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Kindness in Real Life

Norwich Teen Leadership Council collects items for the homeless

Norwich Youth & Family Service’s Teen Leadership Council held a donation drive March 20 to benefit homeless people in Norwich. They have been working on developing this project since October. The efforts paid off as they collected three truckloads of items, including food, backpacks, blankets, and more than $200 in cash and checks.The donations were presented to St. Vincent de Paul Place following the event, according to Erin Haggan, coordinator of Youth & Family Services.

 

Harp and Dragon provides meals for 50 Norwich families

Harp & Dragon, along with the Capano family, have announced their partnership with Norwich Youth and Family Services to help feed families struggling with food insecurity in the city.

Harp & Dragon has provided 10 families per week with a food voucher for a meal that will feed a family of four.

The owner of Harp & Dragon, Scott Capano, recognized that families were experiencing challenges and financial hardships over the past year and decided to do what he could to help.

Norwich has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. The region is very heavily reliant on the service economy, and the unemployment rate in Norwich is the fifth highest in the state.

"The level of financial devastation created by the pandemic has been unprecedented in Norwich. Food is absolutely the one thing families cannot do without," stated Lee-Ann Gomes, director of human services, in a release.

 

East Lyme volunteers host trash pickup day

Volunteers from East Lyme picked up over 520 pounds of trash on March 20. The group met outside East Lyme Middle School and dispersed throughout the community in various locations. The group plans to gather the third Saturday of every month. All in the community who want to clean up the town and community are welcome.

 

Children exposed to domestic violence will participate in camp this summer

Safe Futures, a nonprofit working to eradicate domestic violence, is planning a week-long camping experience for children traumatized by domestic violence.

The program, officially titled Camp HOPE America — Safe Futures, combines the traditional outdoorsy fun of summer camp with programming and conversation geared toward helping children overcome the emotional harm that comes from living with violence.

Safe Futures offers a host of support and advocacy programs for victims of domestic violence, including counseling, residential programs and courtroom advocacy. Through these outreach programs, participants for Camp HOPE are identified and referred by Safe Futures staff.

"I meet with each child and their parent to determine if they are ready for camp," said Christine Foster, director of crisis counseling for Safe Futures.

Camping activities are hosted by Channel 3 KidsCamp, where campers can enjoy 150 acres along the Skungamaug River.

The program currently serves children age 7 to 12.

In addition to the summer camp, Safe Futures offers year-round mentorships for children traumatized by domestic violence.The mentor program, called Pathways,further enables children to interact with peers, advocates, and families to help process their experiences.

The summer of 2020 marked the debut of Safe Futures' camping program, and the pandemic prompted a shift to a hybrid of virtual and in-person activities. A similar approach is expected for the coming summer, and each camper will receive a tablet along with a trunk filled with the items needed for all their activities.

Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature in The Times. To contribute, email times@theday.com.

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