The Friends Program strengthens communities by building relationships that empower people, encourage community service, and restore faith in the human spirit – “Building Relationships…Restoring Hope.”
The Friends Program manages four separate programs that serve a number of New Hampshire communities:
- Emergency Housing – Our family shelter, located in the south end of Concord, can house 8 homeless families daily. In FY2019, we provided shelter to 110 people (36 families). We are currently renovating our shelter to house an addition family, serving another 10-15 individuals each year. Click here to learn more!
- Foster Grandparents – Foster Grandparent volunteers (seniors) perform their service to children in Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford, and Sullivan Counties. In 2019, the Foster Grandparent Program placed 144 volunteers in schools, child care centers and after-school programs. These volunteers served 105,000 hours to support over 1,200 at-risk children with time, attention and care.
- Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) – RSVP volunteers provide a wide range of community services in Rockingham, Merrimack, Strafford, and Belknap Counties. In 2019, RSVP placed 450+ volunteers in 73 non-profit and public agencies serving 68,300 hours to meet critical needs.
- Youth Mentoring – Our volunteer mentors are making new friends and in doing so, provide hope and inspiration to at-risk youth in 10 communities in Merrimack County. In FY2019, we had 112 one-to-one matches, totaling over 4,000 hours of support to at-risk youth.
Mobilize 800 New Hampshire volunteers annually
Annually serve 4,500 children and families, seniors and people living with disabilities
Volunteers provide nearly 250,000 annual volunteer hours
Program outcomes constantly exceed national performance standards
Concord Community TV named the Friends Program as their "2018 Most Fascinating Nonprofit" during their annual Concord On Air live programing, October 2018
Merrimack County Conservation District "Cooperator of the Year" to the Friends RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program), 2017-2018
Volunteer New Hampshire "Spirit of NH" Awards given to RSVP volunteers Jeannine Aucoin, Sue Barry, Francine Philippe, Mary Ellen Vaughan, and Caregivers partner Hopkinton Dial-A-Ride, November 2017
New Hampshire Partners in Education "Gold Circle School Partnership" award given to Foster Grandparent Program volunteers received from South Range Elementary School (Derry), Hampstead Central School (Hampstead), and Belmont Elementary School (Belmont), 2017
Volunteer New Hampshire "Spirit of NH" Awards given to RSVP volunteers Jeff Colcord, Elaine Marie Connors, Estelle O'Donnell, Lorraine Hernandez, Arlene Bassett, Sue Depouy, Louise Chartier and Betty Corriea, November 2016
New Hampshire Partners in Education "2016 Volunteer of the Year" Award given to Foster Grandparent Frances Anderson, October 2016
Concord Rotary Club "Service Above Self" Award given to Foster Granparent Diane Wells, June 2016
Campus Compact for New Hampshire "Presidents' Community Partner" Award given to the Emergency Housing Program, April 2016
EngAGING NH "Vaughan Award" given to Ron and Carol Jablonowski for Rockingham County, 2016
State of New Hampshire "Friends Program 40 Years of Service" Governor Commendation, June 22, 2015
New England Patriots Foundation "Difference Maker of the Week Award ~ December 28, 2014" bestowed upon RSVP volunteer Caren Bonisteel
State of New Hampshire "Youth Mentoring Month" Governor Proclamation, Janaury 2014
Volunteer NH’s “Champion Award 2012” in the nonprofit category for providing structure and support for volunteer efforts
Volunteer NH’s “Outstanding Service Award 2012” presented to Mable Van Patten, a volunteer in the Foster Grandparent Program for exemplifying the power of volunteers in New Hampshire
New Hampshire Partners in Education “Board of Directors Award of Honor” for the Foster Grandparent Program, October 25, 2010
Boys & Girls Club of Concord “Community Partner 2010” given “In Appreciation of Extraordinary Support of Club Members and Club Staff, a Significant Service to Our Organization”, June 2010
State of New Hampshire "January 2010 Mentoring Month" Governor Proclamation, November 2009
Business NH Magazine’s “2006 Business of the Year” award for Excellence in Non Profit Management
New Hampshire Business Review’s “2003 Business Excellence Award”, for Outstanding Achievement in the Nonprofit sector
Volunteer NH’s “Champion Award 2003” in the nonprofit category for providing structure and support for volunteer efforts
Walter J. Dunfey Award 2003, for Excellence in Nonprofit Management
State of New Hampshire "Friends Interfaith Caregivers Program" Governor Proclamation, June 2000
JC Penny "Golden Rule Award" given to RSVP America Reads Program (Merrimack County) and Interfaith Caregivers Program, 2000
State of New Hampshire "Friends Month" Governor Proclamation, January 1980
Our four programs are staffed by 16 full-time and 10 part-time dedicated employees.