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Easton Students Help Families in Crisis

Easton families have been donating food and gifts to less fortunate families through the Bridgeport YMCA’s Alpha Community Services program for nearly three decades. And students at Samuel Staples Elementary School in Easton have been a big part of that effort.

"We're helping about 300 families this year," Staples fifth-grade teacher Judi Menegay said as she loaded boxes of goodies into the arms of her students. "The fifth and the second grade have adopted individual families ... so we have 12 individual families who we're meeting with their requests for specific items, as well as we're doing generic [items] that will probably cover several hundred families."

And the need has grown, according to Laurie Brooks, program director for Families in Transition, the only family emergency shelter in Bridgeport. "Staples is a really big contributor," Brooks said. "We see over 400 families a year. This school is a great resource for us for just basic needs."

Families in Transition is operated by Alpha Community Services. "We are there for the families who suddenly find themselves without a home or anywhere else to turn," says the YMCA website. "Our shelters, one on the east side of Bridgeport and one on the west side, provide 24 units of emergency housing."

Brooks and Menegay met 15 years ago, and with the help of Staples students, they have continued to partner to help families in need.

What kind of volunteer work do you do? Send an email to David at and tell him all about it.

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