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Saturday, October 20 News

Community Soundings: Churches participate in Undie Sundays; Operation Fuel accepting applications

Churches participate in Undie Sundays

For the third consecutive year, The Undies Project Inc. held its Undie Sundays donation drive.

Thirteen area churches and synagogues have participated in Undie Sundays, collecting over 4,200 pairs of new underwear for those in need.

“This is incredible,” said Laura Delaflor, co-president of The Undies Project. “In our first year, we collected 1,443 pairs of underwear with the drive being hosted only in Greenwich in May. Now, in addition to Greenwich, houses of worship in Darien, Westport, Wilton, Norwalk, Stamford are participating as well. We hope to add even more towns next year.”

The underwear collected is distributed to 20 organizations The Undies Project helps in lower Fairfield and Westchester counties.

In Greenwich, Congregation Shir Ami, First Congregational Church of Old Greenwich, St. Catherine’s of Siena, First United Methodist, HolyTrinity and St. Roch’s have participated in Undie Sundays. In Stamford Zion Lutheran, St. John’s Episcopal and First Presbyterian Churches held collections. In addition, St. John’s in Darien, Christ & Holy Trinity and Green’s Farms in Westport and Zion’s Hill United Methodist in Wilton have all held Undie Sundays drives.

For information about The Undies Project, visit www.theundiesproject.org.

Person-to-Person receives $19K in grants

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County has awarded two 2018 Neighbors Helping Neighbors grants to Person-to-Person. A $10,000 grant is for the Emergency Assistance Program, and a $9,000 grant is for the P2P Food Pantry.

In the award letter, United Way acknowledged the coordination, collaboration and data collection of P2P and other grant recipients in an effort to improve services for clients.

P2P Executive Director Ceci Maher noted the ongoing partnership with United Way of Coastal Fairfield County supports the agency’s ability to help the people who come to P2P for assistance. “These grants help us provide emergency financial assistance for security deposits and utility payments; to purchase food and personal care items for the Food Pantry. Working to provide a pathway out of poverty for P2P clients, we are grateful to United Way of Coastal Fairfield County for helping P2P meet the immediate needs of people in our community,” she said.

Operation Fuel accepting applications

Operation Fuel’s statewide network of fuel banks is accepting energy assistance applications from Connecticut households. Families and individuals in danger of having their utility services terminated due to financial hardship should call 211 to see if they are eligible for energy assistance.

There are currently more than 320,000 low- and moderate-income households statewide that cannot afford their energy bills. During 2017, more than 52,000 households had their electricity disconnected because of non-payment, according to the state of Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

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Brenda Watson, Operation Fuel’s Executive Director, said she is very concerned about how people will survive a heat wave if their electricity is shut off. “An energy grant from Operation Fuel can be lifesaving. The home energy affordability crisis is a health and safety issue for over 300,000 Connecticut households. Just a small donation to Operation Fuel can help a local family or individual remain in their home,” Watson said.

For this past fiscal year, which ended June 30, Operation Fuel helped 7,232 households with more than $3.1 million in energy assistance.

“We want to help even more households this year but we need the resources to do that. Lack of electricity can create serious problems for the elderly, young children and babies, and people who have chronic health problems. Being without electricity during extreme heat is especially hazardous,” Watson said.

Operation Fuel is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides emergency energy assistance year-round to lower-income working families and individuals, the elderly, and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis.

For information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to www.operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Ave., Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT. 06106.

Dean’s list recipients

Laura Miller, of Darien, was named to the spring 2018 semester dean’s list at Endicott College.

Claire Kelley and Peyton Murray, both of Darien, were named to the spring 2018 semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Among the graduates

Darien resident Daniel Brodkin graduated from Carleton College on June 9 with a bachelor’s degree in history and linguistics.

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