The town's Department of Human Services is appealing for donations to its annual Holiday Giving Program, which provides gift cards to local residents in need during the holiday season.
Officials said need is greater this year because of the impact of Hurricane Sandy on many Westport families. Donations traditionally have come from individuals, clubs, schools, churches and businesses, the department said in a news release.
The department is accepting donations of cash and gift cards. Gift cards for groceries and for gasoline, as well as cards for local stores, are particularly useful, officials said.
Cash donations can be made by check payable to "DHS Family Programs," with the word "Holiday" on the memo line.
Cash and gift-card donations may be dropped off at the Human Services Department in Room 200 at Town Hall or mailed to: Human Services, Town Hall-Room 200, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport CT 06880.
Human services officials identify families in need using the same income criteria they do for fuel assistance under the Westport Warm-Up Fund.
Donors who want to shop for specific families should email Patty Haberstroh as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 341-1069.
Families who feel they will need extra support during the coming holiday season mat call the department at 203-341-1050.
"Over the years, the generosity of volunteer donors has made the holidays brighter for hundreds of children, families and seniors in our town," Barbara Butler, human services director, said in a news release.
"We hope that Westporters will continue to support their neighbors, many of whom have an even greater need after Hurricane Sandy."
HOLIDAY HELP IN WESTPORT
What's needed: Gift cards, cash donations (checks payable to "DHS Family Programs," with "Holiday" on the memo line).
Where: Hand-delivered to Department of Human Services office in Room 200 of Town Hall or mailed to: Human Services, Town Hall-Room 200, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport CT 06880
Help a specific family: To help a specific family, email Patty Haberstroh as soon as possible at email@example.com or call her at 206-341-1069
Families who need help: Call 203-341-1050