7 BEST Bruce Dawson Shelley Huntoon Nancee Dawson Fran Howland Rodney Huntoon 8 12May is a month when we celebrate older Americans who spring into action to work for positive social change, help their fellow seniors, and take ownership of their own health and well-being.

Since 1963, communities across America have shown their gratitude to seniors' contributions by celebrating Older Americans Month each May. The theme of this year's celebration is "Get into the Act" to focus on how older adults are taking charge of their health, engaging with their communities, and making a positive impact on the lives of others. The theme also reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act, which Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law in 1965. Since that time, the Act has provided funding and a nationwide aging services network to help older adults live with dignity in the communities of their choice for as long as possible. These services include caregiver support, community-based assistance, and preventive health and wellness services. The creation of the Foster Grandparent Program and RSVP were part of this larger effort.
May is also Osteoporosis Awareness Month. 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass, putting them at risk for breaks and fractures. Bone Builders classes, offered free through Friends RSVP, feature low-impact exercises that yield high-impact results. These senior strength sessions improve bone and muscle strength, balance, circulation, and general health. Classes are held twice a week, year-round at local senior centers, senior housing buildings, and other locales. Friends RSVP-trained volunteers lead classes at 22 locations in Merrimack, Rockingham and Belknap counties. Over 2,000 classes are taught annually. To get involved, call the Friends Program at 228-1193.

Ann Horgan Hampstead Central

Want to make a difference in a child’s life in our community?  

The Friends Foster Grandparent Program places seniors in local schools helping children read, learn, and be mentored by caring adults 55 and up. And we need volunteers!

Highlights of this wonderful program include:

- By volunteering in a local elementary or preschool you’ll mentor and support children academically and emotionally while building meaningful relationships with students and other adults in the community. 

- Income-eligible seniors receive a grant-funded, tax-free stipend that won’t affect your Social Security benefits or any other assistance. 

- Encouraging a child to reach their goals gives you a sense of purpose and gives that child confidence and the comfort of a caring adult.

The Friends Program coordinates the only Foster Grandparent Program in New Hampshire and we have openings in many communities! Maybe your hometown school is one of them!

For more information on how to become a Foster Grandparent Volunteer please call 1-800-536-1193 or visit





Friday, September 12, 9am-10am - Retired & Senior Volunteer Program Informational Breakfast
Friends RSVP is seeking volunteers for its Caregivers Program, which provides door-through-door transportation to seniors for medical appointments and grocery shopping. Friends RSVP Caregivers fulfill other basic needs such as companionship and telephone reassurance. RSVP also also operates Bone Builders Program, a senior strength exercise program that improves bone and muscle strength, balance, circulation and, general health. Volunteer session leaders are needed to conduct semi-weekly classes  at local senior centers, senior housing buildings and other locales.

Join us for a complimentary breakfast and learn more. Space is limited. Call RSVP Program Coordinator Carolyn Rich at 228-7615 to reserve your seat today.Or reach her by e-mailL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Dear Friend,

For an eight-year-old boy, there is absolutely nothing more devastating than losing your dad.

"They were almost like brothers, playing pranks on the rest of the family, always laughing," recalls Jason's mother, Jennifer, who had to contend with her own grief while helping her son cope. "I saw the light leave my son. It was hard to figure out what to do to make him laugh again." 

Michael  Bruce Building a tree house for Michael 3-13Through Jason's school guidance counselor, Jennifer learned about the Friends Program. She called us hoping to find a mentor to match with her son.

Wade was in his mid-fifties with two grown daughters. We matched him with Jason because of his interest in doing the kind of "boy stuff" he loved to do when he was Jason's age.

The first time Jason met Wade, he was a little shy. Wade tried to get his new Junior Friend to open up by asking about the kinds of things Jason and his dad used to do together for fun.

This sent Jason running to his bedroom.

A moment later he returned with a dusty little trophy. "My dad and I got this at the ice fishing derby before he died. Do you fish?"

In the past four years, the two have gone fishing, built a tree house, climbed mountains, and much more.

Wade is one of many Friends Program volunteers. These community champions do so much for our most vulnerable neighbors. They drive homebound seniors to the doctor's office, help shelter homeless families, and mentor youngsters like Jason.

For 40 years, the Friends Program has been recruiting volunteers like Wade. I hope that you can help by making a year-end gift. 

If you have contributed recently - thank you! Your gift will immediately be put to work.

Last year, the Friends Annual Fund campaign raised $30,000. Can you help us increase - or even double this amount? With 2014 having marked the last year of the Friends auction, your generosity is vital to our efforts.

I am grateful for your gift in whatever amount you are able to contribute and appreciate your kind consideration.

Thank you,
Jerry Madden Signature BLUE 1.11.10
Jerrome K. Madden
Executive Director

Keep up with the latest news from all  four of our programs - sign up for the Friends Program e-mail newsletter. Monthly bulletins provide brief program updates and information about how you can get involved.

Subscribing is free and easy: Just click here, then type your e-mail address and first name. It's that quick. And if you ever decide you want to opt out in the future, unsubscribing is easy, too.