There’s a new community center in Norwalk, and it celebrated its opening on Thursday. Dignitaries included Mayor Richard A. Moccia, State Senator Bob Duff, area residents,
The Christian Community Action Group (CCA) Norwalk, Inc., is a nonprofit, nonsectarian agency now at 76 South Main Street in SONO. It remains one of Norwalk’s most active aid groups, continuing the work it performed when created 40 years ago as a food pantry by St. Paul’s on the Green and The First Congregational Church on the Green.

CCA’s food pantry now feeds over 3,500 residents each year. The agency distributes over 2,000 winter coats and delivers furniture and mattresses to about 1,000 people annually. It disburses over $30,000 in rent, security-deposit and utility-bill payments, and each winter prepares about 40 local high school students for SAT exams. Recent graduates of this program are currently attending or have been accepted to Howard University, UConn, Southern, Western, and NCC.
CCA also offers English-language conversation classes, collects holiday gifts for 800 children each year and collects and distributes children’s books. Our English teacher, Phyllis Weinstein, is trained in both ESL and literacy, and helps her students move from a rudimentary ability in English to be able to handle school discussions, phone calls, and doctor appointments. Area high school students are happy to be at the receiving end of prom dresses distributed by CCA, donated by local residents as well as the Wilton Women’s Club and the New Canaan High School fashion show committee.
CCA is proud of its contributions to the community. With an annual budget of $260,000, it gives back about $1.5 million, based on the value of all the food, furniture, clothing and books, and its classes. It has been recognized by area agencies for its work in feeding the hungry and in offering safety net programs to keep more people from falling into homelessness.
CCA is led by the dynamic Christi Pope, the agency’s executive director and also one of the SAT teachers. Christi, a geologist by training, isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to get the job done, like driving CCA’s big truck to pick up dozens of mattresses from Yale University and deliver then to drop-off points throughout Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Stamford. “Working for a small NPO brings great rewards and constant variety to my life. The support CCA gets from the community is amazing, and it is wonderful to be a part of these programs that so benefit those in need. I am really excited about the changes coming into our new space. Moving our classes back on site and thinking about the options to increase this aspect of our mission is wonderfully challenging,” said Pope.

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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