Saturday, November 15, 2008


Have you ever been hungry and not have enough money to buy food? Did you ever skip a meal so another family member could eat? Unfortunately, this is happening right here in Connecticut. You could help make a positive difference. For the last 15 years a number of volunteers have been feeding children in need. Lydia M. Child said, "An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves."

You're invited to join me for the 2008 Thanksgiving Basket Brigade! It will be held on Saturday, November 22nd. We'll have Starbucks Coffee and danish waiting for you! We could use your help that day and we need your donations to help our growing fundraising need. I tell people that if they come, they will thank me for telling them about this wonderful gathering. Every year, my participation makes me really feel like the holidays are here.

Here's a letter from a yearly volunteer: "The day of the Basket Brigade is one of the best of the year for me. While it makes me sad to think that people need that kind of help, because certainly no one should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, it makes me happy, too. To reach out to people and to know that everyone who participates in the Basket Brigade reaches out, too. That is what life is all about, isn't it, helping each other? All of you folks responsible for starting and organizing it are fantastic. I'm in awe of how hard you all work to put it all together and to make sure there is food to put in those baskets. It's truly been a blessing for my family, who also helps and as my niece and nephew get older, they'll help out, too. Sending much love and appreciation that I feel for all of you and I look forward to seeing you on November 22nd. Many thanks!" - Rachel

Please meet us at 9:30 AM at our Thanksgiving Basket Brigade location, which is Champ Direct Printing & Mailing, 75 Cascade Boulevard, Milford, CT 06460. On the weekend before Thanksgiving, volunteers have been putting together and delivering baskets with all the fixings’ to those in need in the greater New Haven/ Bridgeport area. We work with several agencies to find families in need of assistance. We work with the CCCC (Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis), Yale Child Study Center, Cornerstone, Bella Vista, and The Connecticut Department of Social Services.

All donations are tax deductible Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis Help make a positive difference this year! Make a donation to the Thanksgiving Basket Brigade. Go to: hit the Basket Brigade button!

Or you can mail a check to: CCCC (The Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis), 131 Dwight Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Please indicate "Basket Brigade" in the memo section. The CCCC is a non profit organization that has been providing client names and assists with our efforts every year. Upon completion of the Basket Brigade, CCCC will mail a thank you letter (an employer may want to hang this up) which with your canceled check will be your receipt. Your name will be included in their annual report.

The CCCC is a non profit organization that has been providing client names and assists with our efforts every year. A donation of $300 feeds 10 families, $150 feeds 5 families, and $30 feeds 1 family. Any donation will help tremendously! One hundred percent of your donations, every single penny, will go to purchasing food and toys. The entire overhead is donated. You will receive a thank you letter and your name will be included in the CCCC annual report.

Check this out:

I trust you will get excited about this project and join me in talking to everyone about it, coworkers, family, friends and neighbors. Invite them to contribute and come help us deliver! When we began in 1993, we provided 100 families with food. We were excited the year we reached a new plateau of feeding 185 families. Last year we fed 350 families and this year we are going to feed 450 families. That's over 8 tons of food and personal items.

I thank Dr. John Sottery, who organized the first Basket Brigade in 1993 and Victor Frazao our facilitator. Our sincere appreciation to Paul Featherston, the owner of Champ Direct, who has donated his facilities to this wonderful cause. His wife Kathleen and their family will also be there to help out. I also want to thank Adams Supermarket at 1301 New Haven Avenue in Milford, CT. for helping us reduce our food costs for many years. All these wonderful people really make the sprit of the holidays real.

A young man said to me, "Last year was the first time I volunteered to help. It made me realize that I could feel good about giving. I always enjoyed receiving, but giving was also good, yet slightly different. It made me feel like I was contributing. It energized me. It made me feel good about myself. I never realized that giving was like a gift as well. Giving is receiving. It was not only a gift I gave others but also a gift I gave myself." A. Neilen, so correctly stated, "If you have not often felt the joy of doing a kind act, you have neglected much, and most of all yourself."

If you have questions please feel free to contact: Victor Frazao, phone: (203) 258-3888 e-mail:, Lionel Ketchian, phone: (203) 258-7777 e-mail:

BE HAPPY ZONE by Lionel Ketchian. Published in the Fairfield Citizen-News on November 5, 2008.

Free Talk: The Keys to Happiness by Dr. Cynthia Barnett

Free Talk: The Keys to Happiness by Dr. Cynthia Barnett. No sign up necessary
Date & Time: Saturday January 10, 2009, 10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon.
Place: At the Fairfield Public Library, Rotary room, 1080 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824

This workshop offers a comprehensive guide to understanding what happiness is, and isn't, and what can be done to bring us all closer to the happy life we envision for ourselves. You will learn happiness enhancing strategies that you can use to achieve a happier life. These include exercises in practicing optimism when imagining the future, instruction in how best to savor life's pleasures in the here and now. You will develop the skills and strategies to be happier now in an interactive workshop format supported by practical examples and exercises. Based on the How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Dr. Cynthia Barnett is a graduate of Marty Selignman's Authentic Happiness Coaching Program, Chris Peterson's Positive Psychology class, and most recently Sonya Lyubomsky's class the How, Why and What of Happiness. Dr. Barnett phone: 203-855-9714,,,