April 21st, 2017
New Covenant Center’s 13th Annual Celebrity Breakfast was the most successful one yet! Nearly 300 people turned out to support the center, with an almost 50% increase in sponsors from last year — it was a truly amazing event!
In recognition of his 20 years of volunteer service at New Covenant Center, we honored John Lodato with The Founder’s Award. John’s humble acceptance speech, which included his heartfelt explanation ofhow he was motivated to live his life helping others, touched everyone in the room. You can watch News 12’s “Hometown Hero” segment featuring John Lodato here.
Donna Shalala, Ph.D., our distinguished keynote speaker, engaged the audience with anecdotes and stories from her experiences in the field of education and human services. Learning more about her current work in social services — and how it relates to our mission — was an inspiration to us all.
Due in large part to the commitment and generosity of our supporters, we have grown from a basic soup kitchen into the largest nonprofit food program in Stamford. We’d like to thank all of you who have backed our mission over the years — we deeply appreciate all that you do!
Notre Dame High School Teams with Catholic Charities to Help Others
March 24th, 2017
Every year, Notre Dame High School conducts an Annual Day of Service. This activity falls at the end of the school’s 26 Acts of Kindness Campaign which honors those students and teachers lost during the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. During this day of giving back to the community, approximately 400 Notre Dame Students volunteer at organizations throughout the Diocese.
This year, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County contacted Jessica Medoff, the teacher who coordinates the event, to offer opportunities for students to volunteer within their programs. Students from Notre Dame volunteered at four agency programs throughout the Diocese of Bridgeport: The Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport, New Covenant Center in Stamford, Morning Glory Breakfast Program in Danbury, and Room to Grow Preschool in Norwalk.
At the Thomas Merton Center, students were outfitted with aprons and helped out in the EatSmart Marketplace food pantry and the soup kitchen. Carts were unloaded and shelves were stocked with food and produce that were just delivered to the Merton Center that morning to prepare for clients who would shop that afternoon for their families. In the soup kitchen, cans were opened, lettuce was chopped and pies were cut to prepare lunch for the day. They students then took their places behind the counter and served the meal to the hungry guests.
A similar scene was taking place at the New Covenant Center food pantry in Stamford, where about 10 students were working hard to help unload an abundance of groceries and stock the shelves of the brand new food pantry. There is a different type of pantry at the Morning Glory Breakfast Program in Danbury. The Morning Glory Marketplace is a mobile non-food pantry that provides items such as cleaning products, paper goods, and hygiene products. Four students from Notre Dame helped unpack a large donation that was recently delivered for the Morning Glory Marketplace. They sorted the items and stocked the shelves for the program to be ready when it opened the following Friday.
Room to Grow Preschool in Norwalk is always a fun place to visit. The children were excited to have seven student volunteers come and visit. The Notre Dame students were divided between two classrooms where they assisted in leading the activities of the day. Games were played, stories were read, and snacks were served. They even helped to facilitate the morning craft project and taught some of the kids a few soccer skills. The preschoolers enjoyed having their older buddies around and asked for them to come back and visit.
“Notre Dame’s Annual Day of Service provides a great opportunity for students to see the different volunteer opportunities available in their communities. It is a great way for these kids to get involved and make a difference. Catholic Charities felt it was important to join in and share our mission. This collaboration was a win-win situation for everyone involved,” said Al Barber, president of Catholic Charities.
By AMY ZAJAC
Blizzard Stella Program Updates
March 13th, 2017
On Tuesday, March 14th, most of Fairfield County is expected to be impacted by blizzard conditions with accumulations between 12 – 24 inches of snow. We are preparing for this weather event and have listed the current status of our programs below. We advise our clients to use caution and be safe. When in doubt, call ahead for updates.
Northern Fairfield Country Programs: HOT, CSP, New Heights and Morning Glory Breakfast Program will be closed.
Thomas Merton Center: The Thomas Merton Center will be closed. Guests are being given bagged meals to take home with them as they leave on Monday evening. Thomas Merton Center plans to re-open on Wednesday.
New Covenant Center: New Covenant Center will be open for lunch and dinner during usual serving hours of 12:30-1:30 and 4:30-5:30. The kitchen staff and volunteers are preparing hundreds of sandwiches and soup as a back-up to planned meals for both tomorrow and Wednesday.
Room to Grow Preschools: Room to Grow and Room to Grow Too will both be closed.
Catholic Center Programs: Programs located in and operating out of the Catholic Center will follow the schedule of Bridgeport Public Schools. If the schools are closed, those programs will be closed.
The St. Nicholas Boutique: It’s a Wrap
December 21st, 2016
Today the doors closed on the St. Nicholas Boutique for the 2016 Christmas Season. Christmas 2016 was our most joyous year to date because we were able to help our clients and had enough donations to pay it forward and help the Department of Children and Families and the McGivney Center. This annual holiday tradition will continue next year and, as always, we need your help. If you would like to organize a drive to benefit the St. Nicholas Boutique for the 2017 Christmas Season, please contact Amy Zajac at email@example.com or 203-416-1336. To learn more about the St. Nicholas Boutique, read this Fairfield County Catholic article which truly captures the spirit.
Immigration Services: Building Bridges Instead of Walls
December 21st, 2016
Thank you to the Greenwich Times for publishing this article about Alex Arevalo and our Immigration Services.