WESTPORT, Conn. -- The town once again is sponsoring its annual Holiday Giving Program to help residents.
“Over the years, the generosity of volunteer donors has made the holidays brighter for hundreds of children, families and seniors in our town,” said Westport Human Services Director Sarah Heath. “We hope that Westporters will continue to support their neighbors, as our department continues to see residents coping with foreclosures, layoffs and reduced work hours.”
First Selectman Jim Marpe added: “I encourage residents who have the ability to do so to contribute to this program in whatever manner they feel comfortable. Because the holidays can be particularly trying for some of our citizens who need extra support, this program is especially worthwhile and gratifying for all who participate.”
Following established guidelines for Westport Warm-Up Fund eligibility, the Human Services Department serves largely as a facilitator, allowing Westport residents who wish to give to do so while protecting the confidentiality of both the donor and receiver.
Some of the most appreciated gifts are grocery and gas gift cards of any amount, as well as gift cards to local stores where residents may shop. In addition, cash donations always are welcome as they allow for the purchase of last-minute gift cards for clients. Checks may be made payable to “DHS Family Programs” with “Holiday” in the memo line and may be mailed to or dropped off to Room 200 at Town Hall. If a resident wishes to “shop” for a family’s actual gift requests, this also can be accommodated at whatever level the donor feels comfortable, officials said.
Westport residents and organizations who wish to donate to this effort are urged to contact Patty Haberstroh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 341-1069 as soon as possible. In addition, families who feel they will need extra support during the coming holiday season should contact the department at 341-1050.
This program has developed largely in response to calls from Westport residents and organizations who wish to share their holiday spirit with others, officials said. Throughout the years, the community has given generously with many individuals, clubs, schools, churches, book clubs and businesses participating in the program—many of them year after year.
“To all of these individuals and organizations, the department expresses heartfelt appreciation for demonstrating that Westport is indeed a caring and generous community,” Heath said.