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Al DiGuido

Westport, Connecticut

Gayle Hays

Al was touched by a charity event he attended where four moms spoke about the financial struggles they experienced trying to care for their young children who had been stricken by cancer and other life-threatening conditions.  On the drive home, with his three young healthy children at home asleep in their beds, Al realized this could happen to anyone, even him. He felt that he must use the gifts he had been given to help these children and their families. It was then that Al’s Angels was born. Al’s Angels provides holiday meals and gifts to over 2,500 families and 6,000 children in the tri-state area. He organizes hundreds of volunteers to package food bins, load trucks, and deliver the meals to area hospitals and churches. His business leadership and organizing skills turn what could be chaos into a community collaboration, devising jobs that all can do. Al has over 6,000 committed angels to date and growing. Nearly 40% of whom are over the age of 60, some in their 70’s and 80’s, as well as families. Funds for this work are generated through personal donations and a series of Al’s Angels fund-raising activities held throughout the year. Each of Al’s Angels brings hope so the children can feel love, even from a stranger. Al also owns and operates the ice cream and candy shop, Saugatuck Sweets, in Fairfield and Westport, Connecticut. He encourages kids to give back by letting them set up a table in front of the store for charity events. Over twenty local youth charities, from the Boy and Girl Scouts to school sports teams to youth clubs, have children who have staffed tables and learn to tell their stories of why their charity event can be effective.