HARTFORD, Conn. — FOX61 and TEGNA made the ultimate resolution at the beginning of 2022: make a difference in our community. We do this every day by bringing local and national stories to our viewers through our newscasts and web articles.
FOX61 has taken it a step further by getting more involved in actively giving back to the community, with donations, community service, and highlighting good causes in our area.
Here are the top stories that are Making an ImpaCT.
Local organizations Making an ImpaCT
For Black History Month and continuing year-round, FOX61 highlighted many Black and woman-owned businesses across Connecticut.
A website that guides shoppers to support Black-owned businesses launched in July 2020: ShopBlackCT.
For two and a half years, the non-profit website showcases over 1,700 Black-owned businesses across Connecticut. A majority of the businesses listed said the site has been helpful and gives them more exposure, according to the co-leaders of the project.
The FLYY Movement in West Hartford provides a space for women and the BIPOC community to explore empowerment, fitness, and freedom to love the person they are.
FLYY - Freedom to Love the You in You - offers fitness, Zumba, and dance classes, as well as empowerment freedom coaching.
Craig Wright's holiday traditions involve keeping his restaurant doors open, and cooking up free meals for those in need of one. Craig's Kitchen in Vernon is open each Thanksgiving for a community dinner and the restaurant organizes an Easter basket giveaway each year as well. The Black-owned restaurant has been in business for over five years now.
Thanks to the efforts of Habitat for Humanity, many affordable houses have broke ground, made progress in construction, or have been completed and moved into during 2022.
A single mom and her son are calling a new house on Cleveland Avenue in Hartford home after moving in this summer. the North Central Connecticut branch constructed the three-bedroom house with the help of volunteers who help build and pay an affordable mortgage.
A cluster of houses on Rainbow Road in Windsor was making good progress when FOX61 checked in on construction in August.
A six-home build broke ground in October, which will bring single-family homes and a duplex to the Northeast end of Hartford.
The United Way of Connecticut and 211 help thousands of people across Connecticut find shelter, food, and other services.
As the end of the year approaches, FOX61's DeAndria Turner is highlighting the many branches of United Way of CT and the services it provides to the community.
Their phones have been ringing off of the hook as 211 has seen around a 27% increase in calls on the helpline since last year.
United Way also collaborates with other non-profit and state agencies to provide services to those seeking them.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, there were many local organizations that serve the Hispanic and Latino communities FOX61 highlighted during that month. One of those organizations is the Latinas and Power Corp.
During their annual symposium, the organization brings networking and career opportunities to help women succeed in their industry. They stopped by Weaver High School in Hartford in September to inspire teens during their Career Opportunity Day.
For the holiday season, more and more shoppers are inspired to shop local. There are many non-profits and small businesses across Connecticut that are Making an ImpaCT by giving job and career opportunities to people living with physical or intellectual challenges and people looking for a new start in life.
Those organizations include Opportunity Works, Fresh Start, and Blue Dragonfly. Check out all of the featured businesses in our Making an ImpaCT holiday gift guide here.
How FOX61/TEGNA is Making an ImpaCT in Connecticut
One of the organizations that benefited from grants by FOX61 and the TEGNA Foundation is the Down Syndrome Association of Connecticut. The Advocacy Avengers is a program within the association that works with teens and young adults with Down Syndrome.
FOX61 and TEGNA were also sponsors of the associations' Step Up for Down Syndrome Block Party and Walk.
This year, FOX61/TEGNA has sponsored a service dog in training. We were matched with a puppy that is training to hopefully someday be a NEADS service dog, who would help someone with a physical or developmental disability or who is hard of hearing.
An important task was to give the puppy a name. FOX61 viewers voted between Bradley, Mystic and Windsor. After the votes were tallied, Mystic came out as the popular choice.
FOX61 staff meet NEADS puppy Mystic
For years now, the annual Tavern Trot, held at Union Street Tavern in Windsor, has raised funds for local charities. This year, the event benefited Alex's Lemonade Stand, which fights childhood cancer.
Jenn Bernstein hosted the event and also presented a donation made by FOX61/TEGNA.
It was truly a Breakfast of Champions for the staff, volunteers, and clients of the Interval House.
FOX61 and TEGNA presented a generous donation to the Interval House, to help them continue assisting men and women that are suffering from domestic violence situations.
Hartford's Proud Drill, Drum, and Dance Corporation brings dozens of local students together to march and dance to the beat of their own drums.
FOX61/TEGNA presented the nonprofit organization with a check.
Matt Scott with a beard? Yes, that was a thing, and fortunately with rational reasoning behind it.
Meteorologist Matt Scott went away on vacation over the summer and came back with some whiskers on his chin, and wondered: Shave it or save it?
FOX61 viewers cast their vote with a monetary donation to The Village for their annual Winter Coat Drive. Every $50 donated would allow The Village to purchase a new coat, with a goal to buy 100 new coats.
Ultimately, viewers voted to have Matt shave off his new beard.
Leah Myers is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at email@example.com
HERE ARE MORE WAYS TO GET FOX61 NEWS
Download the FOX61 News APP
iTunes: Click here to download
Google Play: Click here to download
Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.
Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.