Members of First Congregational Church’s “Wallingford Workcamp” donate more than 9,000 items to local organizations

WALLINGFORD — Members of the First Congregational Church’s “Wallingford Workcamp” donated over 9,000 household items to local organizations, concluding a week-long service.

Master’s Manna food pantry was one the organizations to receive donations, including over 30 cases of diapers and wipes, 550 razors and over 50 boxes of facial tissue

Susan Heald, food pantry manager, said the items were much-needed. 

“We were thrilled to get the diapers,” Heald said. “We were very grateful about that.”

Heald said the nonprofit, which serves homeless and low to moderate income people in Wallingford and Meriden, hasn’t had razors in their pantry stock for months.

The workcamp also donated to the town’s homeless shelter and the Wallingford Emergency Management Team. 

Workcamp Team Director Connor Filkins said the donations were just one aspect of the group’s mission. 

“I’m still… trying to process just how amazing of a week it was,” Filkins said. “It was more than I could have ever hoped for.”

Participants from 17 churches across 10 states and one Canadian province made up 57 crews, which camped out at Sheehan High School last week. The volunteers worked on 54 local homes, completing projects like building handicap ramps and painting entire house exteriors. 

Filkins said it was rewarding to see the residents’ reactions to the help, which was free for homeowners, all of whom were elderly, disabled or low-income.

“It was just so fulfilling to see all the different work that happened around the community,” said Team Director Lorraine Westervelt. “The smiles on the residents faces were just incredible.”

Volunteers painted the mobile home of Yalesville resident Robert Gagliardi. 

“I want to commend them for their efforts, cause I gave them an A-plus,” Gagliardi said. “They did a heck of a lot of work here… They worked their tails off in that stifling heat.”

Gagliardi, who lives alone, said it was nice to have the volunteers around for company as well.
Twitter: @baileyfaywright


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