Church collects umbrellas for Keystone House residents

April is the month of spring showers and if you haven’t got an umbrella, that could be a problem.

Recognizing that, for the past five years Wilton Congregational Church has held an umbrella drive to benefit the people who live in apartments under the auspices of Keystone House in Norwalk. The nonprofit organization has three apartment programs for people with psychiatric disorders.

“Most of their clients don’t have the ability to drive, but they work with them to be able to work and train them for jobs,” Gifford Broderick, chairman of the Board of Mission and Services at the church, said of Keystone House. “Most of the people they serve live in one of their houses and most either walk to work or walk to a bus station or train station to get to wherever they need to go.”

Every April the church asks members of the congregation to bring in gently used or new umbrellas or make a monetary donation for Broderick’s board to purchase them.

“For the whole month we collect the umbrellas and then bring them to Keystone House, which then passes them out to clients,” Broderick said. “Something as simple as a $10 umbrella can make someone’s day a bit better.”

This is the first year the church has put up a sign to encourage the wider community to join in the collection. About 10 umbrellas have been collected so far this month. Anyone wishing to donate an umbrella may bring it to the church office at 70 Ridgefield Road.

The church also collects toiletries for the Keystone House residents throughout the year. These may be dropped off at the office as well.