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The Hartford Court of Common Council to Host Dec. 9 Fundraiser to Benefit Hartford Hurricane Relief Center

The Hartford Court of Common Council is hosting a “Neighbors helping Neighbors” fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at 15 Van Dyke Ave., Hartford, to benefit Centro de Ayuda Para Nuestros Amigos Caribeños (Relief Center for our Caribbean Friends). The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) manages the relief center, which opened on Nov. 1. It has already served more than 600 families and individuals who have relocated to the Hartford region from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands as the result of this fall’s hurricanes. Businesses and individuals are invited to tour the center and hear firsthand accounts from people who have benefitted so far. The event will also feature guest speakers, live music, and light refreshments.

“Arriving families are turning to the relief center in increasing numbers for access to social services, jobs and job search assistance, transportation, educational resources, and even food and clothing,” said Greg J. Florio, CREC’s executive director. “There is no charge for these services, which are all on-site. As the demand continues to increase, the relief center needs financial support from the community to continue this good work.”

Florio noted that a generous donor will match each 501c3, tax-deductible donation dollar for dollar up to $25,000. “It presents a singular opportunity for the Hartford community to double their gifts for twice the impact,” he said. “One hundred percent of the matching gift will provide direct support for families so that no one goes without food, a warm winter coat, or the social services necessary to start their new lives here.”Cash, checks, credit cards, and text-to-give will be accepted. You can also donate nonperishable food items, winter clothing and boots for children and adults, and toiletries at the event.

“The relief center is a true community partnership,” said Florio. “When families come to the relief center our partners, Capital Workforce Partners, Catholic Charities, and Charter Oak Health Center are on hand to provide English as a Second Language class referral and registration, career readiness information, and address their healthcare and insurance needs. Everyone leaves with a coat, winter clothing, food and toiletries and even backpacks filled with school supplies for the children. The American Red Cross is also at the center helping them with FEMA applications.”

“I’m grateful for CREC’s efforts to partner with various community partners to create a relief center for families from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico that provides basic needs assistance,” said T.J. Clarke II, president of The Hartford Court of Common Council. “I look forward to working with CREC leadership to provide additional support to families.” “More than any other time of year, the holiday season is when we most think about our neighbors in need,” said Florio. “We can’t afford to let them down.”

If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, you can still donate on You may also contact CREC Foundation Program Officer Darlene Wolliston directly at or 860-240-6668. 

To learn more about the relief center and other ways you can also help, visit If your organization wants to be part of this humanitarian effort, contact MaryAnne Pascone at or call 860-422-7095

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