Donations to help those in need in Fairfield County to be matched

Are you up for a challenge?

Terry Wilcox, executive director for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission hopes so. Three donors have partnered for a “Matching Challenge.” Collectively these anonymous donors have contributed $90,000 and challenged others to donate an additional $90,000 by May 31.

“This campaign offers mission partners a special opportunity to make their financial donations go twice as far during the month of May,” Wilcox said. “For example, if someone gives the mission $50, we’ll actually receive $100 because of the matching funds. The Matching Challenge could potentially bring in $180,000 to support our outreach to the homeless and poor here in coastal Fairfield County.”

Working families continue to struggle

The organization said poverty in the area continues to rise.

“In 2011, 21% of working families with children here in Connecticut had incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level,” said Wilcox. “That number has risen significantly from 16% in 2007. In addition, nearly 12% of Fairfield County families report they are food insecure. At the mission, we’re doing everything we can to care for as many as we can, and that’s why this campaign is so important.”

On average, each month the mission provides 3,000 nights of lodging for homeless men and women, 12,000 meals for those in their shelters and hungry people in impoverished neighborhoods through their two mobile kitchens, and 15,000 pantry bags of food to feed a family of four. They also distribute thousands of coats to adults and children in need, and as many as 50 individuals participate in their long-term recovery programs, receiving guidance and training to help them live independently in our community.

Anyone who would like to make a gift to donate online at or send a contribution to 1088 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605.

For more information on the mission’s programs and services for homeless and hurting men, women and children, contact Linda Casey, director of development and strategic planning, at 203-333-4087, ext. 110. Or visit

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