The Backpack Program at Penacook Elementary School received a $2,000.00 grant from the Globe Community Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, which will help provide backpacks of nutritious weekend food for children in need throughout the school year. “The generosity of this grant fills our hearts with gratitude knowing that we will be able to continue this vital program for these children, now and in the future,” Fran Philippe, Backpack Program Coordinator and Friends RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) volunteer. Read more in the Concord Monitor article about how Friends RSVP volunteers are tackling the issue of food insecurity through a unique partnership with Friends of Forgotten Children.
Portsmouth Mayor Jack Blalock honored National Service* volunteers in June with a reception at Portsmouth City Hall. Present for the reception were Friends RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers:
(L-R) Ralph Appleby, Marge Robertson, Jeanne Russell, Friends RSVP Program Coordinator Addie Tarbell, Marilyn & David Wajda, and Betty Gilman. Twelve additional RSVP volunteers were not able to attend but were recognized by the Mayor.
Thank you Mayor Blalock!
The Friends Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) held a Nutrition Workshop at RayFre Senior Center in Raymond along with Becky Betts from the UNH Cooperative Extension. There was an assortment of produce including seasonal and specialty items such as tricolor carrots & peppers, papayas, mangoes, kiwi, pomegranate, a variety of hummus flavors (including hummus paired with strawberries) and different types of wraps. Attendees sampled the food and then made wraps based on their preferences. There were smoothies with spinach, berries, and yogurt to try. Special thanks to RSVP Bone Builder leaders, Terri Schoppmeyer and Carol Reed, for lending a helping hand chopping, serving, and supporting.
The Friends Emergency Housing Program shelter for homeless families has much happening (be sure to follow the links for more details and pictures):
> The Wish List has been updated to include the following new items: refrigerator (in decent condition), 4 or 5 tier wire shelving, and milk (a staple). A few items have also been removed thanks to the kind and generous support of our community!
> Volunteers from Grace Capital came not once, not twice, but three times in June making a visible, tangible and valuable impact inside and outside. Our shelter is a large home that, like every home, needs upkeep. We are truly grateful for your TLC!
> Volunteers from NH State Police Forensics did some much needed, and greatly appreciated, spring cleaning on the shelter's interior and exterior.
Congratulations to Friends Foster Grandparent Program volunteers Claire Bickford and Ginny Wentworth for being recognized by the schools where they volunteer (please scroll down for the full stories).
Claire was honored by Belmont Elementary School as their ‘Volunteer of the Year’ for her commitment working with a student needing extra emotional and social support. Grammy Claire, as students lovingly call her, was able to reach this student beyond that of her special education teacher and assistant. Grammy Claire’s support resulted in academic progress and an increased ability to communicate. Mrs. Donovan, Grammy Claire’s teacher says, “Gram is a gem, dedicated to teaching and caring about all of the children she works with. I am retiring after 35 years of teaching and Claire brought the same joy to me as she has done every year to each child in my classroom. I thank her and the Friends Foster Grandparent Program for bringing such a wonderful person into my life and the lives of the children in my classroom.”
Ginny, affectionately known as Ms. Ginny, was awarded a certificate during a school-year-end celebration at South Range School and now has a book dedicated in her name in the South Range Library with the following heartfelt inscription: “Ms. Ginny came to South Range School 5 years ago as part of the Foster Grandparent Program. She started her career here with a first grade teacher who was looking for a volunteer. Right away, Ms. Ginny found herself getting attached to the delightfulness of first graders. Having no grandchildren of her own, she found an entire classroom full in first grade. Her kindness, gentleness, genuine interest in them, all the while expecting them to try hard to improve in all that’s expected of first graders, endeared her to their hearts. Her first class of first graders are now fifth graders and they still greet her with enthusiasm when they meet up with her, delighted to see her, anxious to see if she remembers them. After three years in first grade, Ms. Ginny currently works with kindergarten classes. Her same caring qualities and patience are now helping our youngest students get a good start at South Range. From helping children learn popcorn words, to becoming better mathematicians, to learning kindness for each other, celebrating with them when they master a skill and encouraging them when they still need a little more practice, Ms. Ginny has found a place in the hearts of many children and adults at South Range School. All of this, and more, has prompted us to choose Ms. Ginny to be our 2017 – 2018 Volunteer of the Year at South Range School.”