Cans for Candlelight Donation to be Held Dec. 10-14


Cans for Candlelight, a drive organized by the National Honors Society, will be collecting nonperishable food items the week prior to the Candlelight Concert.

As the holidays approach, donation boxes begin to line the front hallway of Staples. The week prior to the annual Candlelight Concert, from Dec. 10-14, collection bins will be set up for the Cans for Candlelight drive, which collects nonperishable food items to be donated to the Gillespie Center.

Students in the National Honors Society organize Cans for Candlelight each year.

The Candlelight concert is a free town event, so donating nonperishable goods acts as a way of ‘paying’ and giving back to the local community,” said Alec Maki ’13, one of the students coordinating the drive.

The students work to publicize the event by appearing on the morning show and giving out tickets attached to slips of paper that encourage donations.

“The drive is part of the Candlelight tradition,” said Rayna Weiser ’14, a member of the Symphonic and Chamber orchestras. “The holidays are a time of giving, and Cans for Candlelight allows for that to happen.”

According to Christina Richardson, an English teacher and adviser of the National Honors Society, Staples has held the drive for over a decade. 

“We’ve had success every year,” Richardson said. “It’s an easy thing to do.” 

Richardson encouraged all students to bring canned soups, pasta, and other nonperishable food items the week preceding the concert.

“We think of everyone in Westport having tons of extra stuff,” Richardson said, “but the Gillespie Center really appreciates our donations.”

The Gillespie Center operates as a shelter and provides hot meals on a daily basis. It also serves as a local food pantry that gives out food to people in need throughout Westport, Weston, Wilton, Fairfield, Norwalk, and Bridgeport. The center’s food distribution program is geared towards those with low or fixed income.

Robert Lockhart, the program director at the Gillespie Center, viewed any donations as helpful. 

“There’s always a demand,” Lockhart said. “For a lot of people, this helps them make it week to week.”