By SHERIDAN CYR
The slogan for the new joint fundraiser between Bread for Life and Friends of Southington Community Services is “Together helping Southington: two agencies joining together with one mission to help those in need in our community.”
The event, called “Pledge 144,” is kicking off with a Valentine’s-themed fundraiser. The goal is to raise money to benefit ongoing programs and activities that support the hungry, the cold, and the less fortunate in Southington.
“We both work with food and with feeding people, so it made sense to come together,” said Janet Mellon, SCS director. “It would help us to purchase food and continue our work in Southington.”
BFL and SCS each have a large board with 72 envelopes attached (144 in total between the two organizations). Each envelope is numbered. The idea is that people willing to donate can stop at either location, take an envelope, and donate that envelope’s numerical value (for example, the person who takes envelope 25 would donate $25).
According to officials, the donator gets more than just the warm feeling they’ll get for helping others. Each envelope includes a Valentine’s Day card that they can give to loved ones. It says, “A donation has been made in your honor to Pledge 144 to benefit Southington Community Services and Bread for Life. Please know that this gift in your honor will help those in need in our community.”
If all the envelopes are sold during the fundraiser, the two nonprofit organizations will raise a total of $10,440, which will be split down the middle for each organization.
Donna Ayer, executive director at BFL, is excited about the new idea. “Janet came to me with this idea, and we thought this would be fabulous.”
The two decided to tie it in with the Valentine’s Day theme, and Feb. 14 will be the kick-off day. The fundraiser will continue through Easter (Sunday, April 1).
“This gives both of us the opportunity to run an annual fundraiser, but put a little pizzazz into it and make it kind of fun,” said Robin Taillie from Friends of SCS.
Friends of SCS is a nonprofit charity branch off of SCS, whereas SCS is a town-run agency.
“Even though we have similar constituencies, this will give an even broader base, because people talk about it in town,” said Taillie. “The idea can spread, and somebody who might not typically donate might say, ‘let’s try something different, something new.’”
The two agencies will also offer tours of their facilities and share information about their goals and visions to those who decide to stop by and give.
“It’s a great opportunity to see first-hand what we do for residents in our town,” said Ayer.
SCS is located at 91 Norton St. in Plantsville. It is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can be reached at (860) 628-3761. The website is listed under the “Community Services” department at Southington.org.
BFL is located at 31 Vermont Ave. and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached at (860) 276-8389. Their website is southingtonbreadforlife.org.
Both agencies said they would be sure to have someone available outside of those times if someone is interested in donating but can’t make it during normal business hours. Just call in advanced and let them know.
To comment on this story or to contact Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.