Giving Tuesday Gives Opportunity to Give Back to Wilton Organizations Doing GOOD

Black Friday is followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday — admittedly the more material and consumerist side of generosity during the holiday season. Giving Tuesday provides an opportunity to spread that generosity in an altruistic way, giving the gift of support to organizations that need it to help others.

GOOD Morning Wilton has compiled a list of opportunities for giving back on Giving Tuesday right here in Wilton — organizations that are formally participating in Giving Tuesday as well as others who we’ve included on our own. Please consider helping where you can.

Supporting these organizations financially is critical, but it’s not the only way to join hundreds of millions of people who take part in this global movement. You can give time, skills, and compassion, to an organization, a community, or simply another individual.

As the Giving Tuesday website says, “People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during GivingTuesday–whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes, every act of generosity counts.” That’s especially important at a time when things are still uncertain as we enter the second year of a pandemic that brings with it isolation, distance, mitigation and prevention. Let this also serve as a reminder to check in on elderly neighbors, touch base with friends and family who are fighting or recovering from an illness, and inquire about what you can do for someone who has experienced a loss.

And remember that while the movement has assigned giving to Tuesday, Nov. 30, it’s something everyone can do the other 364 days, too.

Wilton Library

Wilton Library is more than the cultural and intellectual heart of the community, it’s a place where everyone is made to feel welcome. The library aims to inspire, connect and enrich the lives of children and adults through exceptional services, incredible programs and innovative technology.

Gifts to Wilton Library are 100% tax-deductible and make an immediate impact in the community. Wilton Wilton Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit association that receives some of its funding through the public/private partnership with the Town of Wilton, but 25% of the library’s budget beyond what the town provides has to be raised each year. Those funds cover 100% of the books, audiobooks, DVDs, and music CDs that are on the shelves and all of the content of the Digital Library, as well as programs and services for all ages. Gifts to the library are gifts to every member of the community.

To give to Wilton Library on Giving Tuesday, donors may simply visit the library’s Giving Tuesday webpage or main website. Gifts will have double the impact with the Wilton Library Board of Trustees matching grant pledge, up to $20,000, in honor of retiring executive director Elaine Tai-Lauria.

The Wilton Family YMCA

The Wilton Family YMCA is participating in the annual Giving Tuesday campaign, to provide critical funds for the Y’s financial aid program. The Riverbrook Regional YMCA offers safe spaces and access to everyone who seeks it. Donor generosity provides support for the community’s most vulnerable, so that everyone has the opportunity for Healthy Living, Youth Development and Social Responsibility. Donate via the Wilton Family YMCA Giving Tuesday page.

Ambler Farm

Ambler Farm is a vital part of the community, but especially so during the pandemic. Tax-deductible contributions support the Farm’s many hands-on educational programs, sustainable agriculture in our gardens, and produce donations to those in need, and allow Ambler Farm to provide a bucolic, open space for the entire community to enjoy. Gifts make a tangible difference.

Donors can make a one-time, monthly, or annual gift using the secure online form.

Wilton Children’s Theater

Support for Wilton Children’s Theater helps provide a rich theater experience for children and, in turn, builds confidence and a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. Donations fund scholarships and support community-building events. The WCT is an entirely volunteer-run 501c-3 charitable organization, so 100% of contributions go directly to supporting WCT programs and gifts are fully tax-deductible. Donate online.

Wilton Go Green

Wilton Go Green is committed to educating, engaging, and inspiring green living in Wilton. The organization has been busy in 2021, something WGG officials say they could not have done without the support of the community, engaging over 1,000 residents either virtually or in-person through signature events, tabling at community events or presentations on waste reduction to various community groups. The group has reached another 1,000-plus people through social media campaigns sharing its “Do One Thing” and “Plastic Free July” campaigns, tips on recycling, business spotlights, sustainable hosting and gifting and more!

Two ways to give: donate through the WGG Facebook Fundraiser, which allows WGG to claim 100% of donations, or via PayPal.

Visit the Wilton Go Green website for more information.

Wilton Rocks for Food

Wilton Rocks for Food is the brainchild of Wilton resident Andy Schlesinger. The annual concert brings together a few dozen Wilton musicians who perform more than four hours of live music to sold-out crowds, not just for a rockin’ good night but also for a good cause — raising over $100,000 a year to be split evenly between the CT Food Bank and the Wilton Food Pantry.

For 2021, Wilton Rocks for Food hopes to raise $150,000. The event has moved to the Wall Street Theater in Norwalk and will be held this Saturday, Dec. 4. Tickets begin at $125 apiece. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to donate (Wilton Rocks is a 501c3), visit the Wilton Rocks for Food website.

SMS Foundation

The Smith-Magenis Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in June 2010 by two women, one of whom is Wilton mom Jennifer Iannuzzi, whose daughter Sydney was diagnosed with the rare Smith-Magenis Syndrome shortly after she was born.

