New Canaan's youngest philanthropist
Published 6:50 pm, Wednesday, March 23, 2011
New Canaan has a new philanthropist in town but he may not be what you expect. Last week, Dylan Imbruce collected donations for Kids In Crisis at his own birthday celebration. His eighth birthday party to be exact. Yes, you read that right. New Canaan's newest charitable resident is an 8-year-old second grader at West School. Not only did Dylan collect donations for the charity, but he collected them instead of asking for gifts.
Dylan said he wanted to help the children, and said his friend, Cooper, did something similar.
"Cooper is an older friend of his who he really looks up to, who did the same thing a few years ago," Alana Imbruce, his mother, said. "But he really wanted to help the Kids out. It is a great charity."
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Dylan managed to collect $200, a figure his parents matched, donating a total of $400 to Kids in Crisis.
Kids in Crisis is the only free 24/7 emergency service provider for kids of all ages in Connecticut. It is an agency that provides a multitude or services ranging from emergency shelter, prevention programs and counseling on all sorts of different crises.
"When children come forward with donations on their own," Mary Vinton, managing director of development of Kids in Crisis, said. "It's particularly meaningful. It goes to show his selflessness and the fact that he chose a charity that helps other kids is really impressive. We are, of course, very appreciative and grateful."
The organization's origins of the date back to 1975. A runaway teen in Greenwich had to be sent to New York City because there was no place nearby in Connecticut for her to go. After that, the United Way along with Hotline and Junior League conducted a study identifying the needs for children in crisis in Fairfield County. Three years later, in 1978, the first youth shelter opened up in Greenwich serving up to four kids at once. Not long after that in 1981, a 24-hour counseling and intervention service was started.
Then, in 1993, the first shelter and nursery serving the needs of abused and at-risk children infant to 12 years old was unveiled in Cos Cob. This was the first facility of its kind in New England that gave kids housing as well as physical and psychological support. It was not until 1997 that the official name of the organization became Kids in Crisis.
Today, the facility has everything from an in-house health center to an education program for the kids. The shelter can now support up to 20 children at once where they can receive counseling, educational evaluation, art therapy, dance therapy and a wide variety of other recovery options.
"Hopefully we can get the word out to other families and Kids and hopefully raise more money for an amazing non-profit organization," Alana Imbruce said. "Every little bit helps a child in need."