The Mercy Learning Center (MLC) mission is to provide literacy and life skills training to low income women in Bridgeport, CT. The center serves about 1,000 women per year, from 50 countries of origin, and teaches English, Math, Science, Social Studies/Civics and computing/technology to prepare students for High School Equivalency diplomas, U.S. Citizenship exams, job interviews and college careers. MLC has a holistic approach and also offers social services, counseling, food and diaper assistance and childcare. CEO Jane Ferreira, Yale YDS Class of ‘89 often says, “When you educate a woman, you educate a family” and all donations will stretch across generations.

Donation Drive: What is Needed and How to Contribute:
The MLC is in urgent need of donations and family friendly Food Pantry & toiletries for their members for at home use. Given the pandemic’s impact on their community there are multiple ways to engage and contribute as follows:

  • May 22: In Person Drop Off: For those interested, we will drop off a care package on Monday, May 22, and take photos with The MLC staff and families, as available. Exact time to be scheduled in mid April 2023. See who's coming
  • May 12: Virtual Conversation: Optional Zoom call Friday afternoon, May 12 with Jane Ferreira, President & CEO of The Mercy Learning Center and Guest Speakers on “The Urgency of Accelerating Women’s Literacy”
  • Ongoing: Cash/Credit Donations: Send directly to MLC and note YDOS 23
  • Ongoing: Food Pantry & Toiletries: Non-Perishable Healthy Foods and Toiletries can be sent via or for Monday to Friday delivery dates at any time to The Mercy Learning Center, 637 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604-4611.
    • Please note YDOS 23 in gift receipt comments for tracking.
    • Favorites of their families would be healthy cereal, soup, canned tuna and chicken, bags of rice and dried beans, pasta and sauce, canned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter and jelly for groceries
    • Priority toiletries include toothbrushes (adult and child), toothpaste, floss, soap, shampoo, deodorant, baby wipes, tampons and sanitary napkins for toiletries.

Site Contacts: Lee Race '93 MBA & Kylie Race

Social Sharing: If you’d like to include words of encouragement and name and Yale affiliation or a photo as part of our care package and social post for our YDOS for The Mercy Learning Center please email Lee & Kylie.

Thank you to past participants, it’s been an incredibly meaningful effort to support The Mercy Learning Center mission, staff and community.