Tag Archives: AWARE Westport

Just In Thyme: Free Holiday Cards (And More!)

Just 5 shopping and card-sending days are left before Christmas.

Which means I’m getting some last-minute requests to post stories about gifts and cards.

One of Bonnie Marcus’ cards.

Tomorrow, Bonnie Marcus opens her private design studio to the public. She’ll be giving away — yes, free — hand-painted, Westport-designed holiday cards, as a thank-you to the town.

You won’t find these at CVS. Or anywhere else.

The “free card” idea came when Bonnie realized that she had a supply of holiday cards stored away in her office. She posted the giveaway on Facebook, and was overwhelmed.


The 2nd round is tomorrow (Thursday, December 20, 12 to 2 p.m., Bonnie Marcus Collection studio, 5 Riverside Avenue, next to Arezzo restaurant).

Meanwhile — thanks to Amazon — there’s still time to buy a cookbook gift, and support a great Westport group that supports a wonderful Bridgeport one.

AWARE — Assisting Women with Action, Resources and Education — is made up of local women. Each year, they pick one worthy organization. They dive into it: learning about the cause, the people behind it, and hosting a fundraiser for it.

This year, AWARE partnered with Caroline House, a center that educates and empowers immigrant women, and provides programs for their children. 

As part of their effort they published “Thyme to Share Cooking with AWARE.” It’s a collection of recipes by Caroline House clients. Dishes come from around the world.

All proceeds from the book go to AWARE. Click here to order.

PS: Got a great gift idea to promote? Click “Comments” below. 

Women Make Westporters Much More AWARE

One of the joys of publishing “06880” is the chance tell stories of Westporters who quietly — but very effectively — do wonderful things for others. Many folks volunteer their time with organizations that — while very important — many of us never hear of.

Were you aware of AWARE?

Founded over 20 years ago in New York by Amy Saperstein and friends, the goal is to make a difference in the lives of women and girls. (AWARE stands for Assisting Women through Action, Resources and Education.)

When Amy moved to Westport, she launched a local chapter.

AWARE women, at a fundraiser for Mercy Learning Center. From left: Deb Parnes, Kim Perlen, Amy Saperstein, Erica Davis, Johanna Kiev and Jennifer Seymour.

AWARE women, at a fundraiser for Mercy Learning Center. From left: Deb Parnes, Kim Perlen, Amy Saperstein, Erica Davis, Johanna Kiev and Jennifer Seymour.

Each year the group selects a women’s cause, then partners with a charity to benefit it. Through a fundraiser, hands-on activity and educational event, AWARE shines a light on a different meaningful women’s issue. Previous partnerships have included Mercy Learning Center, and an organization to aid victims of sex trafficking.

This year, AWARE supports female veterans. The Westport chapter has partnered with Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes, a Bridgeport transitional home.

Once a month, AWARE volunteers serve dinner to homeless female vets there. They work with “AWARE kids” to assemble diaper bags filled with newborn supplies, for pregnant veterans in need. And they organized a panel discussion in Westport, with female veterans from 4 military branches.

"AWARE Kids" filled diaper bags for pregnant female veterans.

“AWARE Kids” filled diaper bags for pregnant female veterans.

Westport Michelle Hogue says it is “refreshing to volunteer with a diverse group of women. We learn and listen first, then engage and assist.”

Hogue hosts this year’s cocktail party fundraiser (Saturday, April 30, 7 p.m.).

But that’s not the only big event to be “aware” of.

In June — at the National Organization for Women’s 50th anniversary gala — they’ll receive NOW’s Intrepid Award.

That’s pretty cool.

But nowhere near as cool as the work these Westporters do — under the radar, but way over and above — for women beyond our town borders.

(For tickets and more information on AWARE’s April 30 fundraiser, click here. To learn about upcoming meetings and events, email AwareCt@gmail.com.)