Danielle Annibalini, the new director of Suffield Community Aid, didn’t grow up in Suffield, strictly speaking, but in an important way she is rooted in our town. As a child she spent a good deal of time with her grandparents, the Packards, even assisting her grandmother in delivering Meals on Wheels. By training, Danielle is a licensed clinical social worker. After graduation from Seton Hall with a degree in criminal justice, she received a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in social work.
Danielle began her career as a case manager in several capacities, including a position with the City of Meriden’s Youth Service Bureau. After graduate school she accepted a full-time position as a social worker with the Town of Mansfield’s Youth Service Bureau. From there she took a position at the Meriden Youth Services, then moved to Mansfield’s youth program. After six years in that position, she learned that Suffield was looking for a new director; she saw this opportunity as an appealing and exciting next step in her profession, a chance to make a difference in a town dear to her heart.
Suffield’s Community Aid program is different from most, in that it is a privately funded non-profit and not a town department. This arrangement allows the organization to meet residents’ needs in creative and customized ways. Of course the SCA has close ties with the town, even contracts for various services, but it is dependent on private funds to balance its budget. Fortunately, Danielle reports, there are steady and steadfast donors who contribute year after year to the annual fund when the call goes out each winter. She finds that Suffield’s generosity in donated time, financial support, food, and gift cards helps to keep our residents in our town. For this the SCA and its Board of Directors are very grateful.
Our SCA provides for the basic needs of residents: food, heat, housing, and nursing care when appropriate – and in general for the health and social services of residents in times of need. The staff is small: it consists of Danielle and one other full-time person, and two half time employees. To run the show with such a small management team is a tall order, but Danielle is not dismayed; on the contrary, she is full of energy and enthusiasm. She has been on the job since March and is wisely spending her time getting to know the ins and outs of the organization and of the community. The future looks bright for her and for Suffield Community Aid!