Giving Tree Brings 1,250 Reasons to Smile

Giving Tree Gives 1,250 Gifts of Joy to Local Kids

Southport and Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse teens, staff and friends were busy as elves this past month as they sought to bring Christmas and holiday cheer to as many kids as possible in the Bridgeport community. Between the clubhouses, more than 1,250 gifts were collected for families in need.

Fifty-seven members of the Wakeman’s Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse will have a more special holiday due to the generosity of community partners including Sikorsky, Tauck Foundation, SASO Fairfield Chapters of Girls & Boys, Old Navy (Black Rock Turnpike & Trumbull Mall), Marshalls/TJ Maxx, Sacred Heart University’s Exercise Science Club, Ludlowe High School’s Diversity Club, and Wakeman board members and families. Gifts include toys and clothing to sports gear and laptop computers.
The Southport gift drive - led by Torch Club and Keystone Club – partnered with Alpha House and the McGivney Center to benefit local families in Bridgeport. Many gifts were donated by Southport families to the Club’s annual giving tree, while teen service club members and staff also went on a $3,000 shopping spree with funds given by generous supporters. Torch Club members delivered gifts to the homes of Alpha House families in a heartwarming and emotional experience for all. Alpha House provides temporary housing and related services to families in need, while the McGivney Center provides after school and summer programming for youth on the East side of Bridgeport.

Wakeman’s giving tree drives were guided by Maria Cimina, Program Director of Leadership Development & Global Citizenship at the Southport Clubhouse, and Ruben Goodwin, Senior Program Director of the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse. The Torch & Keystone Club, staff, community partners and recipient families all expressed great appreciation for the member families and friends in the community who contributed toward bringing joy to local kids.
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