Beam of light: Look for the helpers in Guilford and New Haven

Yankee Institute is proud to present “Beam of Light” — A dedicated place to lift spirits by illuminating the many acts of quiet heroism, generosity, individual initiative and kindness that are happening every day across Connecticut during the coronavirus crisis.  

To share your “Beam of Light” story, please email Jordanne at

Handmade sign tied to a tree outside the Guilford Food Market in Guilford, CT.

Yankee Institute is reminded of the beam of light that Fred Rogers brought to our lives as children. We can again turn to his words as adults.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would always say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”  

A photo shared on social media of healthcare workers at Yale New Haven Hospital, reassuring the public that we are in safe hands.  

Beam of light: Gwen Samuel in Meriden, Middletown, and New Haven

Gwen Samuel of the Connecticut Parents Union organized and fundraised an effort to purchase three free-standing handwashing stations for her neighborhood. Samuel realized not enough children are washing their hands and haven’t been taught the proper way to wash effectively. Samuel said, “We will help families understand the power of washing hands with soap and water by having kids actually washing their hands”.

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Beam of light: South Fire District firefighters in Middletown

The South Fire District firefighters in Middletown, CT donated enough money to run Hinka’s Cupboard Food Pantry for an entire month. Nettie Silverman and her husband started the pantry 3 years ago with $2000 of their own money with one goal in mind, to feed the hungry. The organization relies solely on donations some of which comes from the South Fire District Firefighters IAFF Local 3918.

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