Inauguration Day is here! Since today can mean different things to different people, how you choose to mark the occasion is up to you. Regardless, the importance of today, combined with the resiliency of the American people, resonates. Respect for our Constitution lets the world know there is strength in Democracy and that we remain a nation that adheres to the values of the United States of America ❤️🤍💙🇺🇸
Our Business Office and Food Pantry will be closed Monday, January 18 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Office will reopen Tuesday, January 19 and the Food Pantry will resume regular hours (10am-12pm) Wednesday, January 20. Food donations will be accepted once the office reopens.
For a meal on MLK, Jr Day, please contact us at 50 Nichols Street, at (203) 254-2935. The Community Kitchen serves lunch from 11:30am to 1:00pm and dinner from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Thank you.
Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Here are 3 easy ways to help our neighbors in need at any time this month and honor Dr. King’s legacy:
– Bring in donations for our Food Pantry, M-F, 9am-5pm, 636 Old Post Rd (closed MLK Day, January 18). Pantry wish list here.
– Purchase pantry donations from our Amazon wish list here and have them sent directly to us.
– Donate to our Winter Appeal here, which supports our Food Pantry, affordable housing program and services (any amount appreciated).
For three years in a row, Fairfield resident Alex Staikos has been illuminating his desire to help our neighbors in need by creating an incredible holiday lights display at his family’s home. Operation Hope is fortunate to be the recipient of 100% of the donations for all three years. Year 1 brought in $175, year 2 brought in $650 and year 3, thanks to a very generous match from an anonymous donor, brought in a whopping $2,465, for a total of $3,290. A very impressive amount of money for anyone, let alone a high schooler, to raise. This past December, visitors from near and far once again eagerly drove or walked by the Staikos home to see what Alex, now a junior at St. Lukes School in New Canaan, designed and built to celebrate the holidays. During the summer months, Alex is busy in his workshop, making each and every decoration by hand and hand painting them, always adding a new piece for the neighborhood kids to enjoy. In 2019, Alex won first place in the Fairfield Parks and Recreation Christmas House Decorating Contest. In 2020, he entered the Fairfield Firefighters Charitable Foundation’s “Light Up Fairfield” Holiday Lights Competition and was the runner up in the Most Creative Home category. What began as a project to bring cheer to the younger kids on Alex’s family’s street has now grown into a larger sharing of Christmas cheer for all ages. This year, people were especially grateful to have the holiday cheer, and we are especially grateful to count you and your family as friends of Operation Hope, Alex. Thank you for helping our neighbors in need and for bringing smiles to the faces of so many of our town’s residents.
Thanks so much to the Fairfield branch of the AAA, AAA Northeast, for hosting a winter food drive for Operation Hope. Pictured here are AAA employees Tanisha Gardner and Juanita Iliff, Assistant Branch Manager, with the donation of over 100 non-perishable items. We are grateful to AAA’s employees and customers for helping stock our pantry and feed our neighbors in need.
Operation Hope has been the fortunate annual recipient of a grant from AptarGroup’s Charitable Foundation through their competitive grant process. In 2020, Operation Hope was awarded a $5,000 Aptar Charitable Foundation grant for its Homeless Response Center. The HRC provides homeless outreach services, crisis intervention, case management, shelter diversion, clinical counseling, Coordinated Access Network (CAN) Navigation services, homeless prevention, and housing placement. We are honored by the continued support of AptarGroup and the AptarGroup’s Charitable Foundation and look forward to sustaining our partnership to serve those in need.
Got milk CRATES? We are looking for donations of gently used milk crates for food pantry storage. Milk crates are so helpful when it comes to organizing and moving around our inventory in preparation of clients picking up their groceries. Milk crates are sturdy, easy to stack, and lighten the transport load from 80lbs to 35lbs per box of food. If you have even just one crate, we’d love to take it off your hands. Drop off anytime between 9am-5pm at 636 Old Post Road in Fairfield. You can leave them inside the double front doors or on the steps if you prefer contactless. Thank you!
We would like to share the most recent update on our dear Donna Schmidt, Volunteer Program Manager at Operation Hope. After five weeks in the hospital, Donna has just moved to a rehab facility in Malvern, PA. She is near her family home and siblings, which is of great comfort. Donna has quite the road ahead of her, with PT, OT, speech therapy and relearning to walk. Evidently, the car impact fractured her pelvis and right leg, and damaged her other leg. We understand she doesn’t remember the accident which is probably a blessing, but she is aware of everyone’s concern and support. Donna will need our continued support and encouragement to get through this stretch of rehabilitation. Cards and messages may be sent to “Donna Schmidt, Operation Hope, 636 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824,” and we will pass them along to her.
Thank you for sending love, healing thoughts and hope to Donna as she begins the next stage on her journey of recovery. Best wishes for a brighter 2021.
As we say goodbye to 2020, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the resilience and support of our community, and how those two things have sustained Operation Hope’s ability to keep helping our neighbors in need. Without your help in this uniquely challenging year, we would not have been able to respond to the uptick in all emergency-related programs – a 38% increase in pantry use, a 32% increase in meals served, and a surge in numbers of callers looking for shelter and housing. Ahead of us is a watershed of evictions and foreclosures, putting more people at risk of homelessness. It’s only going to get harder before it gets easier.
Our staff quickly adapted and rose to the challenge of the pandemic, demonstrating how important our programs and services are to this community more than ever this year. I deeply value and recognize their efforts to ensure someone would always be present to help a struggling neighbor.
We rely on support from our community – it takes a village, and we are grateful that our village is full of well-meaning and generous souls. Thank you to so many who have helped. Your support of Operation Hope will ensure that we can continue to fight hunger and homelessness locally, now and into 2021. We truly believe better days are ahead but our need remains and grows. Please click here to help.
Wishing you good health and happiness in 2021!
Here are this week’s New Year’s closures:
- Business Office and Food Pantry at 636 Old Post Road: Closing at 2pm Thursday, December 31 and closed Friday, January 1
- Community Kitchen at 50 Nichols Street: Serving lunch (11:30am-1:00pm) and dinner (5:30-6:30pm) Thursday, December 31 and serving a holiday meal Friday, January 1, 1:00-5:00pm.
Please stay safe. Happy New Year!
636 Old Post Road
Fairfield CT 06824
Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Summer hours: Main Office closes at 1:00pm on Fridays
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
10:00am to 12:00 noon
Thursday, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
OUTREACH & KITCHEN
50 Nichols Street, Fairfield, CT
Phone: (203) 254-2934
Homeless Outreach: 4am-9pm
lunch from 11:30am to 1:00pm
dinner from 5:30pm to 6:30pm