Letter letters

Letter: How Darien Teens Are Helping to Get Information Out About Binge Drinking

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To the editor:

We, the presidents of the Youth Asset Team, are writing to address and provide a teen perspective on the Thriving Youth Task Force’s “Our Darien” campaign. For those who are unaware with the Youth Asset Team, we are the student branch of the Thriving Youth Task Force, an initiative of The Community Fund of Darien which represents over fifty local organizations that strive to promote positive assets in young people in order to reduce risky behaviors. We are currently collaborating on this nationally recognized “Our Darien” social marketing campaign, which educates parents and students about the detrimental effects of binge drinking. Some of our ongoing activities include: panel participation in presentations for parents of younger students, planning, promoting and executing prevention-related speakers and events, participating in community service, and mentoring to the newly created middle school branch of the Youth Asset Team. All of us originally joined the Youth Asset Team because we wanted to make a difference locally by providing a teen perspective on issues affecting our age group.

Letter: Dangerous Myths About Teen Drinking Need To Be Cleared Up

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To the editor:

We are writing to support the “Our Darien” Campaign, launched by the Thriving Youth Task Force of The Community Fund of Darien. This Campaign focuses on underage drinking and, in particular, how certain attitudes that surround it can be contributing factors. The people who work at Silver Hill Hospital are passionate about educating the community and engaging in prevention efforts in surrounding towns like Darien. _____

“For instance, the earlier kids start drinking, the more likely they are to experience alcohol-related injury and alcohol dependence later in life.” _____

We are proud members of the Thriving Youth Task Force and also provide programs on substance use and mental health in conjunction with the Darien Depot, the Darien YWCA Parent Awareness Program, the Darien Library, and the Darien Health Department.

Letter letters

Letter from an Expert: Parents Should Begin Frank Discussions About Substance Abuse EARLY

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To the editor:

I applaud the work of The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Task Force as it launches its campaign “Our Darien” which is aimed at addressing teen binge drinking. The Thriving Youth Task Force is helping to increase our understanding of teens’ and parents’ beliefs and behavior regarding alcohol use and binge drinking. At the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, where we provide mental health services to more than 3,000 children and teens every year, we are all too aware of the harmful effects of teen drinking.  

The good news for parents is that research shows they are the strongest influence on their children’s decisions about drinking. Our Darien’s use of social media to disseminate scientific information about teen drinking issues brings it squarely into our daily lives.

Letter letters

Letter: New Initiatives in Darien Give People, Families Support to Counter Substance Abuse

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To the editor:

As someone who grew up in Darien (DHS ’93) and works for a national addiction nonprofit, I commend The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Task Force and their “Our Darien” campaign. I think it is important that parents start the conversations with their children about drugs and alcohol much sooner than one might think (middle school is just too late) and be armed with information on how addiction is a brain disease. There are three factors to one becoming addicted; genetic, environmental and developmental. Addiction can develop at any age, but research shows that the earlier in a life a person tries drugs and/or alcohol, the more likely that person is to develop addiction. Our brains are not finished developing until our mid-20s, thus introducing drugs to the brain before this time of growth and change can cause serious, long-lasting damage.

06820 postcard game pong 03-08-17

Thriving Youth Task Force Announces ‘Our Darien 2.0’ Campaign

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The Town of Darien is above par on many indicators of success. When it comes to parenting, we excel at providing our children with every opportunity to nurture their potential. We feed them organic whole foods, we limit sugar intake, sign them up for tutoring, encourage stimulating extra-curricular activities, and make sure they get enough sleep at night. ____________

— This is an announcement from Darien’s Thriving Youth Task Force, an Initiative of The Community Fund of Darien. Darienite has added images from the website.

Op Ed: Community Fund of Darien’s Teen Binge Drinking Campaign Gets National Recognition

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This opinion piece/announcement is by Carrie Bernier, executive director of the Community Fund of Darien:

The Community Fund’s Thriving Youth Task Force has set its sights on reducing teenage binge drinking in Darien. When they launched the “Our Darien 06820” campaign last winter, they hoped to hit a nerve locally with parents and teens. They didn’t suspect that it would strike a chord nationally, too. Emily Larkin, The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth director, recently returned from California after presenting Darien’s innovative “06820” campaign to a national audience of substance abuse professionals.  

Darien’s binge drinking prevention campaign is the product of a collaboration between The Community Fund of Darien, the Thriving Youth Task Force and the creative team at Colangelo Synergy Marketing.

Family Day Dinner

Register Now for the Sept 22 Darien Family Day Dinner

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Join the Darien community for “Family Day Dinner” on Friday, Sept, 22, at the Darien Y. “Family Day Dinner” will include dinner, swimming, open gym time, arts & crafts, games, and an evening of fun for the whole family. This free, fun-filled family event promotes the concept that families who regularly dine together minimize future risk factors. Family Day Dinner was originally launched in 2001 by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. “Research shows that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors.  In addition, these kids are more likely to have more family support, positive peer influences and positive adult role models.

