Trumbull nonprofit celebrates 10 years of service with 151st project

TRUMBULL — Alice Targowski and Diane Rivers walked through the Trumbull Senior Center Monday morning, each carrying a tote bag packed with toiletries, baby pumpkins, baked goods and other items.

The two were among roughly 140 recipients of Sweets and Treats for Seniors, a program sponsored by the nonprofit IMPACTrumbull that gave out goodies to seniors. IMPACT is a local nonprofit that provides community services opportunities for area families.

Monday marked the group's 10th anniversary, as well as its 151st project. Toothbrushes, pumpkins and the like were scattered across tables in the senior center, and those who had registered for the Sweets and Treats program were welcome to take one of everything. 

Targowski, 75, and Rivers, 73 happily took them up on that offer.

"It's delightful," Targowski said. "It's bringing people out here who don't usually get to the senior center."

Rivers was impressed with the practicality of the offered items. "It's all stuff you can use," she said.

The giveaway was part of IMPACT's "Making Gratitude Contagious" to support local essential workers and businesses. The organization has already supported Trumbull fire, police, EMTs, healthcare workers and those in the public school system. Reaching out to area seniors seemed like a logical next step, said IMPACT president Jenn Record.

After all, she said, the whole idea of IMPACT is bringing people of all ages together to help others.

"There are a lot of volunteer opportunities for adults, but not a lot of children," Record said.

IMPACT aims to do one hands-on community service project a month, and focuses on things families can do together. For instance, about 20 volunteers participated in Sweets and Treats, ranging in age from 5 to senior citizens. Record said Monday was a good for the project, as many children had school off due to the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

Ryan Fabrizio, 16, was among those handing out baked goods to the seniors. "I like to help as much as I can," Fabrizio said.

The items distributed by Sweets and Treats were contributed by local businesses, including Ganim Garden Center and Florist, Trumbull Stop & Shop, Unilever, Vaughn Family Dentistry and 4 Imprint.

IMPACTrumbull volunteers contribute about 800 hours of community service a year. In addition to Making Gratitude Contagious, its programs have included donating "Blessings Bags" of travel-size hygiene items donated every six to eight weeks to area homeless shelters, as well as giving "Cold Care Kits" of socks, hats and other items to shelters.

Record said IMPACT is not just beneficial to those it helps directly, but also to the volunteers, particularly young ones.

"It's our belief that, if they have the opportunity, kids will realize they can't save the world in one day, but that's important to just give back," she said.

For more on IMPACT, visit http://www.impactrumbull.org/who-we-are/.