A bit of trivia you might not know? Ridgefield Social Services is a team of only 2 people; Director Tony Phillips and Municipal Agent Karen Gaudian. But with the help of a dozen volunteers who donate their time and the hundreds of local donors who support us, we are part of a formidable force that can help our most at-risk neighbors maintain their quality of life.
Each year, Ridgefield Social Services helps hundreds of Ridgefield residents through a variety of programs. Just a few weeks ago, we were distributing holiday items of nonperishable food, cooked Thanksgiving meals, grocery gift cards and fresh baked pies to help people celebrate the holiday. And over the next few weeks we'll be busy making sure people are connected for help with the upcoming winter holidays and cold weather. But at the same time, these past several months, we've been bustling with activity helping enroll seniors in Medicare prescription coverage and with the weather turning colder; we normally help from 100- 140 households apply for energy assistance.
Requests for assistance and the number of families and seniors who are struggling has grown dramatically over the past few years. From 2022 to 2023, Ridgefield Social Services saw a 60% increase in assistance we provided to local residents. Many of those requests came from people who experience food insecurity. Yes, in Ridgefield we regularly help almost 200 residents each month to put food on their tables. While we normally help 100-140 households apply for energy assistance, during last winter an astounding 240+ Ridgefield households asked the State for help with their heat. But along with food insecurity and heating needs, there are many residents who struggle to pay high rents, the high cost of electricity, the high cost of food; leaving many with nothing at the end of each month.
That's where you come in. The Ridgefield community has always been extremely generous, especially during the holidays. With your donations to Social Services, we've been able to help residents ward off evictions, stave off electrical shutoff, deliver oil right before big freeze sets in and so much more. Each day brings us a new challenge that are very often related to a household's inability to cover their basic needs. Many of our clients are seniors who live on a fixed income, and another significant portion of our clients are children.
This holiday season, we ask for your help. Please consider making a tax deductible donation that will help us keep people housed, keep the lights on and keep food on the table for so many all year long. You can make a one time donation, or even "set it and forget it" to automatically donate monthly. Any donation big or small is both welcomed and needed to get through this winter and the next year. And another bit of trivia, 100% of donations we receive go back out to help your neighbors, and 100% of what we are able to do is donor funded.
Please consider Ridgefield Social Services for a tax deductible donation as part of your holiday giving plan. Checks can be made to the "Town of Ridgefield", Emergency Fund in the memo and mailed to Town Hall. Or you can make an easy online donation at the link below.
Thank you, Ridgefield!