As a non-profit agency dedicated to ending homelessness and providing a path to self-sufficiency for men and women in the community, the Shelter for the Homeless relies on public and private funds to support its mission.

The centerpiece of the Shelter's fundraising efforts is the annual Rays of Hope Gala, at which individuals and businesses are honored for their significant contributions to the Shelter and commitment to enhancing quality of life for all in the community.

At this year's benefit on Wednesday, May 4, at the Italian Center in Stamford, the distinguished honorees are Tom Hynes, who will be recognized with the Rays of Hope Community Award for his lifelong dedication to ending homelessness and his efforts that resulted in the long-term financial and operational stability of the shelter; First County Bank Foundation, which will be recognized with the Rays of Hope Community Award for its ongoing financial support of thesShelter and other community initiatives; and the volunteers of Saint Luke's Parish in Darien, who have been preparing and serving dinners at the Shelter's Pacific House facility for more than 10 years, will be recognized with the David Mond Volunteer Award.

According to Director of Development Peggy Lutz, much of what the agency is able to accomplish on behalf of their clients is due to the caring generosity of people and companies throughout lower Fairfield County.

"For them, the act of helping others is reward enough. But at least once a year we like to take a moment to highlight their contributions of time and talent," she said. "The shelter is also able to raise additional funds to support its programs and services, which extends the honorees contributions to the advancement of our mission even further."

For additional information about the Rays of Hope Gala, including sponsorship opportunities, contact Peggy Lutz at 203-406-0017 ext. 301.

Shelter for the Homeless, a non-profit organization, is a safe and caring environment that serves lower Fairfield County by providing temporary housing to homeless men, striving to obtain permanent supportive housing and services for men and women tailored to meet their relevant needs, and empowering people to help themselves achieve their greatest level of self-sufficiency. Shelter for the Homeless provides four cornerstones of client service: Emergency Shelter, Health and Recovery Services, Job and Life Skills Training, and Transitional and Long-Term Housing.

Visit www.shelterforhomeless.org or call 203-406-0017.

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