EXCLUSIVE: Warren Pena leads the community of outreach and caring called the South Norwalk Community Center

Warren PenaWarren Pena is the new board chairman of the South Norwalk Community Center (SNCC). Mr. Pena is Minority Leader of the Norwalk Common Council and a representative with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network where he works with clients to identify their definitions of financial security. He focuses on solutions that can help make those financial goals a reality. This is part of his mission now for SNCC, since becoming board Chair.

SNCC is located on the first floor of a building at 98 South Main Street in South Norwalk. The Center currently employs an executive director and part-time youth coordinator. It consists of an administrative office and children’s activities room with a computer lab and books. More importantly, the Center is philanthropy at its best – neighbors helping neighbors. There is a spirit of giving alive here that reminds us all of the original purpose for “nonprofits.” The Center’s giving and caring is the most authentic anyone will ever find anywhere. And it’s been that way for 50 years.

1. Why your cause?

There has been a need and today there is a growing need with low to moderate-income folks in our community.  The fastest growing population is the Hispanic community, which we primarily serve.  Our cause is to serve our residents in whatever capacity is necessary.

2. Share one of your finest moments in serving your cause.

Ernie Dumas served food and fried Turkeys on Thanksgiving Day.  Also, during Hurricane Sandy our doors were open for the people to come stay warm or eat a hot plate of food.

3. What might surprise our readers about you and/or your cause?

I grew up in South Norwalk and the SNCC has helped my family for over 30 years.

4. What do our readers need to know about your cause?

They need to know that the SNCC is alive and well.  We are here to serve all people and want people to come see us.

5. Who are your heroes?

Let me start off by saying that my mother is my hero.  She is a woman who has worked her entire life to make sure that her three children did not have needs.  My mother raised us from the ages of 11,10 and 7 by herself.  When I stop to think about what she’s done, it puts a smile on my face and at times almost brings me to tears.

6. Any events or volunteer opportunities coming up?

We are at the beginning stages of re-branding on many levels.  We would love for those interested in helping in any way to call me or the Executive Director.  In addition, we are looking to add members to the Board of Directors. This year we are celebrating 50 years and are planning an event to celebrate our important history of service towards the end of this year.South Norwalk Center

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