Black Friday is followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday–admittedly the more material and consumeristic 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. Please consider helping where you can. [Editor’s note: Information has been provided directly from the non-profit organizations after GMW published a request for submissions. We’ve included all the organizations that responded to that request.]
Wilton Library is participating in Giving Tuesday for the first time this year. Thanks to the generosity of Wilton’s Waldron family, donations made before noon today up to $1,000 will be matched.
The library has created a dedicated website just for Giving Tuesday where people can donate. They’ve also come up with a new giving hashtag too: #GivingisNovel. (Who doesn’t love a good book pun?!)
In addition, people can follow Wilton Library on Facebook, Twitter (@wiltonlibrary) and Instagram (wiltonlibrary_ct) on Dec. 3, as well as visit the library’s website and click on the Giving Tuesday icon. Proceeds will go toward the library’s collections, services and programs.
As encouragement, it’s important to remember that Wilton Library is not a municipal library–it’s a Public/Private Partnership. The library must raise 25% of its budget yearly to fill shelves, and provide programs (about 1,000 annually) and services, offering free concerts, summer reading programs for kids, the Human Library and so much, much more.
Wilton Rocks for Food
Wilton Rocks for Food is an annual music concert fundraiser to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank and the Wilton Food Pantry. Incredibly, 100% of the money raised goes to charity. This weekend, Wilton Rocks will stage its fifth concert, and remarkably, since its start the organization has raised $395,000. Donate on the Wilton Rocks for Food website.
Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation
Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is committed to partnering men and women who are blind with their elite breed of German Shepherd Guide Dogs. Thanks solely to the generosity of donors and the tireless work of staff and volunteers, Fidelco is able to create exceptional guide dog partnerships to empower clients’ independence and forever change their lives.
Contribute through Fidelco’s secure website. The foundation has established a one-day goal of $24,000 ($1,000 every hour).
Wilton SEPTA (Special Education PTA) fundraises for special education staff, students and families, and since its launch last year has already gifted three grants that are helping students directly at Cider Mill, Middlebrook and Wilton High School. Wilton SEPTA is also hoping to help support the new Genesis alternative school, and has recently co-sponsored the Yale SPACE program training with Eli Lebowitz. SEPTA hopes to raise money for its diversity and inclusion awareness month programming for the schools.
Donations can be made right on the Wilton SEPTA website.
Circle of Care
Circle of Care‘s unique programs ensure no family has to face the cancer journey alone. For more than 16 years, they’ve been at the bedside of more than 2,800 children providing emotional, practical and financial support for pediatric cancer patients in Connecticut. Donate to Circle of Care online.
Wilton Youth Council
Since its founding in the 1980s, Wilton Youth Council has focused on positive youth development–what kids need to grow into healthy, productive citizens. Wilton Youth Council works closely with the social workers of Wilton Youth Services, a division of Wilton Social Services, to develop programs and services in three main areas: parent education and connection, extracurricular programs for youth, and community-wide initiatives to bring about cultural shifts, such as changing the belief that underage drinking is a harmless rite of passage. Donate via the Wilton Youth Council website.
Riverbrook/Wilton Family YMCA
Since 1972, the Wilton Family YMCA has served as an essential and charitable organization, dedicated to strengthening the foundations of the community. Public participation in supporting the two current YMCA fundraising efforts brings meaningful change and ensures its programs and facilities will be here for generations to come.
- The 2019 Annual Campaign: Did you know that 1 in 10 children, adults and families enrolled in YMCA programs participate in its financial assistance program? Annual Campaign dollars are at work every day, providing those who need it access to life-changing programs and services.
- Building New Stories Campaign: Investing in its infrastructure allows the YMCA to accommodate its growing community and evolving needs. Each capital project furthers the Y’s mission by providing expanded spaces, renovated facilities, and state-of-the-art equipment.
Give via the Wilton Family YMCA website.
Wilton Education Foundation
The Wilton Education Foundation has three primary goals:
- Keep Wilton schools equipped with the latest in education technology
- Enrich Wilton students’ lives through music and arts education
- Invest in the best training and development programs for Wilton educators
Donations can be made on the WEF website.
Visiting Nurse and Hospice of FC
Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County has served the community for more than 100 years. The non-profit agency provides professional nursing and support services, senior care management, physical rehabilitation, health education, community wellness programs and compassionate hospice care for adults and children in the heart of Fairfield County.