On Giving Tuesday, the SMS Foundation has an amazing opportunity to triple all donations, which support life-changing research. This year, two very generous families have offered to match all donations, up to $30,000, made on Giving Tuesday! In addition, Facebook will be matching all nonprofit donations up to $7 million on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Go to the SMS Research Foundation Facebook page to triple your donation with the Facebook and SMS donation matches.

For anyone not on Facebook, donations will still be doubled by giving on the SMS Research Foundation website to receive the SMS donation match.

Wilton Youth Council

Growing up has always had its joys and heartaches, but today’s teens confront a new landscape of social media, vaping, and rising rates of anxiety and depression. Wilton Youth Council equips students and parents with skills and information to make healthy decisions. The WYC’s professionally-led youth programs provide opportunities for leadership development and drug-free fun. The organization educates and supports parents with inspiring speakers and events. Through collaborations with partner organizations, the WYC creates a greater sense of community and strengthens connections among families.

Join the Wilton Youth Council in its mission to promote the well-being of Wilton’s students by empowering youth, parents and the community. Donations help WYC provide the programs that Wilton youth and families need during these challenging times. Donate online.

Wilton Soccer Association

The Wilton Soccer Association’s mission is to positively contribute to the growth of children and the Wilton community by reinforcing values such as sportsmanship, teamwork, integrity and respect for others through a range of fun and high-quality soccer experiences. The 501c-3 non-profit offers programs for children ages 3-18, including the free TopSoccer program for children of different abilities. Wilton Soccer is led by an annually elected volunteer Board of Directors composed entirely of Wilton residents.

Any funds raised through Giving Tuesday are committed to financial aid and scholarships, as well as to support the costs of offering the “Just for Kicks,” Pickup, and TopSoccer programs, so that every child in town may have the opportunity to play.

Donate online or by check sent to P.O. Box 311, Wilton, CT 06897.

Stay at Home in Wilton

Stay at Home in Wilton offers supportive services and resources along with social and educational programs that unite its members as a community and enhance their efforts to remain independent, active and connected. The organization’s goal is to help its members remain in their homes and support a vibrant senior community in Wilton.

The group’s modest membership fees fall far short of the funds needed to sustain the organization. Stay at Home in Wilton does not receive funding from any national, state or local governments. It relies solely on donors’ generous support.

To make a donation, please visit the Stay at Home in Wilton website.

Norwalk River Valley Trail

Every $250 donation builds one more foot of trail along the Norwalk River Vally Trail. Donations can be made online via the NRVT website.

The NRVT is currently working on the WilWalk section, which when completed will be a 4.8-mile section running from Broad St. in Norwalk to Wolfpit Rd. in Wilton connecting Norwalk to the Wilton trail. This section will be a 10-foot-wide, stone dust trail identical to the NRVT’s showcase trail on the east side of Route 7 in Wilton.

Two sections of WilWalk, amounting to 1.2 miles, have been under construction in 2021. Approximately one mile, starting near the intersection of Grist Mill and Old Belden Hill Rd. in Norwalk, will run north to just short of Kent Rd. in Wilton. The other section to be constructed will be two-tenths of a mile, and will run south from Wolfpit Rd. to an overlook by the old quarry pond.

In addition, the Wilton loop will soon be extended north of Skunk Ln. to reach the Cannondale train station.

Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps

According to its website, “The Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps depends on the generosity of individuals and businesses to operate,”  and items purchased with donated funds include trauma and medical supplies, medical equipment, communications equipment, on-going training, uniforms, upkeep of headquarters, maintaining emergency vehicles, purchase of paramedic vehicles, and more.

Contributors can donate using PayPal or Facebook, via the WVAC website. To send donations via U.S. Mail, checks should be made payable to Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps and sent to 234 Danbury Rd., Wilton, CT 06897.

Wilton Land Conservation Trust

The Wilton Land Conservation Trust is a community-focused 501c3 nonprofit organization that conserves land, protects biodiversity, enhances ecosystems, and builds community. Closely tied to the community, the Land Trust is not a municipal government body or Commission. One hundred percent of the operational funding comes from members. Every contribution supports Wilton’s open spaces and goes toward WLCT programs, operations, and conservation efforts.

Living in Wilton means the almost certainty of driving past an open meadow, living near a preserved forest, fishing in a protected stream, or hiking on a conserved trail. Wilton’s land trust is all about those spaces.

Support the organization via the Wilton Land Conservation Trust website.

Trackside Teen Center

Trackside Teen Center has been a cornerstone of safety, healthy socialization, and fun for middle school and high school students across the Wilton community. Trackside will be participating in Giving Tuesday again this year. All donations from Giving Tuesday will go directly to support Trackside’s programs and events for middle school and high school teens this winter and spring. Donations can be made online.

