Beam of light: Neighbors helping neighbors in Winsted

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

In the small northwest community of Winsted, several people have taken action to help their neighbors in need. A “Little Free Pantry” was assembled on 98 Main Street for anyone to “take only what you need and leave what you can”. It is supplied and restocked by the town residents.  

Additionally, the same group of residents created a website: where anyone in need of assistance can post for help so the community can respond. The website lists several names and contact information for “helpers” and already has two submission from residents who need help.  

You can donate money or volunteer your services to the Winsted “neighbors helping neighbors” by clicking here.  

Yankee Institute would like to extend thanks to Melissa Reagan of Winsted for submitting this beam of light.  

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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(2) Comments

  1. Dominic Rapini

    March 31, 2020 9:35 am

    Nicely done Winsted. Also, thanks to the Yankee Team for focusing on the positive stories that spring from the threat of the COVID-19 Virus.

  2. Michele Maillet

    March 26, 2020 11:13 pm

    So proud to be part of this community!

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