‘Tis the season to be jolly.
And to give.
Separately, but with the same idea, alert — and generous — “06880” readers Karen Abramson and Polly Newman gave me the gift of a perfect story idea.
As we buy presents for loved ones, friends, and people whose good graces we need to keep, we also want to help others.
It does not hurt that helping them can also ease our tax burden a few months from now.
But who to give to?
Far be it for “06880” to say. So here is a list — off the top of my head — of some worthy local organizations. Each one has a clickable link 🙂
I know I’ve missed some. Rather than bite my head off (very un-Christmas-y), please mention them in the “Comments” section. Then I’ll add them to this list.
And please: Keep it local (southern Fairfield County). There are way too many very worthy national and international groups to include. Thank you!
Christine’s Critters: Rehabilitation of big birds
Connecticut Humane Society: Westport branch
Save Our Strays: Animal rescue
PAWS: No-kill animal shelter
TAILS: Spaying and neutering
Westport Animal Shelter Advocates: Care, shelter and adoption of homeless dogs
Wildlife in Crisis: Preservation and emergency help
Arts and history
Artists Collective of Westport: Creativity, education, shows, forums and more
Beechwood Arts and Innovation: Exhibits, salons, talks, food — wow!
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County: Supporting cultural organizations, artists and creative businesses
Levitt Pavilion: More than 50 nights of free entertainment
MoCA Westport: Exhibitions, concerts, education and more
Remarkable Theater: Providing entertainment and employment for people with disabilities
Westport Country Playhouse: 90-year-old cultural institution
Westport Museum for History & Culture: Exhibits and education
Westport Public Art Collections: Bringing art to schools and public spaces
Al’s Angels: Help for children and families battling diseases and hardships
Bridgeport Rescue Mission: Fighting poverty, offering help
Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants: Service and advocacy for immigrants, refugees and survivors of human trafficking and torture
Lifebridge Community Services: Bridgeport youth development behavioral health and family resources organization
Norwalk Hour: Aid to families in need
United Way of Coastal Fairfield County: Access to food, shelter, transportation and childcare
Westport Department of Human Services “We Care”: Many options!
Westport PAL: They do it all: college scholarships, youth sports programs, fireworks, ice rink, etc., etc., etc.
Westport Weston Family YMCA: Help in many ways
Catch a Lift: Westport strongly supports veterans through fitness programs
CLASP: Group homes and opportunities
MyTEAM Triumph: Road race support for children, adults and veterans
STAR Lighting the Way: Support for all ages
Education and youth
A Better Chance of Westport: Education and support for outstanding minority boys
Achievement First: Schools provide Bridgeport families of color with a high- quality education at no cost
Adam J. Lewis Academy: High-quality experience for Bridgeport youngsters
Carver Foundation: K-12 pre- and after-school programs in Norwalk
Child Advocates of SW Connecticut: Providing advocates for abused children
Child & Family Guidance Center: Counseling and support for youth and families
Kidz Give Back: Children helping children
Neighborhood Studios: Arts education for Bridgeport youngsters
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities: Helping fulfill potential; support for parents too
Staples Tuition Grants: Need-based scholarships for Staples High School students and alumni
The Susan Fund: Scholarships for young people affected by cancer
Aspetuck Land Trust: Preserving open space; maintaining 45 preserves
Earthplace: Education, wildlife exhibits, and a 62-acre sanctuary
Friends of Sherwood Island: Preserving, maintaining and enhancing our state park
Future Frogmen: Teaching students to protect the oceans
Norwalk River Valley Trail: Maintaining 30 miles of open space
Save the Sound: Protecting Long Island Sound
Sustainable Westport: Helping our town become Net Zero by 2050
Wakeman Town Farm: Sustainability center, with plenty of programs
Westport Farmers’ Market: Food, education, programs and more
Food and shelter
Filling in the Blanks: Providing weekend meals for children in need
Food Rescue: Helping volunteers pick up and deliver excess food
Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County: Building houses and creating affordable home ownership
Homes with Hope: Supportive housing, food pantry, food distribution and more
Open Door Shelter: Aiding Norwalkers in need
Person-to-Person: Food, rent help, clothing and more
Grant-giving and foundations
100 Women Who Care of Fairfield County: Raising funds to give them away!
Fairfield County Foundation: Philanthropy to strengthen communities
Near and Far Aid: Fighting poverty in Fairfield County
Newman’s Own: Okay, they’re global — but they’re headquartered in Westport!
Westport Rotary: Noontime chapter meeting of Rotary International
Westport Sunrise Rotary: 7:30 a.m. chapter meeting of Rotary International
Westport Woman’s Club: Raising funds for charitable, educational, cultural and public health services
Westport Young Woman’s League: Building community through volunteerism and social activities
Health and Safety
Breast Cancer Emergency Aid Foundation: Funds for non-medical expenses
Domestic Violence Crisis Center: Help for victims and families
Mission: Helping survivors create lives after cancer
Pink Aid: Financial aid and services to woman and families facing breast cancer
Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service: Providing staffing, supplies and apparatus to keep the town safe
Triangle Community Center: Providing programs and resources for the LGBTQ community
Mercy Learning Center: Life skills training for low-income women
Read to Grow: Promoting children’s literacy from birth, supporting parents as babies’ first teachers
Westport Book Sales: Providing employment for people with disabilities — and offering books, while providing funds for the Westport Library
Westport Library: They do it all!
Mental health and addiction
AWARE: “Assisting Women through Action, Resources and Education”
Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County: Empowering women by providing professional clothes and other support
Malta House: Shelter and programs for young pregnant women and their babies