Where to Donate for the Holidays in Fairfield and New Haven Counties

“Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.” So says the ghost of Jacob Marley in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol. We all know the holidays are a season of giving, but sometimes it’s hard to know exactly where to give. If you are moved by the spirit of charity this holiday, here are some organizations in Fairfield and New Haven Counties that are working hard to make the holidays (and every day) a little brighter for families in need. 

Inspirica - Stamford
Since 1989, Inspirica has been working tirelessly to eradicate the choice so many families face, between paying basic bills and giving gifts at the holidays. Inspirica is one of the largest gift collection organizations in the region, and they typically deliver over 6,000 personalized gifts to children in need. You can sponsor a child and help holiday dreams come true. Making this a family project is a great way to begin a conversation with your kids about the importance of giving back. 

Inspirica, 141 Franklin Street, Stamford, CT 06901 

Food Pantries
No matter the time of year, hunger is a fact of life for plenty of families in Connecticut. The holidays are a perfect time to get the whole family involved with your local food pantry. Whether it’s by donating money or non-perishable goods or even signing up for a volunteer shift, there are many ways to help out your community food pantry. Recently my daughter accompanied me to fill boxes of food for a local pantry. The room was full of families working together to be part of the solution. Check the websites below for the food pantry closest to you and contact them to find out what is most needed.

Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County
This smaller, regional organization serves the towns of Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, and Wilton.

Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, 461 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, CT 06906 

Connecticut Food Bank
Connecticut's major food bank serves six counties, Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham.

CT Food Bank, 2 Research Way, Wallingford, CT 06492

Operation Hope Fairfield
This organization helps individuals and families in Fairfield County. 

Operation Hope, 50 Nichols Street, Fairfield, CT 06824

BH Care - Ansonia/North Haven
BH Care offers a variety of programs year-round. They provide addiction and mental health services, support victims of domestic violence, and offer support and services to children and families. At the holidays their Under the Tree program collects gifts, gift cards, and cash donations to distribute to families in need. This is another great opportunity to get your children involved. Talk to them about what you're doing and allow them to be part of the process when selecting gifts or gift cards. Check the BH Care website for more details as the holiday season approaches. 

BH Care Administrative Offices, 127 Washington Avenue, Third Floor, North Haven, CT 06473

BH Care Valley, 435 East Main Street, Ansonia, CT 06401

IMPACTrumbull - Trumbull 
It doesn’t get more grassroots than IMPACT. Started by a small group of moms, this organization has grown fast over its first few years and provides valuable services year round. IMPACT is a great way to get hands-on involvement, they offer an ongoing series of “done in a day” community service projects such as stuffing blessings bags of toiletries for area homeless shelters, or cooking freezable meals for delivery to local food pantries. Many of these projects are specifically tailored so that little hands can be big helpers. Some are for older kids. IMPACT is usually good about saying which is the case when they announce upcoming events. At the holidays IMPACT runs an elf program that provides gifts and personal care items for families in need. You can also donate items to IMPACT any time of year, see their website for details.

Community Closet - Bridgeport
Lifebridge Community Services runs Community Closet in Bridgeport and they help changes lives every day. Donations are accepted year-round, everything from men's, women's, and children's clothing, to household items, toys, and books. There is also a diaper bank that is always in need of restocking. Volunteer opportunities are available but are suited to adults or teens. Applications to volunteer can be found here. Call Community Closet to find out what is most needed.

Community Closet, 475 Clinton Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605  

Bridgeport Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital Toy Closets 
My family has seen childhood illness first hand. We have also seen the impact of the hospital Toy Closet. My son lives for the moment he gets to choose a toy, it helps get him through the unknowns of the hospital. Unfortunately, illness doesn’t take a holiday. Many kids find themselves hospitalized over the holiday season. Consider donating a new, unwrapped toy to the Toy Closet at Bridgeport or Yale-New Haven Hospital. Make it a family project, allowing your children to help you select. Chances are they have a better idea about these things than we do anyway! 

Dr. Tom Kennedy Toy Closet at Bridgeport Hospital

Bridgeport Hospital Foundation, 267 Grant Street, Bridgeport, CT 06610

Yale-New Haven Hospital Toy Closet

Yale-New Haven Hospital, 20 York Street, New Haven, CT 06510

 

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