Watching television isn't an activity most would associate with building a sound future for kids, but doing so has turned into an effort to feed hundreds of Windsor families for one local teen.
Thirteen-year-old Windsor High freshman Connor Bailey has run a penny drive since being inspired by PBS's Zoom as a kindergartner, raising more than $12,000 in the fight against local hunger.
Just this past weekend, Bailey added to his total, raising $120 and 150 pounds of food for Windsor families in need at Brown's Harvest's Movie Night with Spookley the Square Pumpkin.
"I wanted to start locally because I found out in kindergarten that 180 families use the Windsor Food bank. With families of three and families of four, that number adds up to be a lot of people," said Bailey, whose Change for Good Drive has flourished from humble yet heartfelt beginnings.
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At the outset, Bailey's efforts consisted of making a trip to Stop & Shop and donating what he could to curb local hunger. Now, with change jars at business cash registers across town, Bailey devotes three to four months each year to making sure local money benefits the Windsor Food Bank.
"I know we're making a difference," said Bailey, who concentrates his fundraising efforts during the food bank's most-needy time. "In the summer months kids can't take part in school lunch programs and there aren't as many donations as there are during the holidays."
Since Bailey began his change drive, the number of families utilizing the local food bank's services has grown to about 450, according to Social Services Coordinator Kristen Formanek. It's that growth, and consistent need that fuels his passion for the cause.
"With the growing number of families using the food bank each year, it's really scary," said Bailey.
Accordingly, the high school freshman has set his sights high.
Not only does he look to eradicate hunger on the local level, but he looks to one day expand his foundation beyond the borders of Connecticut's first town and take it global, even.
Change for Good accepts cash donations in addition to canned food. All proceeds benefit the Windsor Food Bank.