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    (10/11/2007) Residents are Encouraged to Donate Materials to Benefit Shelters and to Participate in National Make a Difference Day

    NEW HAVEN- At a press conference today, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. kicked-off the New Haven Make a Difference Campaign in support of National Make a Difference Day. Every year, the Points of Light Foundation along with the Volunteer Center National Network join forces with USA Today to motivate every American to dedicate one day to volunteer to impact the lives of others. This year, the 17th in the program’s history, Make a Difference Day will take place on October 27th. In an effort to encourage New Haven residents to go the extra mile, DeStefano challenged the public to start early and do their part to help neighbors in need.

    Beginning today the Mayor’s Make a Difference Drive will collect clean blankets, towels, unused socks and non-perishable foods to benefit Immanuel Baptist Shelter, Columbus House and family shelters throughout the City. Collection sites include: the Office of New Haven Residents in City Hall, all New Haven Public Schools and all branches of the New Haven Free Public Library. This campaign will run through October 26th just in time for residents to participate in a volunteer activity of their choice on National Make a Difference Day. Residents can consider organizing neighborhood clean-ups, fundraisers for charities of their choice or other activities on the 27th to join thousands of other Americans across the country in participating in acts of service.

    Residents are encouraged to document how they “Make a Difference” this month and submit stories to: jmayorga@newhavenct.net to possibly be highlighted on the City’s website.

    “This is an important civic lesson for our children,” said DeStefano. “It’s important to take time in our busy schedules to think of others and to take action to help make someone else’s life a little better. Volunteering, mentoring and supporting community-based organizations in New Haven are some of the best ways to give back. I encourage all residents to do what they can, participate in the donation drive and take at least a couple of hours on the 27th to volunteer their time and talents to the community.”

    A 2006 city census estimated that there were 1,177 homeless families in New Haven and 118 single homeless individuals. The City works in conjunction with a number of organizations to make shelters available to the homeless, particularly in the winter months. “We shouldn’t wait until it gets cold to start thinking about the materials and resources that the homeless need to make it through the winter,” said DeStefano. “That’s why it’s important that we coordinate these efforts now and help shelters prepare for the need ahead.”


    Contact Name: Jessica Mayorga

    Contact Email: jmayorga@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-7660

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