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Voters in Bristol Encouraged to ‘Stock Our Shelters'

When voters head to the polls on Tuesday in Bristol, volunteers are hoping they won't arrive empty-handed.

"A little gesture on election day to help those less fortunate would be really a wonderful thing," said United Way of West Central Connecticut President Donna Osuch.

On Tuesday "Stock Our Shelters" buckets and boxes will be out in plain view waiting to be filled.

"We were hoping people would donate loose change or a dollar bill or bring a nonperishable food item when they come to vote in order to help us overcome this hurdle," said Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu.

The City of Bristol and United Way are teaming up to help the homeless.

"We've had one soup kitchen go offline, which has put a burden on the other two. And we also have a funding shortage at St. Vincent DePaul, which is our homeless shelter, in terms of when we have emergency overflow," said Zoppo-Sassu.

The mayor says until St. Vincent DePaul is able to meet their funding goal, they won't be able to operate during the winter as an overflow shelter. The shelter relies heavily on private contributions, so the hope is to use election day as a call to action for residents to help the homeless during the most brutal months of winter.

"A little bit from each voter will go a long way. If each voter puts in a dollar or a few coins, we can certainly keep that overflow shelter open this winter and help people," said Osuch.

The mayor says “Stock Our Shelters” has been approved by the registrars and Secretary of the State.

The event is nonpartisan and donating at the polls is completely voluntary. You are not required to donate in order to vote.

Bristol Girl Scout Troops, United Way, Bristol Central InterAct Club and NHS, and Bristol Eastern are all volunteering to help. The City of Bristol will also be working with the United Way Joy of Sharing, Office of the Registrar of Voters, and Knights of Columbus to collect donations and canned goods through November 10th. You can visit the city's website at www.bristolct.gov or the United Way website at www.uwwestcentralct.org for more information. The Knights of Columbus is also hosting a 24-hour canned food drive starting November 9 at St. Gregory's Church on Stafford Avenue.

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