Urgent Plea For Bridgeport Holiday Help

Alert — and caring — “06880” reader Pamela Long writes: 

Maybe it’s the holidays. But I feel like I’ve had more and more conversations lately about raising generous, compassionate kids.

This is something I worry about in an affluent community with valet parking on Main Street, designer Christmas trees and shopping lists that include a trip to Tiffany are commonplace. Westport has tremendous charm. But it’s not how the rest of the world lives — though it’s likely the only world our children know.

I grew up in a very different place: a small town supported by a lumber mill. I made weekly trips to the secondhand grocery store to search through dented, unlabeled cans (Mom always found the peaches). We didn’t have much, but we always had enough to help a family (or 2 or 3) less fortunate than our.

“Adopting” families for the holidays became a tradition, one I looked forward to each year. As I raise my own daughter, it’s a tradition I’ve continued. It’s still my favorite part of the season.

You can be a Santa for kids who need you, just a few miles from here.

You can be a Santa for kids who need you, just a few miles from here.

So when I heard about a toy drive for the Cesar Batalla and Read Schools in Bridgeport, I quickly purchased more than I’m likely to admit to my husband. I assumed there would be an outpouring of support from many others.

Sadly, they’re falling very short on donations. The original goal was 1,000 toys for 1,000 kids. Now they just hope for 350.

These kids are in desperate situations — the highest poverty brackets, shelters, you name it. 100% of these children are fed breakfast and lunch at school. Their families have no money for basic necessities — let alone holiday gifts.

Westport:  We can do better. Every child deserves the joy of opening a gift this season. We’ve got 4 more days to come together as a community and show our compassion, by helping those who do not have our good fortune. Open your hearts and your wallets — and get shopping!

Your kids can add others to their shopping list.

Your kids can add others to their shopping list.

All toys (unwrapped, for 4-9-year-olds) must be dropped off by December 18, so time is of the essence.

Dropoff locations:

  • Green Moon Art Studio: 170 Post Road West, Westport
  • Kidville: 1572 Post Road East, Westport
  • Vincent Palumbo Hair Salon: 616 Post Rd East, Westport
  • Fairfield County Orthodontics: 1275 Post Road, Fairfield (located in Brick Walk)
  • Hair Clinic Fairfield: 427 Stilton Road, Fairfield

But you don’t even have to leave your house! Click below for links to Amazon. They’ll ship toys directly to the schools.  They start at just $4 each:
Read School
Cesar Batalla School 

You can use this as an opportunity to get your own kids involved. Have them help decide the gifts they want to give. They know best what kinds of toys will elicit squeals of joy. It’s a great way for them to practice kindness in a way that’s both meaningful and tangible.

You can’t take it with you, folks. Give generously this season. I guarantee you will be the one receiving the gift!

61 responses to “Urgent Plea For Bridgeport Holiday Help

  1. Thank you for this Wooger! We’re on it 🙂

  2. Alexis Senoski

    Thank you for making it so easy with those Amazon links. Done!

  3. Stephanie Ercegovic

    Thank you once again Dan for making us aware of important issues in our community ! My kids will shop and deliver. Thank you so much.

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Thank you, Pamela, for bringing this to our family’s attention. We are very happy to help brighten the holidays for these children. The Amazon links made it very easy to buy exactly what they want! Maybe the shoppers on Main Street can place orders using their smart phones while waiting for the Valet parking.

  5. Thanks so much for posting this, and it’s so easy to order through Amazon! Come on Westport! Fulfill these children’s wishes!

  6. Done!

  7. Thanks Dan and Pamela – 2 dolls and one art set on their way!! Made that really easy and fun to do! 🙂

  8. Thank you for the nudge. I had one gift in my car to drop off but after reading this post, I went to the Learning Express that is closing and bought two more gifts to donate. Happy Holidays!


  9. Valerie Ratner

    Thank you for sharing this important information. Used Amazon and plenty of gifts on the way!

  10. Kendall Gardiner

    Done !

  11. Brilliant use of technology — thanks for giving me this opportunity. All kids need little pockets of joy.

  12. Phyllis Kurzer

    Done! – BTW – Learning Express by Gold’s Deli is having a 40% OFF sale – Going Out of Business Phyllis Kurzer, Founder Karma Mala http://WWW.KARMAMALA.COM

    Like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KarmaMalaLLC Follow me on Instagram: instagram.com/karmamala


  13. I love that you put this out there! Just spent some time with my daughter and ordered a whole lot of gifts for both schools! Thanks you. Happy holidays!

