WESTPORT, Conn. - Westport is launching the 11th year of its “Ceremonies and Celebrations” program to help graduates in need obtain clothing for commencement exercises, Human Services Director Barbara Butler said.
“Last year, thanks to the generosity of the Westport community and the schools’ PTAs, 40 Westport students were able to purchase new special event clothing for their graduations from middle and high school,” Butler said. “This year, the number of requests is considerably higher.”
Butler said her department has received numerous heartfelt notes of thanks and photographs of the proud young people as they walked across the stage or stood with their relatives on this special graduation day.
“The public can help fill the need for this year’s graduating students and lift a bit of the expense burden from their families by making a tax-deductible donation,” Butler said.
Also, donations of gift cards of any amount from American Express, Visa, MasterCard or the Trumbull Mall/Westfield Shopping Center "are most welcome as well,” Butler said.
Cash donations should be paid by checks made payable to “DHS Family Programs” (memo line: Ceremonies). They will be gratefully accepted through June.
Donations may be mailed to the Department of Human Services, Westport Town Hall, Room 200, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport, CT 06880. They can be delivered in person from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
Residents who are aware of individuals who could benefit from this program should contact Patty Haberstroh, Family Program Coordinator at email@example.com or 341-1069 in the Westport Department of Human Services. Social work staff there will assure that families in need meet financial and program criteria and are helped.
“While new clothing may seem frivolous to some, to many of our students it represents a special occasion marking a new beginning and a job well done,” Butler said. ”Dressing kids for special events is a gift for a special time in a young person’s life. Thank you in advance for helping to make dreams come true.”