Social Services

Making a house for girls in crisis feel like a home

Project Return empowers girls to rebuild their lives one day at a time. The doors to Project Return opened in 1986. Since that time, Project Return has provided a home in Westport, Connecticut, to over 145 girls in crisis. It has also started an aftercare program, a transitional living facility and the HEAL program (Health, Empathy, Altruism and Love).

Marcy DeMassa, one of the Project Leaders for the XL Catlin Global Day of Giving, got involved with Project Return because she is good friends with the Development Director for the charity. When she joined XL Catlin and learned about the Global Day of Giving, she knew Project Return could really use their help.

Each year, the volunteers have painted the girls’ bedrooms, bathrooms or the staff offices. They’ve cleaned and organized the basement storage as well as several closets. They’ve also done spring clean-up and planting in the front and back gardens. “There are no special skills needed to work at Project Return,” says Marcy. “Only the willingness to get dirty. I think the experience of working at Project Return has been an incredible lesson for me and my colleagues about the power of a safe and clean home for mental health and healing.”

The volunteers have continued to contribute outside of the Global Day of Giving in various ways, including donations to their annual fundraiser luncheon and Christmas stockings for the girls. “Some of our colleagues volunteer and contribute on their own,” adds Marcy.

Marcy and her team hope to continue contributing to the upkeep of the home and to continue building relationships between XL Catlin and Project Return.

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