CT Checkup: City of Bristol creates hotline to help vulnerable residents during pandemic

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BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu created the ‘All-Heart Hotline’ to help the city’s most vulnerable. 

They have about 100 volunteers matched to those in need who run errands and make deliveries ranging from Chromebooks and food to prescriptions and anything in between. 

“The giving and the donating keeps happening and I think that’s the sign of what Bristol really is,” the mayor said. “It’s an All-Heart community.”

The hotline is named after ‘Bristol All-Heart’— a title the city has branded itself to signify its strength and resilience. 

“The ‘All-Heart’ is beating within the community, it’s the pulse of the community and it’s what keeps us going,” said Zoppo-Sassu. 

One volunteer helps a family that can’t make it to the school meal distribution site, which has provided over 100,000 meals since school shutdowns began. 

The family needs the food, but with an autistic son at home, travel is difficult. 

“The mother can’t get out,” said Cathy Savino, assistant to Mayor Zoppo-Sassu. “So for the last 8 weeks she hasn’t missed a day and she has delivered food to this family’ 

The schools and hotline volunteers aren’t the only ones spreading some love. The Bristol Fire Department is going above and beyond its usual service to bring joy to local kids. 

The fire department, along with the city police, has been holding drive-by birthday parades for local children. 

And for graduating seniors, they are offering three $500 scholarships for those who intend to pursue a career in healthcare after college graduation. 

“Just as an acknowledgment of the hard work that all the healthcare workers are doing,” said Sean Lennon, union president of the department. “And of young people in the community willing to enter into that field.”  

Application details and deadlines can be found on the department’s Facebook page

You can reach the hotline number here: 860-584-6253. More information can be seen here.

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