Thomas Friedman Community Fund of Darien 09-04-17

Author and Columnist Thomas Friedman to Speak in Darien: Tickets on Sale Tuesday

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman will speak and take questions Thursday evening, Oct. 26 at the Country Club of Darien, with Scott Pelley, former CBS News anchorman and current “60 Minutes” correspondent, moderating the event. Tickets for the event are available online starting at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 5. Friedman will discuss “The Big Trends Shaping the World Today: Economics, Technology and Geopolitics & the Importance of Community in an Accelerated World” and sign copies of his latest book, Thank You for Being Late, which will also be available for purchase.

TheImpactVine org image 08-23-17

Impact Vine Website Invites Individuals to Use It to Create Projects Supporting Nonprofits

Download PDF website that’s been raising funds for projects proposed by nonprofit organizations in Fairfield County is now inviting individuals to create projects supporting nonprofits. “We invite everyone to participate, visit the site, create a project supporting an organization you’re passionate about, and share with others!” said Susan Serven, project director of The Impact Vine. “We are thrilled to introduce the Impact Vine to the greater community,” said Carrie Bernier, executive director of the Community Fund of Darien, which started the Impact Vine website. “The Impact Vine connects people who care with critical local needs. Pick a project that resonates with your giving values and support it!

Darien Road Race Sidewalk 2015

Darien Road Race Registration Now Open, Event Takes Place Sept 17

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The 38th annual Darien Road Race is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 17 at Pear Tree Point Beach and includes a 10K and 1.5 mile Loop. Registration for the race is now open, and the first 500 registered runners will receive an official 2017 Darien Road Race performance t-shirt on race day. This year’s race will begin at 3:30 p.m. for the 1.5 mile Fun Run and 4:00 pm for the 10K. The race will feature “The Finish Line” tent with music, games, food trucks, sponsor booths, silent auction and an awards ceremony.

Community Fund of Darien Logo Facebook 07-19-17

Darien Teens Take First ‘Youth Mental Health First Aid Training’ Course, To Be Offered Again

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Many of us learn CPR for medical emergencies — but what about mental health emergencies? On June 27 and 28, the Community Fund of Darien brought a “Youth Mental Health First Aid” training to local teenagers to equip them with skills to recognize and respond to the unique risks posed by a teenager’s mental health crisis. Darien and Norwalk teens, parents and youth workers gathered in Noroton Presbyterian Church for the eight-hour training to learn about mental illness and how to help a teen in need. __________

This article, an announcement from the Community Fund of Darien, is by Sarah-Jane Clarke, a volunteer with the organization. __________

By the end of the course, participants said they felt prepared to deal with friends, co-workers, or students who may be dealing with mental health issues.

Community Fund 80K needed 06-15-17

Please Help Us with Funding Gap, Community Fund of Darien Says

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The Community Fund of Darien is now appealing to the public for support as state budget cuts loom and the fund’s base of support in the Baby Boom generation is declining. 

The bottom line, from a recent CFD fundraising letter:
We haven’t raised enough money to fund the 2017 grant requests and we need your help. Here are excerpts from the letter:

Each year, we diligently prioritize critical local needs and identify the most effective nonprofits which are best suited to help. This year, we have invited 24 nonprofits in Darien, Stamford and Norwalk to apply for a grant. With a state budget crisis looming and a declining baby boomer philanthropic base, our local nonprofits are faced with difficult decisions such as cutting staff or desperately needed programs.

We haven’t raised enough money to fund the 2017 grant requests and we need your help. Will you help us close the gap?

Parent Survey Community Fund of Darien 05-14-17

See What Darien Parents Said About Teen Substance Abuse: Survey Results Presented Monday Night

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Nearly 800 Darien parents of students in Grades 6 to 12 completed a survey last year about teen substance abuse, an on Monday night, the results will be presented. You’re invited to find out about the results at 7 p.m., Monday, May 15 in the Community Room of Darien Library. Since 2008, Darien’s Thriving Youth Task Force has been surveying Darien 7 through 12th graders to assess their developmental assets and participation in risky behaviors. In 2016, for the first time, the task force surveyed Darien parents, as well. The parent survey, sent out through the Superintendent of Schools Office, assessed their perspectives, knowledge and attitudes regarding risky behaviors, specifically teen alcohol and drug use.

The Impact Vine logo 03-29-17

Community Fund of Darien Launches a GoFundMe-Like Website Just for Area Nonprofits

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Through a crowdsourcing website that Darien nonprofits are beginning to use, you can now contribute to a specific cause for a specific group in town, and one of the first local nonprofits to use it is At Home in Darien, which wants $1,065.74 to replace brakes and tires on its van for seniors. Actually, At Home now wants $565.74, after the law firm of Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky gave $500 to the cause. Joe Pankowski Jr., chairman of the Darien Aging Commission, is a member of the firm and presented the check to the Community Fund of Darien. The rest of the money will be raised through a new website, The Impact Vine, an online giving website developed by the Community Fund of Darien that lets people support projects they care about. Impact Vine works as a crowdfunding platform for lower Fairfield County nonprofits to use as a tool to raise money for projects in their communities.