WETHERSFIELD - A local Eagle Scout is coordinating an aid effort to lend a helping hand to the homeless and unemployed this spring.
Wethersfield resident and Kingswood Oxford High School student Frank Bruno, 17, is launching a campaign to collect donations--mostly food and toiletries--for The House of Bread, a soup kitchen and homeless shelter in Hartford.
“I have always wanted to help people in need and I felt that one of the best ways to assist the homeless would be to coordinate my Eagle Scout Project around them,” Bruno said. “I was researching homeless shelters around the Hartford area and became familiar with the House of Bread.”
The House of Bread provides a number of services-including meal servings, day shelters and both permanent and temporary housing.
“My mom and I decided to visit and I instantly loved the idea,” Bruno said. “I was able to meet the people who regularly come in for meals, as well as the House of Bread staff. I knew at that moment that these were the people I wanted to help.”
His campaign will run through April, although Bruno has said that he is willing to stretch it into May if need be. As the lone Eagle Scout organizing the effort, Bruno will be collecting donations door-to-door, although he is considering the use of the Emerson-Williams School in Wethersfield, as well as his own Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, as drop off locations. The items will be transported in one trip to House of Bread when the campaign is finished.
“I feel that it is more personal if I pick up the items and speak with the donators myself, so that I can thank them in person to show them how much I appreciate their efforts,” Bruno said. “Therefore, there are no set donation spots as of yet, but I look forward to the challenge of gathering the donations myself and testing my leadership abilities.”
He will, however, have some help. Bruno is planning to enlist some of his fellow Eagle Scouts to assist him with passing out flyers and canvassing local grocery stores.
The House of Bread’s soup kitchen, which serves anywhere from 300-400 meals per day, is looking for a variety of items, including trash bags, napkins, tin foil, rubber gloves, paper towels and dish soap. The kitchen is also asking for food items such as vegetable oil, sugar and margarine, according to a flyer that Bruno has mailed to Wethersfield residents.
Another service the organization provides is Kids’ Corner, which provides meals to 450 children ages 6-12 on a daily basis. Amongst the food items Kids’ Corner is seeking are penne pasta, cereal, canned vegetables, powdered milk, mashed potatoes, and spaghetti sauce.
“We can always use donations over at that site,” said House of Bread Co-Director Maureen Faenza. “I think it’s great that he thought of us and is thinking of the needs of those who are less fortunate.”
Suggested donations for the House of Bread’s day shelter includes shampoo, laundry soap, razors, shaving cream, tooth brushes, tooth paste, socks and spray deodorant. Full lists for all three of the organization’s services can be found on the flyer that Bruno has sent out.
Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Frank Bruno at 860-944-5123 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .