Bridgeport Police Lt. Lonnie Blackwell, President of the Bridgeport Guardians helped purchase and delivered over $1000 of toys to Scott Wilderman, Executive Director of Career Resources, Inc. (CRI). The generous donation will be combined with contributions and collections from CRI staff and board members along with gifts from local businesses and volunteers for its’ 13th annual Toy Drive and luncheon.
As a workforce development organization helping people train and get back to work, CRI has an intimate knowledge of the struggles of people who are unemployed during the holiday season. To aid their clients during this difficult time of year, CRI is committed to make sure all of their clients’ children get a gift. This year, CRI is paying careful attention to special needs children to provide appropriate gifts.
In a unique twist on the traditional toy giveaway, CRI seeks to empower their clients by giving them unwrapped toys that they can provide to their children themselves.
More than 200 clients and neighbors gathered in the CTWorks Career Center lobby on Dec. 20 for a holiday meal prepared by Bullard-Havens Tech School culinary students.
The hungry guests had a dinner featuring traditional food served by recruits from the Bridgeport Police Department Training Academy, Career Resources, Inc. (CRI) board members and State Rep. Tony Hwang. The meal was co-sponsored by the WorkPlace and the CT Department of Labor.
Rev. James Cook delivered the blessing over the meal and the gathered officials addressed the crowd after a moment of silence dedicated to the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook School. “This meal is to thank you all for all your hard work all year,” said Scott Wilderman, CRI executive director to all participants.
“This meal is a reminder that there is good, there is love out there,” Hwang said. “And with the gift of toys, we can give children some innocence and joy to hold onto.” Rep. Hwang added that “"while I am still overwhelmed with sadness about the Sandy Hook tragedy and especially touched by the loss during the holiday season of family, love and hope. I am resolved to re-affirm my commitment towards making a positive difference in my community. This opportunity to participate in this toy giving luncheon was rewarding and also a much needed respite from my personal emotional struggles of the past week."
Career Resources Inc., serves 20,000 job seekers annually with job search assistance, computer labs and internet access, job posting, career coaching, training, and other services. Other Career Resources programs include STRIVE attitudinal job readiness training, Adult Basic Education and GED Preparation, Fathers for Life, and specialized job placement for mature workers and those with disabilities. For more information, call (203) 634-6601 or visit them at 350 Fairfield Ave. in Bridgeport.
The Bridgeport Guardians are minority police officers who serve the community, fighting discrimination within the Police Department and for the people they serve. The Guardian organization was formed in 1970. The membership consists of Black and Latino officers.
Rep. Tony Hwang was recently re-elected to a third term in the Connecticut General Assembly. He represents the 134th District, which covers parts of Trumbull and Fairfield. Rep. Hwang is the Ranking Leader in the Government Administration and Elections Committee and will be a member of Public Safety and Insurance and Real Estate committees. Rep. Hwang is a member of the Business/Education/Governmental Life Sciences Group to promote Genomic and BioScience business development in CT.