Charities gives “St. Nicholas” an assist

BRIDGEPORT—Catholic Charities of Fairfield County (CCFC) gave Santa an assist once again this year with its annual St. Nicholas Boutique, a pop-up store of sorts which is set up on the lower level of the Catholic Center a week before Christmas.

To make the Boutique a reality year by year, Fairfield Prep and the Knights of Columbus collect and donate hundreds of thousands of toys and gifts which are then given away by Catholic Charities to its clients. Fairfield Prep has been supporting the St. Nicholas Boutique for over 20 years.

During the day’s “shopping,” CCFC social workers drop in with the names, needs and wish lists of the families they serve. This year’s St. Nicholas Boutique provided items for almost 731 individuals and 202 families by distributing 1,801 toys, 30 boxes of diapers, and 250 shoes as well as other items for families and children of all faiths.

Amy Zajac, MSW, Director of Family Directions for Catholic Charities, said in addition to helping Catholic Charities’ clients, the effort also included families who were referred by Bridgeport Hospital and Norwalk Community Services.

“We helped families outside the agency including a woman with leukemia who has two children and is on disability; a man with stomach cancer who has five children and is also on disability; and an unemployed women with six children—one of whom is autistic and is receiving services,” Zajac shared.

The families being helped by Catholic Charities greatly appreciate items such as the toys, the shoes, or warm hats which, Zajac allowed, would be out of the question if not for the St. Nicholas Boutique.

(For more information visit Catholic Charities online: