Following the announcement that the Board of Directors of the Near & Far Aid Association had voted to grant $17,500 to the Person-to-Person Emergency Assistance Program, Person-to-Person Executive Director Ceci Maher noted Near & Far Aid has contributed significantly to this program over the years.

"The Emergency Assistance Program is at the core of our service offering, providing food, clothing, financial assistance, crisis counseling and referrals to our clients," Maher said.

And though economists have said that the recession ended in the spring of 2009, the effects are continuing to have a profound impact on the working poor and on people who were, until recently, more financially secure. According to Maher, this is the first visit for many who come to P2P for assistance.

"People in this area are facing significant challenges -- due to a medical emergency, a reduction in income or cessation of unemployment benefits," she said. "We appreciate the continuing commitment and support of Near & Fair Aid, which enables us to extend our services to meet the ongoing need."

Person-to-Person, Inc., a non-profit agency, was originally established in 1968 by St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Darien. Its mission was simply to bring together the needs of people in disadvantaged areas of nearby communities with the resources of people in Darien and the surrounding areas, thereby providing basic emergency services to low-income individuals and families living in lower Fairfield County. A volunteer-driven agency, Person-to-Person is committed to helping clients achieve self-sufficiency through practical help, advocacy, education and problem-solving initiatives. Programs include Emergency Assistance, Campership and Scholarship. In 2009, Person-to-Person helped 24,780 people avert crisis and make ends meet. These efforts are made possible by in-kind donations, a force of more than 2,000 volunteers and financial contributions.

More information can be found at www.p2pdarien.org or call 203-655-0048.