Tag Archives: Sam Carpenter

Unsung Heroes #282

There are many Unsung Heroes at Homes with Hope — Westport’s supportive housing agency. Here are 3 of them.

At the suggestion of Lynn Abramson, Brie Garrison writes:

06880’s most recent Unsung Heroes came in in the guise of the Easter bunny. Just ask the children and families of Homes with Hope. They will assure all doubters that the Easter bunny is real!

Every spring for the past 10 years, Sharon and Sam Carpenter have organized friends and family to put together spectacular personalized Easter baskets, Easter meals, and other treats for the children who attend ASAP (Homes with Hope’s after-school program), and the families who live in HwH’s supportive housing.

This year, they outdid themselves with Easter goodies for 18 families and 35 children.

From left: Homes with Hope program manager Lynn Abramson, Sam Carpenter, Sharon Carpenter.

Members of the supporting team provide individual items like gift cards to Stop & Shop, and Saugatuck Sweets. Others send cash to help purchase other items.

This year, in addition to the traditional chocolate bunnies and other Easter candies, each child received PJ’s, socks, a water bottle, a beach towel, and assorted toys and art supplies.

Their moms received beautiful flower arrangements from Compo Farms Flowers along with a ham or turkey and all the fixings needed for a celebratory dinner.

A huge effort is required to organize and personalize the baskets by family, age, dietary restrictions, etc. After they are artfully assembled and delivered to Homes with Hope, our case managers have the privilege of delivering them to the lucky recipients.

The staff and families of Homes with Hope salute Sharon, Sam and their friends, and thank them for making the Easter holiday such a joyous one each year!

Our other Homes with Hope Unsung Hero is …

Pat Wilson. She began working part time at Homes with Hope 20 years ago: in April 2003.

Ever since, she has been a familiar and happy face at the Gillespie Homeless Emergency Center. She is kind, considerate, and has a passion for her work.

In addition to Westport, Pat works full time in a Stamford shelter.

Residents and staff at the Gillespie Center know Pat is there to support them. They look forward to the days she works.

Homes with Hope CEO Helen McAlinden ( and vice president Paris Looney (standing, from left) honor Pat Wilson.

Homes with Hope CEO Helen McAlinden calls Pat “a real team player. She is always available to pitch in. She is a gem.”

For those reasons — echoed by so many others — Pat Wilson joins Sharon and Sam Carpenter as our “06880” Unsung Heroes this week.

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Email nominations to 06880blog@gmail.com)

(Be a hero! Please click here to support “06880.” Thank you!)

Unsung Heroes #52

In 2012, Sam and Sharon Carpenter helped supervise a Builders Beyond Borders trip to Nagarote, Nicaragua.

The longtime Westporters fell in love with the community of Sonrisa de Dios (“Smile of God”), and vowed to continue serving it.

They’ve returned every year since. Each year, they bring at least 20 family members and friends to share the experience.

Sam and Sharon Carpenter

Working with NicaPhoto — a support agency whose board Sam joined in 2013, and now serves as chair — and with special help from Westport Rotary, the Carpenters have helped build 4 classrooms, 3 latrines, a playground, sidewalks and garden at an elementary school; rebuild homes after an earthquake; and construct walls, classrooms and more at another site.

Beyond building, Sam and Sharon join others on the trip as they play and dance with the children.

Sharon Carpenter and her friends.

It’s one thing to spend a week on a service trip. It’s another to return to the same community, year after year. That shows special care and commitment. It also builds lifelong solidarity and friendship.

A longtime fellow volunteer cites the Carpenters’ “incredibly big hearts, generosity, love for their fellow man, enthusiasm in the face of challenge, and always their love.”

In 2013, Ronnie Maher — another volunteer — had dinner with Sam, Sharon and the mayor of Nagarote. The mayor asked Sam why he was there.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my life,” he replied simply. “I can give back, so I do.”

Sam Carpenter, hard at work.

Nagarote knows and loves Sam and Sharon Carpenter. Many Westporters know and love them too — but may be unaware of their long and strong commitment to this Nicaraguan community.

That’s why they’re this week’s Unsung, but very worthy, Heroes.

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)