DARIEN, Conn – As the assistant treasurer at Darien Rowayton Bank, Kaye Leong volunteers in many charitable causes. She has helped at the New Covenant House of Hospitality in Stamford for the past year and is now helping with a fundraising campaign for expansion.
“A former director and founder of the bank, Terry Laughren, suggested that I join the advisory board of NCH,” said Leong, who lives in Westport. The facility is the only soup kitchen in lower Fairfield County and has outgrown the space in the Yerwood Center.
Leong and the advisory board of New Covenant House are seeking to raise $1.5 million to move to a larger space across the street from the Yerwood Center, providing it with a larger kitchen, cafe, pantry, and health clinic. Readers can visit nchstamford.org to donate online.
New Covenant House serves residents of Stamford, New Canaan, Greenwich and Darien. Homeless from those communities, along with the working poor, elderly, mentally ill, disabled and immigrants, are among those who are served.
“I was surprised in Fairfield County how many people need a place like NCH. There are so many people out of work, or under employed, I saw the need for helping and offering my skills and resources,” Leong said.
Leong also assists with Stamford Hospital’s Mobile Wellness Bus that provides breast cancer education and digital mammograms to both the insured and under insured throughout lower Fairfield County. In addition, it offers biometric and cardiovascular screenings.
Leong also represents the bank as vice chairman of the Darien Chamber of Commerce. As such, she is the face of the bank at ribbon cuttings, business meetings and many community functions. With her job and many volunteer roles, she’s always getting pulled to meetings and events. “When you become very visible in the community, many organizations want your help,” she said. “There are some days when I just have to say no.”
Leong has been active as a volunteer for a number of years, beginning with the Westport Young Women’s League. She still enjoys volunteering and feels it’s an important part of her civic duty. “It’s rewarding to be able to give back and see the smiles and results of your efforts.”