Grace Community Church volunteers filled more than 75 Walter Stewart's reusable tote bags with food and other items for Thanksgiving dinner for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

Each bag contained a variety of foods, ranging from canned corn, peas and sweet potatoes to stuffing mix, gravy and coffee, as well as $25 Stop and Shop gift cards that could be used to purchase turkeys and pies.

Although the tote bags were donated to parents in Bridgeport for the benefit of their families, the kids from Grace Community Church who helped are the ones who learn valuable lessons.

"When you give back to others, you learn to respect that everyone goes through hard times and that you can make a big difference in someone's life by doing something as simple as donating a meal," said TJ Richardson, a seventh-grader at Saxe Middle School who attends Grace.

Richardson said making it possible for another family to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner "makes me thankful for all I have and reminds me that everything we have is a blessing from God and that we need to share our resources with others who don't have as much."

More Information

Fact box

For information on how to help the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, visit

Grace Community Church's Sunday service begins at 9:30 a.m. at Saxe Middle School on South Avenue, New Canaan, with coffee and bagels available at 9 a.m. in the lobby. Nursery care is available for babies through age 2, and Sunday school classes for children 3 years old through sixth grade.

Grace also offers a special service just for middle and high school students called the GYG (Grace Youth Gathering) weekly beginning at 9:30 a.m.

For information, visit