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Help Needed For 2022 Newtown Fund Holiday Basket Program



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The Holiday Basket program is a community-wide effort organized by The Newtown Fund (TNF) each year, in conjunction with the Town of Newtown Department of Human Services.

Countless Newtown residents, businesses, and organizations generously donate time and resources to support Newtown families in need during the holiday season.

(“Families” in this case also refers to couples and individuals who need assistance.)

The program culminates on Depot Day, when all items and gifts are organized and delivered to those who have requested them. Organizers are still hoping residents will step up in time to help those in need this month.

For the third year, Depot Day will be done via direct delivery to the homes of adoptees. Until 2019, all items were collected at a central location and then either delivered or picked up by families. COVID precautions led to the change of Depot Day collection and distribution.

Donations of cash and/or gift cards are also accepted. Many people who would like to support the Holiday Basket program but are unable to adopt a full family often choose that option. Toys and other gifts can also be donated to the Holiday Basket program.

All contributions are tax deductible.

For additional information about The Newtown Fund, which operates year-round, visit TheNewtownFund.org.

Depot Day this year is scheduled for Saturday, December 17.

That morning, according to Human Services Director Natalie Jackson, donors who have adopted families will be asked to visit Newtown Senior Center, 8 Simpson Street, to pick up any gift cards and other items that are to be added to their collection for their adopted families.

To adopt a family or make a donation, visit TheNewtownFund.org or contact the organization at NewtownFund@gmail.com.

Families Still Being Accepted

Any family that wishes to be adopted should also contact Newtown Human Services at 203-270-4330. Applicants are screened by the Town of Newtown department to make sure they meet eligibility requirements.

The names of those seeking adoption are known only to Human Services; each recipient is identified to TNF only by a number, with only their gender and general age also shared. The wish list of each person, couple, or family is also provided to the fund, which distributes it to those who want to do an adoption.

In years past, an average of 200 people were aided through TNF’s Holiday Basket program.

TNF President Linda Bates told The Newtown Bee in January 2021 that TNF’s Holiday Basket program adopted out 97 families for the 2020 holiday season. The program provided gifts and food, she said, for 295 people: 125 adults (ages 18-61), 44 senior citizens (age 62 and up), and 96 children (age 17 and under).

In 2019, 62 families were aided; in 2018 it was 68 families, representing 100 adults and 60 children. The previous year, the fund aided 71 families.

It seems 1992 may have been the standard bearer for the most challenging year for the program. That year, 124 families — representing 400 people, according to Newtown Bee archives — were served through the program, which began in 1964 as a distribution of Christmas food baskets. That first year, 40 families — 200 people — received boxes of gifts and food.

Countless Newtown residents, businesses, and organizations generously donate time and resources to support Newtown families in need during the holiday season through The Newtown Fund’s Holiday Basket program.
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