March Cram The Cruiser And Helping Hands Giveaway This Week
Published: March 10th, 2022
By: Sarah Genter

March Cram the Cruiser and Helping Hands giveaway this week Volunteers handing out bagged items during the January Helping Hands giveaway. (Photo from the Helping Hands Norwich Facebook page)

NORWICH — This Saturday, March 12, members of cvFree Church and the City of Norwich Police Department will be hosting their monthly Cram the Cruiser event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Norwich Police Department.

The group collects donations of specific items for the Helping Hands monthly giveaway. This month, they are asking for donations of nonperishable breakfast items such as cereal and cereal bars, pancake mix, syrup, and prepackaged oatmeal, among others.

The Helping Hands giveaway will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 17 in front of the Norwich Family YMCA. Anyone can attend, and there are no criteria or requirements to collect items.

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Food, cleaning supplies, and hygiene items will be supplied by volunteers set up at stations in front of the Y. There is a limit of one bag from each station per person, and volunteers will load them into the cars that come through.

"Before COVID you could take your time, and at each station pick what you wanted. But COVID forced us to pack everything," explained Helping Hands Founder Lorri Race. "So you just drive through or you walk through to each station. There’s the hygiene station, the cleaning station, the food station, Chobani, milk, bread. We go right around the circle of the Y and we pack your car for you as you go around. Everything is in bags, separately, in those little stations."

For those who would like to donate, items can be dropped off at the YMCA front desk, or purchased from the Helping Hands Amazon Wish List, shared on the Helping Hands Norwich Facebook page. Monetary donations can be made on the United Way website,

"We’re always looking for bleach, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers, those kind of things. A lot of it’s listed on our Amazon Wish List to make it easy and take the guesswork out of it," said Race. "Women’s feminine products, because they’re so costly, that’s a huge help for donations. Toothbrush, toothpaste, you know, those are thing we take for granted. Those are huge."