Christmas Wish CT began with local businesses donating gift cards through WRCH radio in 2004. Morning Show Host Mike Stacy would receive letters from Connecticut families in need and match them with groceries, retail gift cards and other items they might need.
In 2007, as the recession took hold, those donations disappeared. One radio listener came forward with a monetary donation to Christmas Wish CT, a program that wasn’t officially a 501-C3 charity yet. His name was Bill Pappas. Bill was our single largest benefactor and became a member of our Executive Board before passing away unexpectedly in 2019.
Bill’s donations helped us to shop for many families in need throughout Connecticut including families in shelters. His greatest Legacy, however, was two programs that continue to this day: Radio Wishes and Surprise Shoppers.
Bill granted WISHES to families that had specific needs like home heating oil, food, furniture, bringing veterans and loved ones home for the holidays and more. These wishes were granted over the radio on Lite 100.5 WRCH. You rarely heard Bill’s name because he maintained all along that it isn’t a donation from the heart unless it is anonymous. His family Sue, Jen and Chris are proud to finally announce the man behind this beautiful program! Listen to samples of Radio Wishes granted below.
In addition, Bill joined Christmas Wish CT at local grocers the week before Christmas to SURPRISE SHOPPERS by paying for their groceries. Elves would line up at registers in New Britain, Wethersfield/Hartford and Meriden to pay for the family’s Christmas dinner or weekly supplies. The last year of Bill’s life, Christmas Wish CT and Big Y World Class Market paid $5,000 in one afternoon to help those in need and bring joy to their holiday.
YOU can help us keep his legacy alive with your donation in his memory. Keep the WISHES flowing with your gift of any amount.