Transform Gratitude into Action

November 21, 2014

As the turkey decorations go up and the lines at the supermarket grow long, we are reminded that this is the time of year to “give thanks.”

We all come from different walks of life, but I think we can all agree that there is much to be thankful for. We live in an amazing country, full of opportunities and freedoms unlike anywhere else in the world. We can all be thankful for our rights, our liberty, our education, and the many opportunities available to us all. And, although we don’t always enjoy the same opportunities and privileges, we also live in a society where people don’t turn their backs on one another. In our world, privilege comes with the responsibility to help others who may be less fortunate; and I am honored to be part of a community that takes this responsibility seriously.

Throughout the entire district I represent – from Stratford to Monroe, from Shelton to Seymour – there are amazing charities, organizations and programs that help people in need. This holiday season, I encourage everyone to learn more about these groups. While we express our thankfulness to our family and friends, let’s also focus on sharing that good will with others. Everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed, and with compassion and service we can make that happen.

Are you ready to transform gratitude into action? Here are a few local organizations that offer a great place to start.

Sterling House
The Sterling House Resource Connection is available to assist individuals and families with basic needs assistance in the form of food, clothing, child care, school supplies, gifts during the holiday time, Thanksgiving food baskets and more. The Sterling House Resource Connection (Food Pantry) is open Monday-Thursday, 1:00-3:00 pm and by appointment on Friday and Saturday. Donations of non-perishable food, dairy, frozen & seasonal items including thanksgiving meals are welcome. Monetary donations & store gift cards are also welcome. For more information contact (203) 378-2606 or visit Location: 2283 Main Street Stratford, CT 06615.

Spooner House
Spooner House is operated by Area Congregations Together, Inc. with the mission of providing food, shelter and support services to people in need. Every year, the center provides emergency shelter to an average of 200 individuals, as well as over 36,200 meals to residents. This is the only homeless shelter in the Lower Naugatuck Valley and one of the few in the state that welcomes families with children as well as individual adults. If you are in need of food bank assistance, please call 203-225-0453 extension 100 to make an appointment. For more information visit Location: 30 Todd Road Shelton, CT 06484.

Monroe Food Pantry
The Monroe Food Pantry provides emergency food for individuals and families in Monroe. The Pantry provides about a week’s worth of food and other necessary items to more than 250 households per month. Volunteers help sort food, stock shelves, assist people with “shopping” for their groceries at the Pantry and deliver food to people who cannot get to the Pantry on their own. Donations of non-perishable foods are regularly accepted. Financial donations can be used to purchase meat, eggs and other items that are not often donated. The pantry is open on Monday from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please call (203) 452-2817 for Saturday hours. There is also a large donation bin for dropping of non-perishable items when the Pantry is closed. Location: 980 Monroe Turnpike (just south of Masuk High School’s entrance).

Seymour/Oxford Food Bank – Trinity Episcopal Church
The Seymour Oxford Food Bank is located in the basement of Trinity Episcopal Church. Calls are taken between 9:30-11:00 am on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, food is distributed throughout the community. Donations of food can be brought to the church located at 91 Church St., Seymour CT. For more information, including how to donate and volunteer, contact 203-888-7826.

Want to learn about additional community organizations? Reach out to your local town hall or contact the Connecticut United Way to find out what other organizations and programs are available in your area.