today marks the one-year anniversary of Operation Hand Sanitizer.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but today marks the one-year anniversary of Operation Hand Sanitizer. March 16, 2020 was the first day we pivoted from distilling spirits to manufacturing hand sanitizer. What began as a simple attempt to help fill the void in the hand sanitizer market quickly turned into a community mission to help those in need. We’re grateful that we found a way to help during the pandemic, but as you’ll see in the video below, this is truly a community-wide success story.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe how quickly Operation Hand Sanitizer took off. Just a few days into our endeavor, we were quickly overwhelmed by demand. The supply chain for packaging components and key ingredients was completely backed up, which made procuring supplies one of our biggest challenges. But when we put a call out to the community for spare bottles, hydrogen peroxide and other supplies, the response humbled us. Folks journeyed from all over the state to drop off much needed materials.

The community’s generosity was incredibly inspiring. Litchfield Distillery offered our single-sized sanitizer bottles for free, yet most folks insisted on contributing to the cause. So we put a donation container out by the bottles and over the past year collected over $41,000! We donated all contributions to FISH/Friends in Service to Humanity of NWCT.

“When the pandemic became a reality in the darkest days of March 2020, some of our greatest concerns at FISH/Friends in Service to Humanity of NWCT Food Pantry and Homeless Shelter were “how will we keep our residents and staff safe and healthy; and how will we fund the organization and keep our doors open?” Very fortunately, the Baker brothers at Litchfield Distillery were a Godsend to FISH, as they heroically produced hand sanitizer for all of Connecticut, including us, and they also placed a donation box out for FISH NWCT. People’s contributions made up for the loss of our annual fundraisers and covered the cost of running operations at FISH for one whole month. The Baker brothers’ generosity has been a pandemic miracle to FISH NWCT as we serve our neighbors facing food insecurity and homelessness.” – Deirdre Houlihan DiCara, Executive Director, FISH/Friends in Service to Humanity of Northwestern Connecticut, Inc.

Thank you for all your support during the past year and for reminding us once again how generous and caring we all are in Connecticut.

And by the way, if you still need hand sanitizer, we continue to offer free bottles via our donation table outside the distillery.