Town of Westport: 01-11-2021 News Release – Westport Holiday Program is looking for donations


Director of Social Services Elaine Daignault announced today that the Department of Social Services will once again sponsor its annual holiday giving program for residents of Westport

Ms. Daignault said, “The annual Social Services Holiday program brings holiday cheer to local friends and neighbors facing financial hardship. The annual program is funded entirely by donations from the community and helps over 100 households in Westport with qualifying income with school-aged children.

DHS Family Program Coordinator Annette D’Augelli has led the program for several years. Over the past two years, the pandemic has increased local needs, with many working parents facing unemployment, underemployment, food insecurity and chronic stress associated with the need to support their families. .

According to D’Augelli, “Our traditional holiday giving program is a beacon of light and kindness for the benefit of the entire community. Fundraising and gift cards allow residents and businesses to pay back. ‘advance while helping an anonymous family provide food and gifts for their children during the holiday season. ”

“In recent years, we have seen more and more working families struggling to provide for their families. Many have multiple jobs and expand their income to cover basic needs such as food, childcare and shelter expenses. There are few gifts or new clothes left that the children hope to receive for the holidays. ”

“100% of all donations go directly to families eligible for financial assistance throughout the year. The holiday program offers families unique and heartfelt opportunities to purchase a special gift or two for their children, and maybe a little something for parents who buy anything for themselves. ”

“Since the pandemic, social services have moved from accepting material donations like toys and clothing to gift cards, checks and cash to protect the health and safety of the community. parents to personalize their children’s gifts – no one knows their child’s tastes are better than their parents. Allowing parents to shop for their family also allows families to participate in the community’s holiday season, by being confident that their modest spending on gifts will not create a shortfall after the season.

Westport residents and organizations who wish to donate cash, checks or gift cards to the program are encouraged to contribute to the “Seasonal Family-to-Family Giving Program” online at / donate. Contributions can be mailed to the Westport Department of Human Services at Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880. Donations can also be dropped off at Town Hall by appointment.

Westport residents facing financial difficulties can contact Social Services at 203-341-1050 or [email protected] for confidential assistance.

Please contact Annette D’Augelli at [email protected] or 203-341-1183 with questions or ideas to support the annual program.

This press release was produced by the City of Westport. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.

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