Woodcock Nature Center

Woodcock Nature Center provides educational programming for over 4,000 learners of all ages annually including field trips and popular summer camp and enrichment programs, which support its educational efforts by immersing children in direct experiences with nature. Woodcock partners with local organizations to present lectures, workshops, and films, and the guided hikes, Mommy and Me classes and on-site animal encounters provide a means for the public to engage with and learn from our natural world.

A gift in any amount nurtures Woodcock Nature Center and helps inspire the community through outdoor learning and exploration. Donate to Woodcock online.

Circle of Care

Wilton-based Circle of Care has been supporting families of children receiving cancer treatment for the past 18 years, all made possible through the generosity of donors. Today, as families face a cancer diagnosis on top of a global pandemic, help is needed more than ever.

Gifts, no matter the amount, will have a direct impact on a child with cancer. The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to acutely impact children in treatment and their families who were already struggling to make ends meet. Every month 16 children are diagnosed with cancer in Connecticut. Visit the Circle of Care website to make a donation.

ABC of Wilton (A Better Chance)

Since 1996, A Better Chance of Wilton has welcomed academically talented high school students of color from underserved communities to live in our town and share in Wilton’s educational opportunities. A Better Chance of Wilton is affiliated with A Better Chance National whose stated mission is “to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.”

Support ABC through its website.

Wilton Social Services

Wilton is a community where need may not be as apparent on the surface, yet it’s ever-present, year after year. The Wilton Food Pantry regularly serves over 300 eligible Wilton residents who struggle to afford food and groceries. In addition, there are several dozen children on this year’s Holiday Giving Program list.

Wilton residents that would like to donate can do so with a gift card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or supermarket gift card.

Checks are also gladly accepted and can be designated for general use or for specific discretionary accounts. Checks should be made out to the Wilton Community Assistance Fund and donors can either write in the memo line or on the envelope Food Pantry, Holiday Gift Program, or Fuel Assistance Program.

Gift cards and checks may be placed in the secure lockbox located outside the door on the lower-level side of the Comstock Community Center building (180 School Rd.) or sent to the Social Services office directly.

Wilton Historical Society

With a commitment to making Wilton’s past relevant to the community and to visitors, the Wilton Historical Society, founded in 1938, offers a broad variety of insightful exhibits, programs and special events presented with historical accuracy and depth. It offers:

  • A museum where history comes alive through 12 period rooms
  • Special collections, including toys, tools and trains, which are of interest to a broad audience
  • Renowned, nationally recognized annual events such as the American Artisan Show and the Fall Antiques Market
  • A variety of programs for children, adults, and families that skillfully blend education and entertainment
  • Curriculum-appropriate historical education for Wilton’s students
  • Preservation of 17 historical buildings which are typical of a New England rural community

Donate to the Wilton Historical Society online.

Wilton Garden Club

Consider making a tax-deductible donation to one of the Wilton Garden Club’s fundraising efforts. Every donation, large or small, makes a positive difference in enhancing the beauty of the town. The Wilton Garden Club, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization. All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged. Donors will be given the option to contribute to the following programs:

  • Wilton Garden Club
  • Wilton’s Golden Miles
  • “MAKING WILTON BEAUTIFUL” Campaign

Donate online.

Wilton Never Forget Garden

The Drum Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution commemorated Veterans Day on Thursday, Nov. 11, with a groundbreaking and dedication of a “Never Forget Garden,” in recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The contemplative garden will be located at Wilton’s historic Hillside Cemetery (165 Ridgefield Rd.) and will be created in conjunction with the Wilton Garden Club, which is also celebrating its own 100th anniversary.

The garden is intended to be a memorial to honor all veterans, first responders, and their families, as the Drum Hill officials have said, “now and for all time.” The 20-foot circular garden will sit at the top of the cemetery, nestled between the junction of two roads, at a quiet and reflective spot. The professionally designed garden will include seating for meditation, distinctive trees, unique plantings, and white rose bushes.

Donations by check, made to “Drum Hill DAR,” can be mailed to:

NEVER FORGET GARDEN Project
P.O. Box 394
Wilton, CT 06897

Credit Card contributions can be made on the DAR Drum Hill Chapter website.

Wilton Playshop

Charitable contributions are crucial to the Wilton Playshop‘s mission of producing world-class theater while serving the greater Wilton area with an educational and growing experience for all involved.

Thirty percent of the Playshop’s annual operating budget comes from donor contributions. These gifts make it possible for the Playshop to provide audiences with the definitive theatre experience and give its artists the resources they need to create the best possible work with the highest standards of excellence.

Donations can be sent via venmo to @WiltonPlayshop, or mailed to:

The Wilton Playshop
PO Box 363
Wilton, CT 06897