Members and friends of First Church are committed to outreach to and support of our community of Norwalk, as well as a larger community of faith. Below are some of the agencies we support with links to their own websites. If you would like to support the work that First Church does with these agencies, please contact our church office and you will be connected with the current Chairs of our Mission and Outreach Commission. If you’d like to volunteer directly, please use these links to contact the agencies directly.
The mission of Open Door is to effectively address the causes and complexities of the homeless and working poor by providing shelter, food, clothing, case management services, treatment services, transitional planning for short and long term goals, subsidized housing, education, employment, and a path towards independence and success.
We provide shelter nightly with over 95 beds in our facility located at 4 Merritt St. From this same facility we operate the Manna House kitchen and pantry. We serve meals three times a day (over 20,000 per month) and provide boxed and canned goods to the working poor to help them make ends meet. Between the kitchen and the pantry, we provide approximately 60,000 meals per month to individuals and families in our community.
We also operate a number of private residences, providing supportive housing to those who are working and earning an income, but unable to afford housing in the area.
The shelter operates primarily from private donations, with less than 25% of our operating budget coming from government funding. 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to providing food, shelter and assistance to those in need. Our board is comprised entirely of uncompensated volunteers.
After the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968, Rev. Dr. Robert Nelson Back, director of Saint Luke’s Parish in Darien, Connecticut, who had attended seminary with Dr. King, met with parish member Jean Sherman. They talked about how caring people in Darien could respond to the assassination and express their concern about growing civil rights issues. Just days later, Dr. Back announced the formation of Person-to-Person and named Jean its first Executive Director.
From the outset, Person-to-Person began using their resources to help those in need while educating others about the impact of poverty and injustice. Efforts to help began with food and clothing and grew to include:
- Financial Assistance for emergencies
- Camperships so children would be safe during the summer while their parents worked
- College Scholarships to help break the cycle of poverty
Person-to-Person, Inc. is a non-profit charitable agency with a 501(c)(3) tax status.
More than 90% of all donations go directly to programs.
Love ALL Project is a volunteer non-partisan organization whose mission is to stop the cycle of hate by fostering understanding and relationships between different cultures through community collaborations. Love ALL Project will provide ways for our community to link arms and work together to better understand one another.