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New London organizations seek donated gifts for adopt-a-family program

New London — Lady Boss Productions has partnered with Safe Futures and the Drop-In Learning Center to "adopt" 10 local families for the holidays, most of whom are survivors of domestic violence, and seeks donations of items from the families' wish lists or monetary donations.

Items are being collected until Dec. 12 and can be dropped off — unwrapped — at Ring's End in New London, where Heather O'Connor of Lady Boss Productions is assistant manager. Ring's End is at 308 S. Frontage Road and is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A wish list and a description of each family's situation, provided by Safe Futures and the Drop-in Learning Center, can be viewed at bit.ly/LBPwishlist.

One woman had to take time off work to recover after her ex-husband attacked her and her dog. Another fled more than 1,000 miles with her two children from her estranged husband, who is in jail after trying to strangle her and threatening the family at gunpoint. A man with a restraining order against his wife, who grew increasingly violent from drug abuse and mental health problems, is struggling financially as a single father of two children.

For any questions about the adopt-a-family program, email ladybossproductionsct@gmail.com.

O'Connor and Katelin Teel, Waterford High School graduates who now respectively live in New London and Waterford, formed Lady Boss Productions about five years ago with the goal to "bring unity in the community through fundraising events," O'Connor said.

Last year at this time, Lady Boss Productions held a tree auction to benefit the New London Community Meal Center. In the process, they were able to donate 10 Christmas trees to families in need, and O'Connor said they found the families "needed more than just a tree; they needed a Christmas miracle."

"We just felt like we couldn't stop there," she said, so they adopted those families with the help of the New London Elks. This year, they identified seven families from Safe Futures and three from the Drop-In Learning Center.

Earlier this year, Lady Boss Productions organized a back-to-school supply drive. O'Connor said Friday they ended up giving away 370 backpacks stuffed with school supplies and donated another 50 backpacks to the schools.

e.moser@theday.com

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