Avon business owner offers job to CCSU student struggling amid pandemic, loss of mother

New Haven

AVON, Conn. (WTNH) — A student at Central Connecticut State University has a job now after reaching out to the community for help during Thanksgiving.

Julia Plunkett, 20, is a CCSU student. In a letter to WTNH this week, Julia wrote that in the last year she was homeless, she lost her mom to the flu, and – when the pandemic hit Connecticut in March – she lost her job.

“I was left to find my way,” she wrote. “And have struggled since.”

Just before Thanksgiving, she reached out to the Avon community on Facebook asking where she could get an inexpensive Thanksgiving meal.

“The outreach was overwhelming,” she wrote. “The whole community came out to help me.”

But one person in particular changed her fortunes the most.

Deanna Damen, the owner of Cake Gypsy in Avon offered not only to buy Julia a holiday meal but offered her a job.

“I had seen her story and I said, ‘oh my gosh this poor girl lost her mom and has to spend the holidays without her’ and I said ‘geez, I could get her a meal,'” explained Deanna. “I reached out to her and just said, ‘hey I’d be happy to do that for you’…One of the things I love about this business is that we are able to give back to the community.”

“She’s always helping this community,” Julia said of her new boss.

“I’m not the only one she’s helped during this season. She also gave Thanksgiving dinners away to 10 families. She is such a light and so sweet and so nice and building our community,” Julia concluded in her letter.

“It’s so fulfilling to be able to make such a difference in someone’s life,” said Deanna.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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