Sunday, Feb. 17, homeless and struggling families were invited to a “Day of Caring.” Sponsored by Michelle Caprio, Phil Liscio, Westies Care and The First Congregational Church, the day was coordinated through the efforts of the West Haven Family Resource Center.
Like most events of this kind, it didn’t just happen. Many hours were spent in the planning of what events and services were needed.
In the early part of January, Caprio reached out to Liscio, whose Westies Care organization has served the community for more than a decade, asking if he would be a vital part of her plan by asking the church’s permission and having his organization serve a hot meal. Within a few days Phil gave her the answer she was hoping for and the planning began.
Caprio contacted many businesses asking for samples and made care packages of essential items. She also received blankets donated by WHPD to hand out, had clothing and shoes available, information for Veterans Services provided by the VA, information for local shelters, and several services to make everyone feel better. Many businesses and organizations took part in the event. Caprio would like to thank: Will Barakat from Sal’s Barber Shop and Stephanie Cabral of Progressions Salon & Wig Boutique for providing haircuts; Michelle D’Avignon and Merissa Watson for doing manicures; WHFD for discussing basic first aid, providing first aid kits and taking blood pressure: dental screenings by VDHS Founder, Sharon McCreven, RDH: West Haven Pediatrics for taking blood pressure and answering questions; Shoreline Health and Wellness Center for talking to those who wanted to sit and chat; and Edward Voss from the West Haven Lions Club for providing information about vision and equipment available.
“While our friends were waiting their turn for services they enjoyed a hot meal generously donated and served by Westies Care and took fun Polaroid pictures to take with them to remember their special day. As I indicated on the flyer, I wanted them to all know how truly special they are,” Caprio said.
She also placed the following note inside each care bag to be a constant reminder.
“ I hope this little bag and event remind you that you are worth so much ! There is always help, there is always hope. Hope you have a great day!” it said.
Liscio echoed Caprio’s thanks.
“The First Congregational Church of West Haven and Westies Care were honored to collaborate with Michelle, volunteers and companies that made this event both classy and successful,” he said.
State Rep. Dorina Borer (D-115), who was in attendance said had many thanks to give.
“We have a significant number of vulnerable residents in West Haven that need our attention and care. Thank you to the Caprio Family for not only the valuable work they provided to connect these residents to the resources they need, but for also continuing to shine a spotlight on homelessness. No one should be without food and shelter. No one,” she said.
Caprio said special thanks went to the volunteers: Janet Liscio, Michaela and Chloe Caprio, Christopher Hibson, Steve Gourdier, John Lorenzo and Ava Donovan along with Westies Care volunteers Daniella Occhineri, WHHS Senior, Chef Bill Tingley and John Madzik.
“Without them this day would not have been possible,” Caprio said. “To those who donated items to make the care packages. Bank of America, Stop and Shop and Walmart WH , Henry Schein and Patterson Dental Supply Companies, Chief O’Brien/WH Rotary, Bob Alvine from Premier KIA of Branford, BIC Pen, Peter Whyte, an anonymous donor, and Simple Modern Company of Oklahoma for providing amazing thermos tumbler cups, I am beyond humbled by all of your generosity.”
She had one special thanks to give.
“ Everyone was very generous and I sincerely appreciate the love that was displayed at the event and I would like to publicly thank Phil (Liscio) for supporting my idea and for all his hard work in our Community. It was a beautiful day to see so many people smile,“ said Caprio.