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Over 200+ Children & Families & The Elderly Blessed for Thanksgiving 2023




There was no shortage of Turkeys this year for Thanksgiving 2023. However, for 1 in 10 Connecticut families, Thanksgiving was a food luxury nearly 400,000 could not afford to have.


On November 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, to address food insecurity in Hartford, Windsor, East Hartford, Manchester, Vernon, New Haven and Sharon, Connecticut, Save Our Schools for Our Kids Foundation (SOS4Oks) in partnership with the Curtis and Sheila Robinson Foundation teamed to feed 200 families of four and as high as ten with a 12–14-pound turkey, a five pound bag of potato from Swaz Potato Farms in Hatfield, MA and the Thanksgiving fixings’ for a hearty meal.


Since 2020, SOS4Oks have partnered with Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes, Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF)e, and her Deputy Commissioner, Jodi Hill-Lilly to help find families through their directors and managers of those most in need.


Additionally, we teamed with Ret. Hartford Fire Fighter Captain Steve Harris, former President of the Phoenix Society to pull together the turkeys, potatoes, and bags of groceries at The Phoenix. Urban Hope Refugee Church led by Pastor AJ Johnson and his family teamed with SOS4Oks Foundation and the Curtis and Sheila Robinson Foundation to name families from the Barbour Street Neighborhood community in the most impoverished 06120-zip code to come to church to pick up their food.


In addition to families, we reached the elderly community on the Eve of Thanksgiving and Day off to provide people who were unable to venture out to shop and/or were sick and shut in with turkeys.


None of this could have been done without the lead sponsorship support for the turkeys by Carelon Behavioral Health for their partnership with SOS4OK and their support. Additionally, the Curtis and Sheila Robinson Foundation, with a decades and decades long history of giving to those in need – with Curtis D. Robinson being the forerunner of giving, they too sponsored the groceries for the families.


“We are pleased to be a friend and partner with Save Our Schools 4 Our Kids to meet the needs of hungry families,” said Justina Torello, President of the Curtis, and Sheila Robinson Foundation. We have teamed together to feed thousands of families since the pandemic. This legacy was started by my grandparents Curtis and Sheila when I was a little girl. We look to always continue to give as times are the hardest it has been in years.”


SOS4OK with community partners Hartford Police and the Curtis and Sheila Robinson Foundation led a caravan to the homes of families to personally deliver the turkeys and food. Families that have 8 to 10 we gave two turkeys and double groceries.


Swaz Potato Farms is a long-term partner that supported SOS4Oks with 25-thousands of potatoes during Thanksgiving in three states in 2021. Other sponsors included Barr & Barr. We thank Conning, Inc., and its young professional’s unit for helping to assemble the bags of food and distribute the food at Urban Hope Refuge.


Added organizations that received from SOS4Oks, and the Curtis and Sheila Robinson Foundation are: Catholic Charities, Boys and Girls Clubs and Elephant in the Room of New Haven, Girls Inc., and Northeast NRZ,


“Thank you so very much for supplying our families’ meals this Thanksgiving holiday, said Ken Mysogland, Chief Administrator of External Affairs for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families Central Office. “Our work is complex and especially over the past year, we have seen the significant needs of our families, the trauma our children across Connecticut experience, and the stress within our country and the world. It takes the collective efforts of all of us - starting out with a small gesture - to aid in the healing process.”


Some of the families included a mom who was in DCF care and custody as a child. As an adult, she struggled with being a parent and was separated from her children. The family is now back together and as we know, continues to need support. When we outreached to say we had food for her family, her response was, "OMG, I was praying for this."


Another Father, who is sober after a 10+ battle with substance abuse, including fentanyl, is now spending Thanksgiving with his two-year old son for the first time. His story is simply amazing and somewhat of a miracle given the life he led. DCF reached to say they had dinner for him, and his response was, "Awesome! Heck yeah."


There was a single father who has raised his daughter, with little to no support from his extended family. Yet, he is always the first person to raise his hand when a family in need comes his way.


He now does not have to worry about dinner, and he has extra food to give out as he knows that each Thanksgiving morning, someone contacts him in crisis. While he was pleased, he would eat, probably even more. He was grateful he could give back to others.


The impact we made was about 1,000 people. “The bedrock of our Carer Pathways Business Development organization is addressing basic human needs. Our Feeding the 5,000 program starts with the premise that if we are going to inspire and change the lives of children, youth, and families, we need to address hunger. We are grateful to the Curtis and Sheila Robinson Foundation for continuing their support and our partners and sponsors being their for us every step of the way. Carelon Behavioral Health, Barr & Barr and Conning, we can’t thank you enough!”


Since July of 2020, Save Our Schools for Our Kids Foundation and its partners have fed over 180,000 individuals and families in three states – Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.



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