PTSMC’s Annual Holiday Food Drive: A Proud Tradition of Giving

PTSMC’s Annual Food Drive is a proud tradition. As early as 2002, with the opening of our second location in Guilford, we recognized that the communities we serve would be unique from each other. Not only is the geographic divide between Waterbury to Guilford significant, so is the medical community and socio-economic environment.

PTSMC East Hampton’s festive Food Drive box, December 2018.


Early on we expected and encouraged each location to create relationships with local entities. Guided by our mission, various connections emerged and began to grow, led by the partner’s leadership, the staff’s interests and the needs in the area. If you follow us on social media you will notice our organization has a broad “foot print” throughout the state, with clinics participating in local road races and events, community presentations, business groups, school systems, coat drives, sports teams, dance schools, golf and running clubs and recently even USA Soccer! We are proud to be so ingrained in our communities.

In 2008, PTSMC had six locations and the idea of trying to do “something big as a team” to improve the quality of people’s lives became important to us. What could we accomplish if we all pulled together?  What if we asked our patients to pitch in? From that idea, the Annual PTSMC Food Drive was born.

PTSMC Guilford holds a “Day of Caring” in 2011 & PTSMC Windsor shows off their Food Drive donations in 2015.


Since its inception, the food drive has been a great success! Early on in the program, we would actually load a pick-up truck with non-perishable items and deliver it to the Connecticut Food Bank. We are in the middle of our tenth drive, and while some things have remained constant, many things have changed. Over time we realized that, as PTSMC’s geography expanded, we could no longer fit the generous donations of our people and patients into just one truck.

We also recognized that the logistics of coordinating donations to a single entity were becoming complicated, and that every community we serve has people in need. We came to realize that an address in Avon or Guilford didn’t mean your pantry was full; that a family, a local church or food bank wasn’t still struggling to provide for those in need.

As I consider PTSMC’s Annual Food Drive today, I am proud that it remains an organization-wide effort, and heartened to see that offices have taken the opportunity to seek out and create relationships with local groups in need of help. If you have the ability to donate, please do. If you have found creative ways to engage others, please share. The food drive ends on December 14th – let’s do something big!

My hope is that, as we continue the journey into the holiday season, each of us has a little extra food, friendship and love to pass around this year.

Alan Balavender