Law firm helps Rescue Mission

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Christmas came early this year for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission

Connecticut Post

December 24, 2008

BRIDGEPORT — The homeless shelter and community kitchen on Fairfield Avenue received presents Tuesday in the form of a $50,000 donation from a local law firm and food from a civil rights organization.

"My hat goes off to all of you who are going through struggles," Richard Bieder, a partner in the law firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, told more than 50 people at the rescue mission. "We are happy to be here to help because you get the job done without a cry, without a whimper."

The mission is funded by private donations for its programs -- so far this year, it has served 1,200 meals a day to the area's needy, according to the Rev. Terry Wilcox, the rescue mission's executive director. The center also houses more than three dozen homeless men and women in its two locations.

Wilcox added that the mission will face a $200,000 deficit by mid-January.

Mayor Bill Finch, who with his wife has volunteered at the mission, said he was not surprised to hear of the law firm's donation.

"They try to fight for the little guy and always have," he said.

In the afternoon, the NAACP donated 10 turkeys to the rescue mission.

Craig Kelly, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said the civil-rights organization recently received a donation of 40 turkeys. Besides giving 10 of those turkeys to the rescue mission, the others were distributed to needy families around the city, he said. "We feel the rescue mission is doing a great job helping the area's needy and we certainly want to support them," Kelly added.