Washington Gives 2020: A Day of Celebration

Shepaug Valley seniors present their Community Service Projects

We were thrilled to participate in this year’s town-wide Washington Gives event. This second annual day of service was a “day on, not a day off” for the Washington community to come together to commemorate the life, works, and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most of the day’s activities were dedicated to active community involvement in several service projects – and love was everywhere! At the Washington Art Association, the studio was filled with families and Shepaug students painting hearts for “Hearts of Hope” and the Susan B. Anthony Project and creating cards to send to our troops with care packages. The “Town Hall Gang” has been sending support boxes for our troops for 15 years!

At Steep Rock Association, bluebird nesting boxes were created while ASAP! led students in art projects Judy Black Memorial Park. Washington Ambulance Association’s valiant volunteers greeted the community with ambulance tours. Animal ambassador Lola spread the word about pet adoption with the Animal Welfare Society at Five Janes. Valley Spirit Wellness Center led free meditation and yoga classes to bring the community together in good spirit.

Shepaug School Students paint Hearts of Hope for Susan B Anthony Project
ASAP! leads art activities at Judy Black Park

The community generously donated vital items to collection spots around town. Bins collecting warm clothing for shelters, items for food banks, and treats for our troops filled up quickly!

An inspiring conversation with students from Shepaug Valley School focused on “The Future of Service in Our Community”. Led by Jane Whitney, former NBC News correspondent, eight amazing students discussed their ambitious senior projects, which focused on finding solutions to pressing societal issues such as the environment, health and wellness, inspiring kindness, inclusion in schools, and addressing social stigmas.

Family donating clothing at Town Hall
Pastor Robyn and volunteers collecting food and warm clothing

“Washington Gives is a town-wide initiative to engage families, friends, and neighbors in civic initiatives including collections, service projects, and information sessions.” – Lisa Stein, President of the Washington Business Association


In Washington, citizens spend an average of nearly 5 hours per week volunteering at local organizations and causes in our community. We are proud to be part of a community that contributes so much of their time to making a difference for so many important causes.


“The partnerships and connections that bring this event together are what makes Washington an exceptional place to live, work, and play.” – Selectwoman Michelle Gorra


As a fitting end to a wonderful day of service, volunteers were celebrated and commemorated at a ceremony led by First Selectman Jim Brinton and Selectmen Michelle Gorra and Jay Hubelbank at Judy Black Park. The space was packed with the many volunteers who selflessly give of their time and talent all year long, improving our community and beyond. Certificates of appreciation were presented, followed by a touching group chorus of “God Bless America” and “Will the Circle be Unbroken” led by Alecia Evans, Director of Sing Out! CT. As volunteers were led outside to the park to create a large circle, a drone hovered above to capture this meaningful event. What a wonderful day in Washington!

Washington Selectmen thank volunteers for their community service
Certificates of Appreciation for volunteers

By the Numbers

The Washington Gives team conducted a survey of volunteers to learn more about them and the organizations they serve.

The numbers say it all!

4.96: The average number of organizations individual volunteers in our community support with their time and talent.

4.89: The average number of hours per week volunteers in our community donated to local organizations in our community.

Community: The word volunteers mention most often when asked why they volunteer.

Why they do it

“The opportunity to work alongside truly amazing and selfless people and help the community I call home.”

“I love Washington and get great satisfaction from my volunteer activities. I want our town, our world, and all its people to thrive.”

“To give back is a gift!”

“Washington is truly an extraordinary community at it is a pleasure to give back to this community which provides so much to all of us.”

“It’s important to show up for others – to be stewards of good relationships with each other and our environment.”

“To give back to the town that built me.”


Get Involved

If you’d like to get involved and become a volunteer or support one of Washington’s nonprofit organizations, take a minute to learn more here about all opportunities available to you here!


Many Thanks

Thank you to everyone who made Washington Gives such a success. The enthusiastic turnout of volunteers and participants affirms that Washington is a community that strives for the common good for all. Kudos to the team who planned the event: Julie King of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, Lisa Stein of Washington Food Market, Selectman Michelle Gorra, and Ali Psomas of ASAP! And last, but certainly not least, a huge thank you to the businesses and organizations who made this event possible:


Aspetuck Animal Hospital
Board of Selectmen of Washington
Conversations on the Green
First Congregational Church
Five Janes
Fundacion Perros sin Nombre
Michael Bowman Photography
New Milford High School NAHS
Nine Main
Region 12/Shepaug Valley School
Shepaug Ice Hockey Team
Shepaug Senior Project Team
Shepaug Spartan Club
Shepaug Student Project Foundation
Shepaug Valley School PTO
Sing Out! CT
Steep Rock Association
The Hen’s Nest
The Hickory Stick Bookshop
The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
The Matthews Group @ William Raveis
The Pantry
Valley Spirit Wellness Center
Washington Ambulance Association
Washington Art Association
Washington Depot Production Services
Washington Food Market
Washington Pizza House
William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty
Washington Town Hall