There are many ways to support the vital work of the Bridge Family Center. For community members interested in working directly with children and teens, our Family Resource welcomes people over the age of 16 who would like to read to children or provide babysitting services while caregivers engage with our classes.
Due to recent changes in privacy restrictions, we have very limited, if any, volunteer opportunities working directly with children and teens in our residential settings. We do, however, often need help in our office, in the community to deliver flyers, event support, and help organizing donated goods.
We deeply appreciate donations of goods and services. Please contact Amanda Aronson at 860.521.8035 during our office hours, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, to discuss your interest.
For our many special events, we welcome donations of refreshments and auction items. If you are interested in donating an item for an event, please call us first so we can discuss it with you. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities for our Children's Charity Ball.
Though the media makes the holiday season look sparkling and full of joy, that is not the reality for many of the children & families the Bridge serves. Many of our families express their needs through our counseling sessions, and we operate several residential programs for children and teens whose lives are in crisis. Most of these young people have suffered tragedy, abuse, or abandonment. To help those in need, we have put together our 2017 Wish List. The items in bold are in highest demand.
Gift cards: While gift cards may not always feel the most satisfying for the donor, they are the most valued by our staff, for they allow us to personalize things for our kids and help them find bright spots during dark times. These are primarily used by our counselors and residential staff to buy specific things the young people in our care need or want. They also allow our kids, especially our teens, to enjoy some of the things they may not otherwise get to do. For example: going for ice cream or to a movie with friends; getting their nails or hair done; buying fresh clothes for a school dance; buying something for prom or a holiday present for younger siblings also in state care.
Sadly, many of the girls in our residential care are victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. New clothes, nails, and experiences are often ways pimps and johns tempt girls into "the life." Through an extensive support process, we try to help girls see that there are other ways to experience these things, and gift cards can be another tool for us to use to support that process, where and when appropriate.
New rain and winter gear for infants, children, and teens: coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and snow pants
Warm, fuzzy socks, slippers, and robes for children and teens
Pajamas for children and teens
Arts and crafts supplies: coloring books, meditation sketch books, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, art kits, etc.
New household items: twin sheets and comforters, towels, bath rugs, tupperware, vacuums, paper towels, cleaning supplies, feminine products, and toiletries
Luggage: Many of our kids arrive with their belongings in black trash bags. When children leave our care, we support their sense of dignity and provide them with a new duffel bag or carry-on sized suitcase. Toiletry bags are also a helpful item.
Wallets for young men
Bikes and helmets
Nintendo Wii, games, and accessories; Xbox 360 gaming console
New Lego sets
New picture books and novels (birth to elementary)
Hams, chickens, and turkeys.
Big Wish: Rent for a year for a homeless youth