Church collects coats and linens

The Wilton Congregational Church will collect gently used coats, winter jackets, blankets, linens and sleeping bags during its annual coat and linens drive on Sunday through Tuesday, Nov. 3, 4, and 5.

The items will be donated for the benefit of clients of Wilton Social Services, the Open Door shelter in Norwalk and the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

“Wilton is always generous in supporting the drive,” said Genevieve Eason, the drive’s organizer. “Last year’s drive was held during the power outage in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, and still people came with armloads of donations. Even then, people in town were thinking about those less fortunate.”

One of the drive’s first beneficiaries is Wilton Social Services, which  provides information about social services, financial assistance and short-term counseling for residents in need. Ms. Eason said that each year the organization compiles a list of items needed by Wiltonians, and the church does its best to collect those items.

The Open Door shelter provides 60,000 meals from its site in Norwalk as well as operating a 95-bed shelter. Three years ago the shelter opened a job-training and life skills coaching program to help move residents toward reliable employment and self-reliance.

The Bridgeport Rescue Mission, another nonprofit, provides hundreds of thousands of meals a year, and helps clothe and shelter men, women and children in Bridgeport and South Norwalk.

“We are so grateful to be a small part of these people’s move to independence,” Ms. Eason said. “Too many of our neighbors are still struggling to get by, and at the Wilton Congregational Church we really believe that we all need to work together to change that.”

Dropoff hours are Sunday, Nov. 3, from 11 to 2, and Monday, Nov. 4 and Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 8 to 4 at the Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Road.

Information: 203-762-5591.