Schooner Inc began in 1975 as a means to highlight the plight of the Long Island Sound and to help amplify the positive difference that the Clean Water Act was starting to make in US waters. Today, the company connects more than 8,000 people each year to the beauty and history of New Haven Harbor via public sails, summer camps, and educational programs.
For the last 23 years, the Quinnipiack—central Connecticut's only traditionally rigged tall ship—has hosted hands-on marine experiences for kids and adults. The New Haven mayor has officially decreed the schooner to be the city's flagship, as well as the ship Most Likely to Wear Couture Sails. The spacious boat was named to honor the Native Americans who inhabited the region and is helmed by an experienced and friendly crew.
For nearly 20 years, Easter Seals' merrymakers have ornamented New Haven's Lighthouse Point Park with luminous holiday displays. As dusk settles, caravans wind their way through the spacious park's festive arrangements, which, in holidays past, have greeted revelers with flocks of deer peeking through the pines, igloos that broach the seashore, and blazing tunnels of twinkling lights. Many displays feature LED bulbs, which not only create more vibrant displays but also save electricity that can be used to recharge the noses of VIP reindeer. Every car that passes through the light-flecked park supports Easter Seals Disability Services, a nonprofit that provides enrichment opportunities for those with disabilities.
In 1929, Tom Pinchbeck’s great grandfather traveled to Guilford with his family and staked their new territory with a massive greenhouse. For the next 79 years, Pinchbeck’s Rose Farm nurtured 100,000 rose bushes until highly industrial competition began to cloud their traditional production methods.
Rather than closing the doors on his farm, Pinchbeck restructured the business with his friend Jim Lyman. Lyman had been seeking a meaningful job opportunity for his son and other individuals on the autism spectrum. Through Roses for Autism—and in coordination with Ability Beyond Disability—Lyman and Pinchbeck aim to facilitate independence in the business world for individuals with autism. Employees at the farm take part in each step of the process by selecting roses, cutting stems, arranging bouquets, checking inventories, processing orders, and packaging shipments to be enjoyed by hungry bees and brides across the country.
During a job interview with a recent college graduate in 2010, business professional Scott Sokolowski decided to ask an easy question: “Why aren’t you wearing a suit today?” When the candidate replied honestly, saying simply, “I can’t afford one,” Sokolowski was inspired to help. He established Save-A-Suit, a nonprofit organization dedicated to one simple goal: helping young talent acquire appropriate, professional business attire for job interviews. Though these efforts are typically geared toward recent male and female college graduates who are often in their early 20s, Save-A-Suit also works with veterans of all ages to help them arrive at interviews dressed professionally.
North Central Regional Mental Health Board strives to ensure that citizens take part in monitoring the state’s mental-health services. The organization works directly with people who have mental-health or substance-abuse issues through a variety of programs and advocates on their behalf through legislative and fundraising events. One of the many services available, the Day in the Life project, observed the lives of people who receive behavioral-health services through the state to determine how best to help them in the future. In addition, the annual Celebrating Recovery dinner invites individuals in recovery to share their stories as a way of reaffirming that recovery is always possible.