  14. Thank you for this, Pamela and Dan – ‘so easy with Amazon delivering directly to the school. And well chosen gifts for the kids! Just be sure to check that they will be delivered in time (I had to change a few items!)

  15. Chuck and Mimi Greenlee

    Just sent 6-8 inexpensive fun things thru Amazon to C B School!
    Simple to do and felt great!!
    Seasons Cheers ALL!!

  16. Done and done — one for each school. Happy to help. — Scott.

  17. Ruth and Richard Ungerer

    Thank you for pointing out this opportunity to brighten some children’s lives. So easy with the Amazon link though we would have like to see books on the list. Very old school!

  18. Just ordered a bunch of toys from the Amazon list (my son helped pick them out). Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

  19. The 17th is the last day for The Learning Express in compo shopping center. Maybe they’ll have some toys left

    • I was just there this evening and they are picked clean (hopefully by all you kind Westporters!)

  20. Susan Shuldman

    Done! My daughter and I just picked out some gifts using Amazon.

  21. Stephen Axthelm

    Thank you for this! I will respond.

  22. Audrey and Wayne Bernier

    Thank you for doing this, and making it so easy with Amazon.

  23. Chuck and Mimi Greenlee

    Sent this to some of our Ys Men. Will see what we can do!
    Regards, Chuck Greenlee

  24. I noticed a lot of Melissa and Doug toys…they are located in wilton, may be willing to make a donation. Links to Amazon are brilliant!

  25. Susan Van Riper

    I ordered toys on Amazon for both organizations. Some won’t arrive till Monday. Hope that’s ok.

  26. With the Amazon links, it’s a no-brainer and no effort required! Thanks for making it so easy.

  27. Lindsay Garakelian

    Thank you for sharing this! Perhaps Melissa and Doug should be made aware? They do so much for Westport but these kids need it most. 🙂

  28. Peter Tulupman

    Because of this post, we just answered the call. Thank you for making us aware. And as Jane Lassner writes it truly is a no brainer..

  29. Thank you so much to the folks who suggested reaching out to Melissa & Doug. I just heard back from them with a big YES, we can help! It takes a village and I love this village!

  30. i LOVE this campaign and the opportunity to donate to the school where I’m actually going to start being a room parent…PERFECT! THANK YOU for coordinating this Pamela!

  31. Amazon gifts even prime Are going to arrive 19-21st.
    Is there a way to let the 2 schools know gifts are coming. I posted on my FB with lot of results and sharing of post.

    Are volunteers needed to open these Amazon boxes and break them down ?

    • I’ll pass the info along. THANKS, Adele!

    • Adele – yes! This was just posted on FB: Need volunteers to help unpack toys at Read School between hours of 930-130pm Monday and Tuesday – sort for the Santa toy gift giving. So many Amazon boxes and they don’t have the staff to cover it. High school kids and college kids ?? Cesar batalla could also use a couple of people unpacking.

  32. You guys are amazing. Thanks to you, every child will get a gift this year! The outpouring of response to this has been nothing short of amazing. Happy holidays to all of you and thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  33. Hi. The links for Amazon are not working. Is ordering and sending toys still an option? Thank you so much for bringing our attention to this.

  34. Kristie Googin

    The links aren’t working for me 🙁

  35. I guess because Amazon can’t ship to the school in time, they closed that option.

  36. Tina Zangrillo

    Had been planning on delivering to Kidville today. Do we know of delivery options if drop off locations are closed due to weather?

  37. i wanted to share that i just went to the Reed school to begin as a room parent and learned of a whole host of other needs: the teacher is completely alone with 22 children (NO aid or para whatsoever) and NO funding for supplies (all out-of-pocket for her or through donations!)…
    it was rather eye-opening, to say the least!! SO…if you’ve got any spare time in the upcoming semester, i know where you would be most welcome…an hour here, an hour there!!

  38. Absolutely will help! Will use the Amazon link!

  39. For those still wanting to help, this just in from the organizer:
    TOY / TURKEY UPDATE FOR BRIDGEPORT*** For those wanting to donate toys until Tuesday, please drop directly at Skane School 2977 Madison Ave, Bridgeport. Still have volunteer slots open for wednesday at Cesar Batalla and Read School if you want to help- or have your kids come and help!!!
    FROZEN TURKEYS are still needed for Read School (were hoping for 50 and at 17) 130 Ezra Street Bridgeport 06606. Please drop directly at Read School Wednesday 21st between 9:30-12pm (extra fresh vegetables awesome but not essential) or send via PeaPod to arrive between 9am – 1pm Wednesday or if no slots, can arrive Tuesday between 9-1pm. Please add your name to sign up genius link so we can keep count on how many families we can allocate a turkey to.