Tuesday, March 05, 2024

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Human Services Opens Online Portal for Donations

Westport’s Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced an online donation option to support its programs.

“Those people wishing to help Westport’s most vulnerable residents can go to one site to donate to a wide variety of our income-based programs, including seasonal programs and other supports for individuals facing financial hardship,” said DHS Director Elaine Daignault.

The donation portal titled “We Care Westport CT” can be found on the DHS webpage at https://www.westportct.gov/index.aspx?page=1183.

According to Daignault, each of the seven established funds are dependent on the generosity of community donations, delivering essential resources to Westport residents in crisis.

“Oftentimes, families or individuals facing difficult economic times have to make tough decisions of whether to spend on basic needs like food, fuel, shelter and other household bills, or on child care and other enrichment programs for their families,” Daignault said.

“We Care Westport CT simply makes it easier for people to donate to the DHS programs that provide access to services and supports that many residents would not otherwise be able to afford,” she added.

Daignault said donors can choose from a variety of funds to support. Among them are: The Barbara Butler Fund, which honors the former DHS director, connecting at risk youth to enrichment opportunities; The Family-to-Family Fund supporting families with unforeseen expenses during period of financial hardship; Toquet Hall Teen Cnter; Prevention & Education programming; The Residents in Need Fund; The Senior Client Needs Fund; and Area of Most Need.

“Many are not aware that numerous Westport residents are experiencing significant financial challenges,” Daignault said. “In fact, there are over 400 individuals and families in Westport who meet the federal poverty limit making them eligible for state and federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps) and the CT Energy Assistance Program.

“These state and federal programs are imperative tools for struggling residents but do not always address some of the systemic issues that prevent families from gaining self-sufficiency,” she added. “This is especially true for those whose income is just above the income/asset limits yet still struggle to make ends meet.”

She said that for those who prefer, DHS will continue to accept donations via check, made payable to the DHS or in the form of gift cards such as Stop & Shop, Walmart, CVS, Target, and gasoline cards.

“DHS strives to promote independence, personal development and an enhanced quality of life for all. Donations will have a measurable and immediate impact on friends and neighbors with 100 percent of all contributions directly benefiting the recipient,” Daignault said.

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