Wilton Social Services
Each year,GOOD Morning Wilton publishes an article about how to give to Wilton Social Services, as a reminder that Wilton is a community that also has great need that may not be as apparent on the surface and it’s ever-present, year after year.
The department serves a larger, umbrella mission, meeting the social and psychological needs of Wilton residents of all ages. That can be through providing information and referrals to local, state and federal social service programs, financial assistance, short term counseling, and by sponsoring the Wilton Senior Center and community programs for all ages. The department also oversees Wilton Youth Services.
The Department works closely with other town departments to provide assistance and support to Wilton residents. The food pantry currently serves approximately 170 families, and the department assists residents with regular help with food, emergency financial assistance, and guidance in applying for other relief programs or referrals.
One frequently-asked question is how can individuals donate food to the Food Pantry. The hours social services is open is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. People can always bring donations directly to the office during those hours; larger amounts should be brought directly to the pantry, when the pantry is not open to preserve confidentiality and anonymity for the department’s clients–call first to arrange.
People should not bring perishable food; instead consider donating non-perishable items. There is always a need for paper products and laundry detergent, as well as personal care products, including shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and tooth brushes, soap and feminine care products.
Straight monetary donations, either for general reasons or specific discretionary accounts are also always welcome. When writing check, make it out to the Wilton Community Assistance Fund and in the memo line of the check specify “Food Pantry,” “Holiday Giving Program,” or “Fuel Assistance Program.” The department welcomes gift cards too
Donations can be mailed or dropped off to Wilton’s department of Social Services, which is located at Comstock Community Center, 180 School Rd., Wilton.
Smith Magenis Research Foundation
Founded by a Wilton resident, Jennifer Iannuzzi, the Smith Magenis Research Foundation was started to advance scientific research leading to innovative treatment options for people living with Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS).
Smith-Magenis Syndrome is a complex developmental disorder that affects multiple organ systems of the body. The disorder is characterized by a pattern of abnormalities that are present at birth (congenital) as well as behavioral and cognitive problems.
Smith-Magenis Syndrome was identified only in 1982 and since it was started in 2010, the SMS Research Foundation has worked tirelessly to fund research to improve the treatment options and the lives of SMS children. To donate visit the SMS Research Foundation website.
Trackside Teen Center
Trackside Teen Center promotes healthy, age-appropriate development for teens and pre-teens in Wilton. The organization provides an environment designed to develop positive social skills and social competence, foster moral development, and enhance self-esteem–all of which are related to reduced risk-taking behavior, academic success, and healthy interpersonal relationships.
Acting as a hub within the community of teen activity–designed by teens and for teens–Trackside provides ample opportunity for teens to engage in healthy alternative activities. From open hours and afterschool activities to weekend events, Trackside supports Wilton teens in developmental tasks by providing them a place within the community, other than home and school, where they can be involved in healthy socialization and gain experience in participating as a citizen in a productive manner.
Trackside is a venue that stands against the illegal use of alcohol and illicit drugs and seeks to be an arena that advocates and advances the efforts of the community to reduce teens’ participation in such activities. Trackside exists as a safe zone where teens can build social relationships and have fun in a safe, alcohol and drug free environment
Trackside is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization. While the town of Wilton covers a portion of staffing costs, Trackside must raise money to fund the balance of these costs as well as 100% of annual operating expenses, regular maintenance, facility upgrades and programming designed to reach out and appeal to a broad cross-section of teenagers.
Donations can be made on the Trackside Teen Center website.
Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps
Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. (WVAC) is an emergency medical service that provides 911 emergency ambulance coverage and emergency medical assistance for persons seriously ill or injured in the Town of Wilton, CT and to transport them to the hospital for definitive care; to save life; to promote safety; and to render all aid possible in time of disaster.
WVAC EMTs strive to provide the highest quality pre-hospital physical and emotional emergency care and emergency transportation to the appropriate healthcare facility. The organization is committed to active participation within the community, to serve as role models and to effectively utilize all available resources to provide the highest level of service possible to meet the needs of the community both now and into the future.
WVAC just spent approximately $238,000 on a new ambulance recently put in service, and is now asking for donations to assist with replacing its communications equipment. Many of the portable radios used by WVAC are 15 years old and no longer supported by Motorola when they fail. In addition, there is a need for two new power loaders, which hydraulically lift the stretchers into and out of the ambulances for crew member safety from back injuries.
Donations can be made directly on the WVAC Facebook page to avoid any processing and transaction fees that sites like PayPal charge. For more information, check out the annual appeal, which was just mailed to Wilton residences, a copy of which can also be found on a pinned post on Facebook.
