Danbury — The Danbury Rising! coalition today announced the results of its first-ever holiday diaper drive in which they partnered alongside community allies to help families struggling to overcome poverty. Union members, faith leader, and civic activists collected and distributed 3,795 diapers to a variety of community-based organizations that provide year-round assistance to youth and family members.
“We were so grateful to be able to partner to make the holidays a little brighter,” said Danbury Nurses Union Unit 47, AFT Local 5047 President Mary Consoli. “Our members wanted to demonstrate an ‘act of kindness’ in commemoration of the Sandy Hook tragedy’s anniversary on December 14th. Joining forces with Danbury Rising was an opportunity to combine efforts and help meet an urgent need in our community,” added Consoli, whose union represents approximately 600 registered nurses (RNs) at the acute care facility.
Danbury nurses union members in memory of lives lost and the survivors of the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School organized the diaper drop-off at their local hall. Consoli and members of both Unit 47 and the Danbury and New Milford Federation of Technical Employees union chose to combine their “diaper drive” with Danbury Rising’s simultaneous efforts. The shared goal was to maximize their reach to families in need.
“The families who come to the Comida pantry wait outside in all kinds of weather,” said lead volunteer Chris Halfar. “Once inside they wait again, and they leave thanking us graciously for just a bag or two of groceries. They are stretching every dollar as far as it will go and, sadly, diapers are something of a luxury. We were delighted to get the generous donation of diapers and we thank all that made it happen” added Halfar, a coalition activist and longtime local community organizer.
Together the team delivered 13 boxes with over 1,000 diapers to the ARC – Association of Religious Communities’ COMIDA program, staffed by volunteers from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury. Other diapers went to the New Hope Baptist Church’s Samuels Learning Center and the Head Start of Northern Fairfield County’s early learning facility. Activists additionally collected and provided $500.00 worth of toys to the Connecticut Institute for Communities’ (CIFC) Harambee Youth Center in Danbury.
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Danbury Rising! is a grassroots coalition of individuals, community organizations, and civic leaders dedicated to break the bonds of poverty in the city and its surrounding areas.