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West Hartford Residents Spearhead Donation of Winter Clothes to Displaced Families Relocating from Puerto Rico

Volunteers pack boxes of clothing that will be donated to families relocating to the Hartford area from Puerto Rico. Submitted photo

JFS’s Tara’s Closet and the Jewish Community Relations Council have donated winter clothing to a relief center that will open Wednesday to support displaced families relocating to the Hartford region.

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Jewish Family Services (JFS) Tara’s Closet and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford today announced Monday that they will be donating hundreds of winter clothing items – 50 boxes – to the “Centro de Ayuda Para Nuestros Amigos Caribeños” (Help Center for our Caribbean Friends), a relief center managed by CREC and local community agencies. The relief center, located at 15 Van Dyke Ave. in Hartford, opens on Nov. 1.

Volunteers pack boxes of clothing that will be donated to families relocating to the Hartford area from Puerto Rico. Submitted photo

The relief center is dedicated to helping displaced families relocating to the Hartford region from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands as the result of recent hurricanes. Its goal is to help these families start their new lives in Hartford as quickly and seamlessly as possible with the aid of volunteer staff, support services, and supplies from community, state, and city partners. One basic necessity is clothing, particularly warm sweaters, coats, scarves, hats, and gloves to help these families prepare for the cold winter weather in Connecticut.

In that spirit, Jewish Family Services Tara’s Closet is donating new and like-new winter clothing and outerwear for men, women, teens, and children. This donation is the result of a clothing drive which was organized throughout the fall. Island communities throughout the Caribbean are beginning a long road to recovery from several major hurricanes that have ravaged the Atlantic. Puerto Rico in particular is facing what local officials have described as a full-blown humanitarian crisis.

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017,  Jewish Family Services Tara’s Closet, in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, orchestrated its most substantial donation yet to help Puerto Rico’s hurricane victims.

“It is in times like this when we all must come together, to help those in great need,” said Tara’s Closet Founder Barbara Roth. Puerto Rico has been hit hard, and we will do everything we can to help our friends and family as they face immense adversity. There is no question that we must do all we can do to help. We must all come together and provide a helping hand.”

Tara’s Closet  serves all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation.  The mission is to help people advance along the path toward emotional well-being, self-reliance, more positive relationships, and a renewed sense of possibility. Clothing for men, women and children are provided at NO COST. Tara’s Closet provides clothing to individuals and families living in West Hartford, Bloomfield and the entire Greater Hartford area during temporary or long-term times of need.

The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) donated space for the center at its former Two Rivers High School location and is coordinating the services. “Many of us are anxious to help families as they transition here,” said Greg Florio, CREC’s executive director. “We’re excited that many concerned community partners will be together in one location to give them food, clothing, and other necessities.”

Attorney Jeffrey Dressler of Dressler Law is generously providing transportation, coordinating logistics, and informing the Latino community about the clothing donation and the services that will available through the relief center.

Boxes and packing supplies are donated by Connecticut Packaging Materials Inc., located at 85 South Satellite Rd. in South Windsor, CT.

For more information on Tara’s Closet and Jewish Family Services, please visit www.jfshartford.org or call 860-236-1927, extension 7129. To learn more about the Jewish Community Relations Council or Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, visit www.jewishhartford.org or call 860-232-4483.

About Jewish Family Services

In partnership with Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and Jewish Foundation of Greater Hartford, the JFS mission is to enhance and strengthen quality of life through the Jewish tradition of caring and compassion. JFS Counseling, Education and Community Support programs serve the Jewish community AND the community at large. To learn more about Jewish Family Services, visit jfshartford.org.

About the Jewish Community Relations Council

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford strengthens community, pursues social justice, combats anti-Semitism and supports Israel in the Jewish and broader communities. JCRC builds coalitions; convenes broad discussions on historical, contemporary and emerging topics; serves as an informational resource to the media and community members; and advocates on issues important to the Jewish community.

About the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford protects and enhances the well-being of Jews and their neighbors worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning). To learn more, visit jewishhartford.org.

About the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)

The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

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