‘Hungry Kidzz’: Local Woman Sets Up New Canaan Location for Nonprofit’s Stocking Program

Months after New Canaan’s Jeanette Wallace in early 2014 created Hungry Kidzz—a nonprofit organization whose mission is to get as much food and joy to needy local children—she launched a “stocking stuffer” program whereby donors could fill a stocking with goodies that she’d redistribute through area human services groups. Relatively new to town—Wallace moved here with her family, including three kids, about four years ago—she didn’t have a physical location at the time to give her program visibility and to collect donations. This year, Wallace teamed up with Halo Studios on Grove Street and expanded the program so that those who wanted to support it without physically filling a stocking themselves could help by funding the purchase of treats, candy, gum, puzzles, arts & crafts, books, barrettes, nail polish and other items.

“We felt last year that there are a lot of people that wanted to do stockings and but they didn’t have time and would rather write a check,” Wallace said. Formerly a Trumbull resident, Wallace said she realizes the organization’s mission through programs such as the stocking stuffers by helping connect New Canaanites with needy families from surrounding towns in a meaningful, direct way. The stockings themselves—Wallace predicts more than last year’s 1,300 for this year—will go to families not only through the New Canaan Food Pantry but also Open Door Shelter in Norwalk which is both a soup kitchen and shelter, Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport, St.

New Canaan Nonprofits Participating in ‘Giving Day’

On Thursday, some 18 New Canaan nonprofit organizations will participate in a 24-hour fundraising blitz known as Giving Day. Hosted by the Fairfield County Community Foundation under the slogan “Give Where You Live” and with a goal of raising $1 million on a single day, Giving Day invites donors to give at least $10 to as many charities as they can. The organization that has the most individual donations will win an extra $25,000, while the organization that raises the most money will get another $20,000 (more information on prizes is available here). We asked participating local nonprofits to send us a single sentence communicating to NewCanaanite.com readers why they’re a great candidate for a donation on this day. Here are the New Canaan nonprofits, according to the Giving Day website, with their responses (those agencies that have not yet responded can email me directly at editor@newcanaanite.com and I will update this story):

A Better Chance of New Canaan: “The mission of the ABC of New Canaan is to offer capable minority youth the opportunity to learn in a superior educational program while also preparing them to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.”
Carriage Barn Arts Center/New Canaan Society for the Arts: “Please support the New Canaan Society for the Arts/Carriage Barn Arts Center on this Fairfield County Giving Day and help us fulfill our goal of providing exceptional art exhibitions, accessible children’s art education, and cultural programs.”
Filling in the Blanks: “Your support will allow FILLING IN THE BLANKS to provide over 300 hungry children with meals on the weekend.”
Future 5: “Now with over 100 active members, Future 5 is helping motivated, low income high school students stay on track and connect to their full potential.”
Hungry Kidzz: “We provide weekend bags of food during the summer, a 4th of July ‘Freedom (barbecue) Box’ and 1000s of holiday stockings in December.”