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Fairfield, Connecticut – Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, one of the largest private social service providers in the state of Connecticut, received 12,000 masks from Bank of America back in October. Although January 1st ushered in a new year, the pandemic lingers on as does the need for front line social service agencies to exercise precaution. With supplies running short, Bank of America came through again and on January 8th a pallet containing 500 (8 ounce) bottles of hand sanitizer and 6000 latex gloves arrived for distribution among the agencies 36 programs throughout Fairfield County.
Since the start of the coronavirus, protective personal equipment (PPE) supplies have been low and costs have been high, making it even more challenging for non-profit agencies like Catholic Charities to secure what is required to stay open for business. For an agency like Catholic Charities, closing because masks are not available is simply not an option.
This donation is part of a nationwide effort by Bank of America to immediately distribute nearly four million PPE masks to communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, including communities of color, and is connected to its $1 billion, four-year commitment of additional support to help local communities address economic and racial inequality accelerated by a global pandemic. This is in addition to the four million masks the company donated earlier this year in cities across the country.
“Bank of America is committed to working with local partners that keep our families, communities, clients, and teammates safe during the health crisis,” said Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut market president for Bank of America. “Throughout the coronavirus, Bank of America has joined forces with local organizations to address families’ most basic needs. By supplying Catholic Charities with PPE, we’re able to help them further their mission and continue feeding families, safely, at the same time.”
“If we close, a single mother is unable to pick up groceries to feed her family. Homebound senior citizens do not receive their meals delivered to their home. A person experiencing a crisis related to depression or anxiety cannot connect with their therapist for counseling services,” said Executive Director Mike Donoghue. “Our services our vital in helping the most vulnerable populations in the communities throughout Fairfield County. We meet the most basic needs.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Catholic Charities’ programs and services have continued to thrive, but many required the vital PPE in order to remain open. The Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport remained open with a 30 – 40% increase in meal service provided through a grab and go format. The Morning Glory Breakfast Program in Danbury was closed, but provided 4,900 meals to homeless individuals who have been moved from shelters to the Super 8 Motel to ensure social distancing. Room to Grow Preschool in Norwalk reopened September 9th with 109 students in attendance. It was a state mandate for all students and teachers to wear masks throughout the day.
“The masks provided by Bank of America have been a blessing for our staff and clients,” said Bill Colson, Director of the Thomas Merton Center. “Many clients were unable to not only find masks, but they also could not afford them. They were at risk. This donation not only helped to protect staff while they served the clients, but it also helped the clients to stay safe while out in the public.”
Catholic Charities 36 programs provide services throughout Fairfield County. Combined, they serve over 10,000 individuals in Fairfield County, Connecticut each year. During the pandemic, Catholic Charities has been the largest food resource provider, serving well over 1 million meals throughout Fairfield County.