Office & Food Pantry Closed for Juneteenth National Independence Day

Our business office and Food Pantry at 636 Old Post Road will be closed Monday, June 20, in recognition of Juneteenth National Independence Day. The business office will resume regular hours on Tuesday, June 21 and the Food Pantry will resume regular hours Wednesday, June 22, 10am-12pm.

6th Grader’s Bake Sale Raises $200 for Neighbors in Need

Thank you to Tomlinson 6th grader Peter Altieri for recently holding a bake sale to support Operation Hope! 🍪🧁 This fundraiser was part of Peter’s Language Arts class, where students created an action plan to help those in need. Peter raised $200! That will go a long way to help our neighbors in need. Pictured here are Peter and Operation Hope’s Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Stearns. Thanks to Peter, his family and his customers for their support! 🙏🏽

Celebrating the Retirement of Pastor David Spollett

First Church Congregational‘s Pastor David Spollett recently and joyfully retired. We have a deep connection to David, as his vision in the 1980s helped form the foundation of Operation Hope. Operation Hope’s Executive Director Carla Miklos was invited to share her thoughts at David’s celebration this past weekend, shared with you here:

It is an honor and a delight to be able to join you today and say a few words about David Spollett. I carry with me the appreciation and respect of thousands of people helped by his vision. And I represent a community of like minded people who, knowingly or unknowingly, owe a debt of gratitude to David.

Saint Francis de Sales said the test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not just “what a lovely sermon” but also “I will do something.” And do something is what David does, and inspires others to follow.

The early 1980s were a time of great challenge and great change, which led to the rise of homelessness across our country, especially the tri-state area.

First, America was coming out of a Great Recession that forever changed access to economic opportunity for so many as we converted from a manufacturing based economy to a service oriented one.

Second, the deinstitutionalizing of mental health facilities, changes brought on my well-meaning advocates and the advancement of psychotropic drugs, sent thousands of people back to their communities without the connections and funding needed to keep them safe.

And then the act of being homeless was being criminalized in New York City, forcing people down natural arteries like the I-95 corridor and the MetroNorth railways. Fairfield and surrounding towns were natural recipients of a growing population of people without homes or hope.

This was also about the time that a young, energetic and somewhat righteous minister moved to Fairfield and found himself here at First Church. What timing! As David generously says about others, he was the right person at the right time.

Dr. Martin Luther King said – the time is alway right to do the right thing. And that is what David did.

You’ve all heard the stories of how David fearlessly tackled the challenge of homelessness, opened the doors to your church, gathered a group of clergy and lay leaders and together they created Operation Hope to house and feed our struggling neighbors. Those stories are part of the framework of First Church, and also contribute to the overall quality of life in our wider community. David has been our hero, our inspiration and our champion.

David’s vision created an institution separate from but forever linked with First Church. One that aims to end hunger and homelessness through a variety of programs and services. One that feeds, houses, and counsels over a thousand people a year, employs nearly 40 talented staff, one that gives people the opportunity to put their faith in action.

David, your legacy is immense, the stories are endless, the accolades are well deserved. Let me wrap up by quoting you back to you – a quote that this congregation can take away today –

“The reason the church exists is to save the world from itself, to inspire people to an ethical life. But the lifeblood of that effort is worship, and the more vital and beautiful the worship, the more committed we will be to building a just society.”  

I have been blessed to be along for part of your journey. Thank you for the opportunity, for the guidance and the love you’ve shown me. And may you and Geri enjoy the road that lies ahead.

“Lights on Lalley” Illuminates Desire to Help Neighbors in Need for 4th Year in a Row

It’s never too soon to celebrate the magic of the holiday season! For now four 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; year 3, thanks to a very generous match from an anonymous donor, brought in a whopping $2,465; and in year 4, Alex raised an astounding $4,850! The grand total is $8,140 donated to Operation Hope over the four years. 

A very impressive amount of money for anyone, let alone a high schooler, to raise. As in Decembers past, visitors from near and far once again eagerly drove or walked by the Staikos home to see what Alex, who recently graduated as part of the St. Lukes School Class of 2022 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. Again in 2021, people were especially grateful to have the holiday cheer, and we are especially grateful to count Alex and his family as friends of Operation Hope. Thank you for helping our neighbors in need and for bringing smiles to the faces of so many of our town’s residents. And, as Alex will be attending Clemson University in the fall, he has promised to come home over Thanksgiving and light up the street! We wish Alex all the best in his next adventure!

