Beat The Street, United Way partner to help local families

reporter photo

MERIDEN — The Beat the Street Community Center and United Way of Meriden and Wallingford partnered again to make the holidays a little brighter for some local families.

Donning red stocking caps as they traveled across the city,  a half dozen Beat the Street volunteers delivered bags full of presents to nine local families.

“It’s so awesome, we needed the spirit,” said Alice Larregui as the volunteers stopped by her home Sunday.

Larregui cares for her grandson and granddaughter She said it gives her family hope to see people wanting to help them.

Beat the Street and the United Way joined to pair needy families of Beat the Street members with sponsors who provided gifts and necessities. Local businesses like Valentin Karate and Higher Movement Dance were sponsors. The United Way also donated $450 in gift cards to help the center shop for one family.

“It’s definitely nice for them to have something to open Christmas day,” said Jasmine Bryant, a Beat the Street intern who helped organize this year’s drive. It is the eighth year the community center has worked with the United Way to help needy families around the holiday.

Bryant said when sorting through applications they prioritized families with multiple children. Some of the families had as many as five or six children in the household.

Larry Pelletier, Beat the Street executive director, said the gift drive is another way for the community center to help its members, many of whom come from impoverished backgrounds. 

While it’s best-known for boxing and fitness training, Beat the Street also runs programs in career exploration to help children find future jobs. The organization is located at 121 S. Colony St.

“It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn what they can aspire to,” he said.
Twitter: @leith_yessian


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