Sestero Fund Supports Community Conversations, Mobile Medical Clinic and Other Glastonbury Projects

Funds to support the operation of Malta House’s mobile medical clinic and the Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative’s Community Conversations are among nearly $271,000 in grants awarded to nonprofits serving Glastonbury residents by the Norma and Natale Sestero Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

This was the first time that the Malta House of Care Mobile Medical Clinic applied for a grant from the Sestero Fund – and only after research revealed that, somewhat to their surprise, 33 of their current patients live in Glastonbury. In fact, according to the United Way’s 2018 ALICE Report, about 21 percent of Glastonbury residents live below the “survival budget” threshold of $77,832 for a family of four (which covers the cost of necessities, and taxes). For these families and others, health insurance often falls off the list of crucial expenses, such as housing, food, childcare, and transportation.

Malta House of Care offers a safety net for these uninsured adults, providing physicals, blood tests, radiology, diagnoses, medication, and ongoing health education, which is especially important for people living with chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, and obesity.

“The uninsured are everywhere,” said Michelle Murphy, Executive Director of the Malta House of Care Foundation. “The $5,000 Sestero grant will help to ensure that all Glastonbury adults will have access to high-quality, free primary health care – provided with compassion, respect, and dignity. On behalf of our patients, we are very grateful.”

Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative received a $10,000 grant to support the Community Conversation series in 2019. The goal of the series is to inform and inspire Glastonbury residents to become actively involved in social justice issues by discussing, in an open and congenial manner, issues which may divide us or bind as together as individuals, families and a community. All of the social justice issues discussed during the Community Conversation events are addressed in light of Dr. King’s principle: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

On March 10, 2019, the Initiative hosted a Community Conversation entitled “Teenage Refugees: Their MLK Pilgrimage,” during which six teenagers discussed the impact of the U.S. Civil-Rights Movement and the Civil Rights pilgrimage they took during the summer of 2018 on their lives, goals, and aspirations. The next Community Conversation, “Climate Change: Exploring the Intersection of Racial, Economic and Environmental Justice,” took place on April 8, 2019 at the Glastonbury Riverfront Community Center. On September 23, 2019, the GMLKCI will host a Community Conversation on Mass Incarceration. 

“Community Conversations are designed for the presenters to provide both a starting point and a resource for inspiring, lively, informative, and thought-provoking conversations,” said Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative co-chair, Leslie Ohta. “The Sestero Grant makes these conversations possible, which also provides participants with the opportunity to visit tables hosted by organizations that advocate for social justice issues to learn about their mission and to explore volunteer opportunities.”

Norma and Natale Sestero were longtime residents of Glastonbury who established the fund through their charitable remainder trusts to support organizations that benefit people and institutions in Glastonbury in the areas of culture, health, education, social welfare, and the environment, including town beautification and preservation of heritage.

Other grants awarded were:

  • Glastonbury Arts, Inc.: $3,500 to support the 2019 Got Art artist demonstration and lecture series.
  • Historical Society of Glastonbury: $49,534 to support capital improvements at three managed properties, purchase historically accurate costumes for reenactors and purchase audio/visual equipment to be used at events.
  • Land Heritage Coalition of Glastonbury, Inc.: $8,500 to provide better information about hiking and outdoor activities in Glastonbury.
  • National Conference for Community and Justice: $24,699 to continue and expand the Bridges, ANYTOWN, and Youth Action Coalition programs in Glastonbury High School.
  • Oak Hill:  $18,000 to renovate the kitchen at the Hebron Avenue group home and to fix the sidewalk drainage and repair damage to the sidewalk and patio of the Mott Hill Road group home.
  • Planned Parenthood of Southern New England: $30,000 to provide preventative health care for Glastonbury residents.
  • Rushford Centers: $50,000 to support the Rushford Glastonbury's Alternative Therapies program, to help persons recovering from addictions find and sustain recovery.
  • Wind Hill Community Farm & Learning, Inc.: $21,295 to support programming enhancement and capital improvements to increase community engagement and increase revenue.
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford, Inc.: $50,000 to continue the LIVESTRONG and diabetes prevention programs and enhance programming at the on-site preschool at the Glastonbury Family YMCA.                     

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $758 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit or call 860-548-1888.