I’m feeling especially thankful this holiday season! 2020 has been one for the books, and I am ready to end it on a positive note! For me, that includes giving back to organizations that work hard every day to greatly impact our local communities.
Whether you use this list to get more involved by volunteering your time with your family during the holidays or you simply glance over and pick an organization to donate to, I hope you enjoy learning about Fairfield County Mom Contributor’s FAVORITE charities and organizations (mostly) local to Fairfield County.
Please note that there are many other deserving charities and organizations that are not listed here. This is just a list of the ones our contributors actively support!
HOMH (Help Our Military Heros)
HOMH is a non-profit organization run out of Easton, CT that provides fully equipped and adaptive minivans to deserving vets around the country. HOMH is donation driven; 100% of public donations go toward the purchase of modified minivans for our heroes! To date, HOMH has donated 152 vans to help improve wounded military heroes’ lives through mobility and independence!
Many of our nation’s service men and women have sustained traumatic wounds and injuries while serving our county. These can result in the amputation of limbs, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and nervous system or immune system injuries. “HOMH recognizes their sacrifice and is dedicated to raising funds to purchase minivans that are adapted and customized to meet our heroes’ specific needs.” They hope that our wounded service men and women can return their mobility and sense of independence they once had before being injured.
This is CPO Kenton Stacy, US NAVY, and his beautiful family accepting a van donation in California. He was clearing a hospital in Syria when an IED seriously injured him. They have four children, and one is also in a wheelchair, so HOMH graciously awarded them a full-size Mercedes Sprinter van with a lift, and the family named it “The Stacy Bus!”
Located in Fairfield, CT, Operation Hope’s programs and services focus on eliminating hunger and homelessness. They provide individuals and families the opportunity to experience much-needed change. Operation Hope’s food pantry provides over 123,000 meals to neighbors in need and is stocked and run by generous donations and volunteers. Their Supportive Affordable Housing provides clean and safe rental housing for previously homeless families, and individuals and their Homeless Response Center provides outreach services, crisis intervention, case management, and counseling services. This all-encompassing organization does so much good for individuals in the community.
IMPACT stands for Individuals Making Positive Advances in the Community of Trumbull. They have over 100 families in Trumbull who help support the community through hands-on, monthly projects and collections. Some examples of these activities include the assembly and donation of Cold Care Kits to The Bridgeport Rescue Mission, foster care kits for Family and Child Aid, Blessing Bags, cooking kits, and care caddies for Operation Hope. Community nominations also help to support neighbors who need temporary assistance due to unforeseen circumstances.
Al’s Angels “provides support to children and families battling cancer, rare blood diseases, natural disasters, and severe financial hardship.” The organization strives to help the families who are wiped out financially and simply need help to bring joy to their children’s lives. They rely on volunteers’ help (wrapping a gift, assembling a holiday basket, filling a food bin, or hosting a fundraiser) and donations! Their Touchless Toy Drive collects gifts, and their wish list can be found here.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut is a temporary “home away from home” for families of children treated at local hospitals and healthcare facilities. They offer families the “opportunity to be close to their child in a homey, supportive atmosphere.” Donations help support the organization, and you can also cook a meal for families or cheer up a family who is down from sitting in the hospital with their ill or injured child.
The Malta House
The Malta House in Norwalk simply “provides ‘Hope for Life’ for new and expectant mothers and babies.” They are the only home available to pregnant women (over the age of 18) in Fairfield County. They support young homeless mothers and their babies during the most difficult of times.
Ann’s Place “provides comfort, support, and resources to people living with cancer and their loved ones.” This nonprofit is located in Danbury, Connecticut and Hudson Valley, New York with professional counseling, support groups, wellness activities, and educational resources. Individuals can turn to Ann’s Place at no charge, and they set out to enhance your quality of life during a difficult time.
The Sterling House
The Sterling House is located in Stratford and is a community facility. One of their mottos is plain and simple, “We care. We connect. We serve.” They are known for summer camp, the food pantry, after school programs and preschool, but they are so much more! They are always looking for diligent volunteers to help with projects that support the greater community.
Filling In The Blanks
Filling in the Blanks is an organization that provides weekend meals to children in need. Located in Norwalk, Filling in the Blanks was founded by mothers and community activists who saw a great need. The organization now serves 51 schools throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties and “has delivered over ONE MILLION weekend meals to children in low-income households.”
Inspirica in Stamford has a simple mission, “to break the cycle of homelessness by helping people achieve – and maintain – permanent housing and stability in their lives.” They serve individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless; these people can be single, families, people with mental illness, or persons living with HIV/AIDS. This holiday season, they are fundraising for Holiday Wishes. They are hoping to provide over 3,000 gifts for 1,500 children.
Person to Person
Person to Person has locations in Norwalk, Stamford, and Darien. This nonprofit organization uses its resources to “help those in need while educating others about the impact of poverty and injustice.” What began as food and clothing assistance has grown to include emergency financial assistance, camps for children to be safe while parents work, and college scholarships to break the cycle of poverty. More than 90 percent of all donations go directly to programs!
The Rowan Center
The Rowan Center is a sexual assault resource agency that strives to “empower, educate and eliminate” sexual violence. Their mission is to provide counseling and support to victims of sexual assault and educate the wider community on sexual violence. The center serves towns in lower Fairfield County and has been open since 1979! They offer 24-hour confidential support, and they have advocates available if a victim wants to go to the hospital, file a police report, or has any court proceedings.
Kids In Crisis
Kids in Crisis “ensures the well-being of children through vital 24-hour services.” They provide temporary housing and comprehensive medical, educational, and therapeutic support for children throughout Fairfield County. It is the only agency in Connecticut that can house children from newborn to age 18, and they also offer crisis counseling and community education programs for children and families. They have partnered with TeenTalk and SafeTalk to provide educational programming.
Neighbor to Neighbor
Neighbor to Neighbor offers three food programs and a clothing program to local individuals in need. Their mission is simple; “Neighbor to Neighbor improves the lives of residents in need throughout the Greenwich area and strengthens our community by creating access to food, clothing, and basic living essentials in an atmosphere of kindness and respect.”
Connecticut Community Founder Women’s Fund
The mission of the Women’s Fund is to “identify, convene, and support programs that promote advocacy and skill development while fostering resilience, self-esteem, and self-respect among girls and young women in our region.” Possible grant funding projects include outreach and youth development programs.
Women’s Center of Greater Danbury
The Women’s Center has been providing a safe haven for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault since 1975. They serve over 30,000 individuals in the Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield county areas. Services include an emergency residential facility, crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy, human trafficking support, and community education and prevention training.
beCause 4 Paws
beCause 4 Paws is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving homeless and abused dogs and cats across Connecticut. They are run solely by the generosity and love of volunteers who foster and care for these abandoned animals. beCause for Paws also provides medical emergency care and intervention for injured pets.
The Michael Bolton Charities
The Michael Bolton Charities supports women and children by working with organizations and programs that break the cycle of domestic violence, poverty, trauma, and abuse. It was founded over 25 years ago and “attempts to lessen children’s and women’s vulnerability to the damaging effects of poverty and emotional, physical and sexual abuse.” They also strive to improve access to resources that foster development (self-esteem, empowerment, leadership, education, etc.).
Center For HOPE
With multiple locations in Lower Fairfield County, The Center for HOPE is “one of the area’s most respected and trusted resources for bereavement and critical illness support.” They have been serving adults and children with an illness, grieving a loss, or facing a life-altering circumstance for over 35 years. They provide counseling, support, and education services by specially-trained professionals.