Community gathers to support those in need

The world is in a very confused state from the many irrational people who are planning and executing terrorist activities throughout the world to those trying to escalate nuclear war when most of the population of their country has no food to put on the table. And the vivid image of the destruction from Hurricane Harvey is in all of our minds as is the news of two hurricanes only days apart beginning to swamp the entire state of Florida this week after destroying so many low lying island countries is very upsetting. It almost seems like our heaviest New England winter storms are easier to plan for, handle and clean up afterwards.

Mother Nature can be cruel in the harshest of ways, but we also see the wonderful spirit and good of those people around the country who have pitched in to assist in Texas even before the storm made impact on the coast line. In the Valley the St. Vincent de Paul Society Thrift Shop located in Derby on Rt. 34 has been caring for and assisting the Naugatuck Valley homeless, abused spouses and children, families and anyone who requests their help for decades from donations you and many Valley businesses make throughout the year. However this past week St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop branched out and with the assistance of the Volunteer Shelton Fire Companies, St. Joseph’s Church and Elem. School in Shelton and BSA Troop 19 collected, sorted, and packed an 18 wheeler with essential supplies and shipped it to the Houston FEMA distribution center to help one of this countries largest cities battle back to life.

There are many to thank for this very generous and timely effort to support those in Houston who lost almost everything they owned. There are two very modest men of extremely great character, who do not seek recognition, but it is very much warranted to recognize them in the Valley to Houston Project.  Robert (Bob) Lally and James (Jim) Guarrera, both from Shelton, noted for their many acts of kindness and personal generosity over many years. They have also been a very big reason for the excellent and continued growth of the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop and in expanding the society’s services to others.

Our hats are off to Bob and Jim and we pray that they never lose their wonderful gift of inspiring others to be generous and kind to all around them. And to all those who participated planning, directing and donating you are not forgotten. The enormous and wonderful banner donated from Minuteman Press in Shelton with the signatures and words of encouragement to the Houstonians and Texans Strong from the sponsors, workers and hundreds of those who donated will be a reminder of how positive, kind and generous those in the Naugatuck Valley are in times of disaster no matter where it occurs. When the truck was escorted in by Shelton PD for loading to St. Joseph School and then out again to begin the journey to Houston there were tears of joy in every ones eyes that a good deed was done by many who can never be thanked enough for their generosity. I have to say they are VALLEY STRONG.

A second truck load is being readied to be sent to assist in the state of Florida.   Those donations can be made to any of the four Shelton Volunteer Fire Companies, at St. Vincent de Paul’s in Derby or at St. Joseph’s School (Elm Street Entrance) starting on Sept. 25 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.     

The truck has arrived in Houston and the Vincent De Paul and Shelton Fire Dept. sign has been put up for all to see. Great job everyone!

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