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Friday, December 28, 2012

NVCC January Community Spotlight

Tis the season for charitable giving and we all know there’s no better way to feel the holiday spirit than to give to those who need it the most.

Throughout the year, NVCC hosts coat drives, food collections, bake sales and charitable giving campaigns to collect supplies and donations to give to those in need. Our faculty, staff and students are also constantly in the community working to make a difference. To acknowledge the hard work of our campus as a whole, this month we'd like to feature a few examples of the work being done by the NVCC family:

Thanks to funding from Webster Bank, NVCC staff and students have served Sunday meals at the Saint Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen continuously for approximately four years. Read story.

During the growing season, Christina Gentile-Renda, associate professor of biology, reserves a special area in her organic garden to grow vegetables for the Woodbury Food Bank.

"The Food Bank is open on Fridays and when I have produce I bring fresh vegetables and herbs," said Professor Gentile-Renda. "I also bring flowers such as sunflowers and Hydrangeas when in season. After all, if you cannot afford to buy food you certainly can’t afford to buy flowers."

The Catering class prepared a chicken luncheon for 200 guests at Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries on September 20, 2012.

Liz Frechette, librarian, records textbooks for Learning Ally which provides accessible downloadable audiobooks and educational content for people of all ages and education levels who have visual impairment, learning disabilities or physical disabilities.

Sandy Lee, administrative assistant for the Office of Community and Economic Development, volunteers on the Marketing Committee for the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls, which is celebrating 50 years of providing services to over 10,000 people each year.

The human care agencies funded provide mental health and counseling services, train the disabled for jobs, help high-risk infants and children, support youth development programs and provide a safe place from physical and sexual abuse. These are just a few of the local needs met every day.

Deborah Litwinko, associate professor of mathematics, is a certified domestic violence, sexual assault, bullying and internet safety counselor and community educator for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury. As part of her volunteerism, Professor Litwinko covers the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. night shift monthly for the sexual assault hotline, which ranges from counseling sexual assault victims over the phone to meeting rape victims at the local hospitals. She also works closely with the community educator, Louisa, to present at local schools on bullying, good-touch/ bad-touch and tolerance.

"I am extremely passionate about volunteering for Safe Haven and it is truly a rewarding experience," said Professor Litwinko. "Also, when I present at the local schools I mention that I am a professor from NVCC. I think it's important that the College is recongnized for their faculty/staff support in the local community."

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