We’re all about spreading the GOOD in Wilton, and GOOD Morning Wilton‘s “FUNdrai$er Friday$” publicizes efforts that benefit worthy community causes. Every Friday, check out the featured opportunities to pitch in, lend a hand, donate and help other Wilton residents give back to the community.

We welcome submissions from individuals, organizations and charity efforts raising money, seeking donations and recruiting volunteers. Send all pertinent information to us via email–the who, what, when, where, how and why. Include any photos, links or even videos that might help tell the story and increase the response from our readers. Don’t forget to make sure your contact information is there as well. (Sorry, we can only accept FUNdrai$er Friday$ ideas via email. Please put “Fundraiser Fridays” in the email subject line.)

Help Build a School in India, in Memory of Wilton Man

Three years ago, Monika Sywak, Shalini Madaras and Denise Walsh founded Pawel’s Children in honor of Sywak’s son, Pawel, who, before he died, was dedicated to working with children, particularly those who were disadvantaged. This 501 (c)3 organization helps fund a school in a rural area of Rajasthan, India called Abhaneri.

So far, the organization has supported building a new, six-classroom school building and eight bathroom facilities (which there were none until Pawel’s Children helped with funding); refurbishing existing classrooms; and purchasing a bus as well as desks and chairs. This past year the organization supported the school’s effort to become an accredited high school in addition to being K-8 grade school. In fact, There is no overhead and 100% of funds raised go directly support the school.

Thanks to their work, enrollment went up and now 100 more children who otherwise would not get any education are enrolled in the school. But, as a result, now there is a need is to add four more classrooms to support growing enrollment.

On Monday, Oct. 2, they are hosting an event, Passage to India II at Old Town Hall. The evening will feature Indian delectables, Bollywood music and dancing, exotic auction items, and a Mehndi henna artist. The suggested donation to attend is $50 a person, 100% of which is tax deductible. To make a donation and attend the event, visit the Pawel’s Children website.

Register Now to Volunteer on National Public Lands Day

On Saturday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Weir Farm National Historic Site will host a habitat and trail restoration event. Volunteers will assist National Park Service staff in trail maintenance; removing brush and invasive plants. Join your local national park in an effort to improve park trails for neighbors, hikers, school groups, dog walkers, and visitors in celebration of National Public Lands Day.

National Public Lands Day is organized nationwide by the National Environmental Education Foundation, a foundation chartered by Congress in 1990 to advance environmental knowledge and action. The annual event educates Americans about critical environmental and natural resources issues, builds partnerships between the public sector and the local community, and improves public lands for outdoor recreation.

Tools, gloves, and water will be provided. Proper attire for the activity includes sturdy closed toe shoes, long pants, long sleeves, and hats. Sunscreen, insect repellent, and a bottle for water are recommended. This volunteer opportunity is appropriate for ages 10 and up, with parent or guardian supervision if less than 18 years of age and participants should be ready and able to complete hands-on tasks that are slightly strenuous.

Each volunteer will be presented with a fee-free coupon to use at another national park or federal recreation site in recognition to their service to our nation’s public lands. The coupon will entitle the recipient and his/her family or vehicle companions to one “fee-free” day at any participating Federal recreation or visitor site within one calendar year, beginning on Oct. 1, 2017. Fee-free coupons will be accepted at any fee site where America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes passes are accepted. Weir Farm NHS is a fee-free park everyday, so the coupon can be used for another national park adventure.

Registration to volunteer is free, but space is limited to twenty participants, so please call early to secure a spot. To register or for more information, call 203.834.1896, ext. 28.

Weir Farm National Historic Site is located at 735 Nod Hill Rd..

P2P Food Pantry Food Drive

According to Person-to-Person, 2% of Wilton residents live in poverty. Another 10% are earning above the Federal Poverty Level but are struggling to afford basic household necessities such as housing, transportation, clothing and food.

At Person-to-Person (P2P), these families are helped in a variety of ways–offering casework services and referrals, providing emergency financial assistance, and providing a clothing center at which people can ‘shop’ for free, gently-used and new clothes.

But it is the P2P Food Pantry that is the most-used by people who seek assistance. Clients who ‘shop’ at the Food Pantry are able to select enough groceries–including fresh produce, chicken and meat as well as pantry staple items–to feed every member of the household three meals a day for seven days.

While P2P purchases Pantry items at local food banks and retailers, the majority of the inventory is donated by people who pick up an extra bag of groceries while shopping for their own families or host a food drive at their business or house of worship.

September is Hunger Action Month, and P2P is asking for help to keep the P2P Food Pantry in Norwalk well-stocked for the individuals, families and children who are struggling with food insecurity, including those in Wilton.

Email Norwalk Site Manager Susan Zelman about hosting a food drive. Or download the ‘shop HEALTHY. GIVE healthy’ shopping list (below) before the next trip to the market.

Donations are accepted Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at P2P Norwalk. Together we will fight hunger in your community.