Help Stock Our Pantry in June

If you’re stocking up on your pantry basics, please take a moment to help our neighbors in need. Our most pressing needs are cash, checks and grocery store gifts cards, which allow us to purchase fresh produce, dairy and meat for our clients. Regular sized items (not bulk) appreciated. Drop off at our pantry M-F, 9am-5pm at 636 Old Post Road; there’s a drop off area to the left of the building. Or simply shop our Amazon Wish List and send the donation directly to us at http://bit.ly/oh-pantry-wish-list. And, monetary donations are always welcome so we can purchase exactly what we need for our clients: http://bit.ly/oh-donate. Thank you!

– CASH, CHECKS, GROCERY STORE GIFT CARDS (to buy perishables)
– Canned fruit
– Canned chicken
– Clam chowder
– Sugar
– Oil
– Chili & stew
– Pancake syrup
– Honey
– Shampoo & conditioner
– Body wash
– Diapers (sizes 5 & 6)
– Adult diapers (unisex)
– Baby wipes & flushable wipes
– Ensure & Boost
– Paper towels
– Toilet paper
– Microwave popcorn

Happy Memorial Day

Today, on Memorial Day, we honor the memory of the men and women who died in active military service, as well as acknowledge the service and sacrifice of active service members. Thank you. ❤️🤍💙🇺🇸
 
Our business office and Food Pantry at 636 Old Post Road, Fairfield are closed today. The office will reopen tomorrow and the Food Pantry will resume regular hours Wednesday, June 1, 10am-12pm.

Swing By a Bake Sale to Benefit Operation Hope!

Perfect day for a treat and doing good! 🍪🧁Swing by the corner of Crane St and Knapps Hwy in Fairfield, where Tomlinson 6th grader Peter Altieri is holding a bake sale to support Operation Hope. The sale runs until 3pm. This is part of Peter’s Language Arts class, where students create an action plan to help those in need. Thanks to Peter, his family and his customers for helping our neighbors in need!

Office & Food Pantry Closed for Memorial Day

Our business office and Food Pantry at 636 Old Post Road will be closed Monday, May 30, in honor of Memorial Day. The business office will resume regular hours on Tuesday, May 31 and the Food Pantry will resume regular hours Wednesday, June 1, 10am-12pm. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Spring into Hope is SOLD OUT!

Today’s the day! Our “Spring into Hope” Gala is SOLD OUT! We look forward to welcoming our guests to the beautiful Inn at Longshore tonight as we celebrate our Champion of Hope, Kathleen McNamara, and all of our friends who help us end hunger and homelessness, one person at a time. It’s going to be a great party as we dance the night away to the tunes of musicians from Band Central!
 
🙏Our gratitude to our generous sponsors for making tonight possible:
 
🌹Rose sponsors: Band Central, Black Rock Church, Santa Energy, Global Infrastructure Partners, Peoples United, a division of M&T Bank, Santa Energy🌹
 
🌼Daisy Sponsors: Altezza Restorations, Angel Commercial, LLC, Bridgeport Hospital, Cross Country Mortgage, Mark & Angeli Scott, Sturges Ridge of Fairfield, Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home🌼
 
🙏If you are unable to join us tonight but would still like to support our mission, please consider a donation of any amount at http://bit.ly/oh-donate. Thank you. 🙏

Annual Postal Food Drive Helps Feed Neighbors in Need

Held last Saturday and after a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the largest, nationally-held food drive. Locally, we were honored to once again be the recipient of the donations. With the support of dozens of Fairfield and Southport letter carriers who volunteered to pick up donations at residents’ mailboxes, volunteers and countless donors, we collected and sorted thousands of pounds of non-perishables to help stock our Food Pantry. We are grateful for your helping hands, especially to those on the last shift who worked incredibly hard in the rain! Many thanks to the volunteers from these groups:
 
🙌🏽SASO Mothers & Sons
🙌🏽SASO Mothers & Daughters
🙌🏽National Charity League of Fairfield
🙌🏽US Postal employees and their families
🙌🏽Friends and Food Pantry volunteers
🙌🏽Operation Hope staff
 
Thank you for all you did to help feed and care for our neighbors in need! 🙏🏽❤️

OFFICE & FOOD PANTRY


636 Old Post Road

Fairfield, CT 06824
203-292-5588

OFFICE & DONATION HOURS

Hours July 1-September 2, 2022

  • Monday - Thursday, 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday, 9:00am - 1:00pm

PANTRY HOURS

Monday, Wednesday & Friday:
10:00am - 12:00pm
Thursday: 4:00pm - 6:00pm

OUTREACH & COMMUNITY KITCHEN

50 Nichols Street
Fairfield, CT
 06824
203-254-2934

COMMUNITY KITCHEN HOURS

Meals served Monday - Friday:
Lunch: 11:30am - 1:00pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 6:30pm