CF Project Inc. (CF Bridge of Hope)
CF Bridge of Hope has a mission to improve and prolong the health and life of Cystic Fibrosis patients in resource-limited areas of the world. Founded by Wilton residents, the wife-and-husband team of Dr. Golnar Raissi-Sadeghi and Dr. Hossein Sadeghi, CF Bridge of Hope ensures that 100% of the donations are used to bring patients from resource-limited countries for evaluation, treatment and care that includes outpatient IV antibiotics, if indicated. There are no administrative costs. Donations will bring hope and will save the lives of helpless, young CF patients. Donations can be made online.
Wilton Go Green
Wilton Go Green—one of the town’s most visible environmental non-profit organizations—is making good strides in its goal of helping Wilton become the most sustainable town in Connecticut. A good indication of this is the fact that the Town was recently awarded Bronze Certification from the Sustainable CT initiative, and winning that 2019 award was in many ways dependent on the points earned by Wilton Go Green’s achievements including the work in our schools.
Donate securely now online or through Facebook to support Wilton Go Green efforts, as the group looks to raise funds to support Wilton’s Zero Waste Schools Committee (through the purchase and pilot of a new waste station for the high school cafeteria), the Green Speaker Series and the 2020 Zero Waste Faire & Sustainable Living Expo. Help WGG reach its $2,000 goal to support the green efforts in our town and schools.
Zion’s Hill Preschool Program
Zion’s Hill Preschool Program is grateful for the time, talent, and financial contributions of all ZHPP families and community. Direct donation can be made online. To donate an item or service for the annual Spring Fling fundraising event, contact ZHPP via email.
For over 20 years, SPED*NET Wilton (Special Education Network of Wilton, Ltd.) has empowered parents of children with special needs to become more effective advocates in their schools and communities. A support and educational non-profit, SPED*NET offers free professional workshops that teach parents how to: assess student’s needs and learning styles and determine optimal placements; decide on available therapies or pharmacological interventions to help children learn better and socialize more appropriately; develop and implement “appropriate” programs; understand legal rights under federal and state laws; and collaborate effectively with service teams based in school and communities. SPED*NET’s interactive publication Bringing Knowledge to the Table: How to be an Effective Advocate for Your Child is available to use free of charge on its website. Softbound copies may also be purchased there. Make a tax-free donation on the SPED*NET website.
Temple B’nai Chaim
Gifts to Temple B’nai Chaim will help support its religious school as well as ongoing community programs for all ages. The suggested minimum donation is $18 or Chai, an important number in the Jewish tradition–a symbol of life. Donations are typically given in multiples of $18–$18, $36, $180, etc.
TBC is grateful for all donations and support via its website.
Wilton Presbyterian Church
People can give through the Wilton Presbyterian Church website.
Woodcock Nature Center
Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday,
#GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
At Woodcock Nature Center we preserve unspoiled open space, provide conservation and outreach programs to our community, and ignite passion and curiosity in our young people.
Please support our work on Giving Tuesday. Donate NOW
Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy
At Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy, students in grades Pre-K3 through 8 benefit from a Personalized Learning Curriculum provided in a safe, nurturing and academically stimulating environment. Child-centered, multi-age classrooms are designed to meet each child’s educational needs with small group instruction and adaptive learning technology. Fatima serves students from Wilton and surrounding towns. To donate visit: the Fatima donation website or learn more at the school’s primary website.
Wilton Soccer Association
Wilton Soccer Association is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization whose 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 WSA offers programs for children ages 3-18, including a free TopSoccer program for children with disabilities. The WSA is lead by an annually elected volunteer Board of Directors comprised entirely of Wilton residents.
Any funds raised through this avenue would be committed to financial aid and scholarships, as well as to support the costs of offering our TopSoccer, so that every child in town may have the opportunity to play.
Checks may be sent to the WSA at P.O. Box 311 Wilton, CT 06897. Donations can also be made online.
Wilton Historical Society
This year the Wilton Historical Society has engaged the community with a rich array of events, workshops, lectures, exhibitions and educational programs. We are finding ways to make history connect with the present, while providing entertaining and relevant events, including: lecture series, performances, book group discussions, new exhibits, returning exhibits, Bob Russell’s tours, curriculum-based school programs, Objects of Desire: Style for the Garden and Home, the annual American Artisan Show and Preview Party, the Great Trains Holiday Show, historic preservation and more. Give via the Wilton Historical Society website.