Support for Local Agencies
The Church provides financial support to a number of important local agencies that focus on alleviating hunger and homelessness, and/or provide assistance to children and families at risk. Read about some of these agencies and their vital work in our communities:
The Gillespie Center has seen a marked increase in requests for food this summer. They typically serve 200 families bags of groceries each month. That number has doubled over the past 4-5 months leaving the cupboards literally bare.
Please help by bringing donations of food to the Saugatuck Church office or by delivering groceries directly to the Center: 45 Jesup Road in Westport, behind Restoration Hardware.
There is a list of suggested foods below.
Please look for low sugar, low salt, whole grain, whole food (less processed) items.
Financial donations can also be made here: www.hwhct.org/make-donation
- Canned tuna fish
- Peanut butter
- Pasta, any type
- Salad dressing: Italian, ranch
- Spaghetti sauce
- Canned soup
- Cereal, hot or cold
- Canned juice
- Pancake mix
- Pancake syrup
- Rice, 1lb. bags
- Grated cheese
- Cooking oil, small bottles
- Salt & pepper
HwH (formerly known as the Interfaith Housing Association) is a local grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit agency. Their mission is to provide facilities and supportive services in a structured environment that enable homeless people in the communities served to achieve an independent and self-sufficient life. This is accomplished through permanent affordable supportive housing, casework and supportive services, emergency shelter, food and meals and the life skills training critical in preventing homelessness from reoccurring.
At its Gillespie Center, HwH operates the Community Kitchen, serving 30,000 meals annually through the volunteer effort of congregations, other organizations and individuals in the community, as well as a food pantry supplied through local food collection drives. HwH also maintains a 15-bed emergency shelter for men and a 4-bed shelter for women, both of which are 24-hour facilities offering social services and casework.
Volunteers are welcome. Additionally, all the dinner meals for the residents for the Gillespie Center are provided by volunteer churches, orther organizations, or individuals. Saugatuck Church is responsible for the fourth Wednesday of each month, and the fifth, if there is one. Please visit Volunteer Opportunities to find out more.
Christian Community Action
This non-profit, non-sectarian agency works to provide food, furniture, financial assistance, and other necessities to people in need who are living in the greater Norwalk area. CCA's furniture program distributed over 3,000 pieces in 2008; the requests for food and financial assistance have seen significant increases.
Volunteers are welcome.
Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport
The mission of CCGB is to turn faith into action by enabling congregations and community partners to combine resources and expertise to provide programs that help people at risk meet their urgent needs. CCGB works through five programs:
- Janus Center for Youth in Crisis: provides the only 24-hour mobile crisis intervention services for conflicted youth and their families, and respite care for youth, ages 11 to 17, in Greater Bridgeport.
- Hunger Outreach Network: is the biggest network of feeding programs in Greater Bridgeport. Through 33 providers in stationary kitchens, mobile kitchens and food pantries, over 1.2 million meals were delivered in 2007-2008. The Council manages federal funding for these providers, and also works to find long-term solutions to the problem of hunger in our community.
- Project Learn: provides after-school academic tutorial and recreational programs for elementary school students through community-based centers in churches and public housing sites in Bridgeport.
- CO-OP Center: works on guiding adults from incarceration back into the community through short and long-term reentry services such as skills development and job search assistance.
- Bridge Building: brings diverse people together around common values and concerns to encourage collaboration. Programs promote continuing Christian-Muslim-Jewish dialogue in Greater Bridgeport.
Volunteers are welcome at any of the CCGB programs.
Norwalk Emergency Shelter
Norwalk Emergency Shelter operates the only emergency shelter for homeless men, women and families in Norwalk and assists shelter residents in searching for housing, jobs, counseling and treatment in order to foster residents' growth toward independence and responsibility.
Norwalk Emergency Shelter also operates on premises a breakfast, lunch and dinner soup kitchen called the "Manna House of Hospitality," which serves over 12,000 meals per month and is the only soup kitchen within the city. As part of its network of services, NES manages transitional housing and a home with permanent supportive housing for 7 individuals.
Norwalk Emergency Shelter depends on a network of volunteers.
Covenant to Care for Children
Covenant to Care for Children is Connecticut's only statewide non-profit organization that empowers religious congregations to meet the critical needs of children in their local areas, serving as a bridge between child protective service providers and faith communities that want to mentor, advocate for and provide direct assistance to neglected, abused or at-risk children and youth.
Saugatuck Church is part of CCC's main initiative, Adopt A Social Worker, which matches social workers with faith communities to assist in providing the basic goods to meet the material needs of children and to help stabilize their living situations. We have also participated in the Back-to-School Backpack drive and the Holiday Gift program.
CCC's programs depend on volunteer congregations and individuals.