Holiday Helpings

The holidays sneak up on us, just like tailgaters on I-95.  One moment you’re cruising along, chatting happily on your cellphone and doing a steady 80 to keep up with traffic.  Suddenly there’s some d-bag in your rearview mirror, making a menacing face and looking ready to drive right through you,  if only he could.

Christmas and Hanukkah are like that too.  Before we know it they’ll be on our butts, flashing their lights and insisting we yield to their onslaught.

Which is why Thanksgiving is such a nice holiday.  It’s a bit stressful, sure, but not overwhelming.  If Thanksgiving were a driver on 95 it would be the woman who wants to pass but keeps a polite distance, giving you enough time to pull over before she zooms on by.

But Thanksgiving is making its move already.  Before it gets too close, let’s look at a couple of things we can do to make it work well for everyone:  our family, friends and fellow Westporters, as well as ourselves.

Saugatuck Congregational Church

Saugatuck Congregational Church

For the 39th year in a row, the Saugatuck Congregational Church hosts a community Thanksgiving feast.  They offer a similar meal on Christmas Day.

The celebrations are open to everyone in the area:  the homeless, those who are alone, anyone who wants to share a meal with others.

All of the food — turkey, stuffing, vegetables, desserts — is contributed by local merchants and donors, or purchased by the church’s Mission Board.

Cooking and serving is done entirely by volunteers.  There is even live entertainment (also donated).

All unopened and unused food is donated to nearby food pantries.

And the Saugatuck Church delivers holiday meals to homebound people.

To make a food donation, a financial contribution, or volunteer to help with the event (on Thanksgiving or Christmas, or before) — or to let the church know of homebound folks — call Randy Christophersen at 203-952-7115, or the Saugatuck Church at 203-227-1261.  The email is

In addition, the Department of Human Services is sponsoring its annual Holiday Giving Program for Westport residents.  In the current economic climate, neighbors helping neighbors is more important than ever.

Donations make the holidays brighter for hundreds of local children, families and seniors.  Donors can do anything from helping fill the gift choices of a small child, to sponsoring an entire family.  Gift cards for food, gas and discount department stores are particularly appreciated.  And (tax-deductible) monetary contributions allow Human Services staff to fulfill last-minute requests.

To donate to the Holiday Giving Program, call 203-341-1069, or email

Comments are closed.