EAST HAMPTON— Joan Youngs, of East Hampton, was honored with Middlesex United Way’s Community Leadership Award at the organization’s annual meeting Jan. 29. The award recognizes leadership in strengthening communities.
Youngs has been volunteering since the 1940s when, as a teenager, she knitted wool scarves for soldiers in World War II. She retired in 1998 after a long career with the Middlesex County Chapter of the American Red Cross, where she worked for 34 years, including 25 years as Executive Director. During her time at the Red Cross, Youngs implemented many new programs, including the Red Cross Fuel Bank, the Red Cross Food Bank, and the Family Shelter, now a program of Columbus House.
Youngs has been a volunteer for Middlesex United Way since she retired in 1998. She volunteers in the office and has served on various committees, most recently the Housing Impact Team.
In her hometown of East Hampton, Youngs helped establish the precursors to what is now the East Hampton Food and Fuel Bank, and she continues to volunteer and serve on the board.
Youngs has volunteered with many other organizations over the past 70 years, including Girl Scouts, the parent teacher associations, and Gilead Community Services, where she served on the board for many years until 2008 and continues to serve on their Rainbow Board. She currently serves on the board of St. Luke’s Eldercare Services, on the grants committee for the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, and on the volunteer nursing committee at St. Patrick’s Church in East Hampton.
Last year, she was recognized by the East Hampton Village Lions as 2012 Citizen of the Year, and she was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Middletown Rotary Club in 1993.
Youngs has a B.S. in sociology and psychology from Eastern Connecticut State College, now known as Eastern State Connecticut University. She is a proud grandmother of 10.
Middlesex United Way is a locally based organization dedicated to strengthening lives, helping people, and improving community conditions in the fifteen towns in Middlesex County. Middlesex United Way serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook. To learn more, visit middlesexunitedway.org or facebook.com/middlesexunitedway.