Doing Good In The Neighborhood Archives

Doing Good in the Neighborhood Archives

WEEK OF 10/12

This week we focus on Hunger Free Vermont, and the 3SquaresVT Program. The COVID-19 Pandemic is impacting all individuals and families across Vermont, and many are experiencing the consequences of reduced working hours and wages, school closures, and limited access to services and transportation due to social distancing. 3SquaresVT is an important Federal Food Program that can help households buy food during the crisis. When you use 3SquaresVT benefits, you can buy the foods you like to eat – you’ll get a plastic card that looks like a credit card, and you can use it at most grocery stores, convenience stores, markets, and co-ops. To find out if you qualify, visit hungerfreevt.org.

HUNGER FREE VERMONT INC - GuideStar Profile

WEEK OF 10/4

This week we highlight The Rotary Club of the Deerfield Valley and Operation Warm, an initiative that purchases new winter coats for children in need. Operation Warm partners with local schools and uses community outreach to find recipients. The Rotary Club of the Deerfield Valley purchases the coats, at a very reasonable cost through the Operation Warm organization, and the coats are distributed free of charge to the recipients. Last year, over 200 new winter coats were distributed to local school children. With the help of generous donations, The Rotary Club of The Deerfield Valley will continue to help keep kids warm in the winter months.

Operation Warm

This Friday at 5:05pm, Elise Valentine will chat with Sarah Shippee from The Rotary Club of the Deerfield Valley to learn more about Operation Warm.

WEEK 9/28

This week we focus on The Greater Keene Rotaract Club and their “Send a Scarecrow” fundraiser! Join them in welcoming in fall and giving back to the community. It’s designed to be socially distanced, where you can send a “Russell and Sheryl scarecrow” to a loved one in the Keene area from the comfort of your own home. The proceeds of this event will benefit Rotaract’s local service projects which include work with Hundred Nights shelter and The Community Kitchen, among other non-profits.

Friday at 5:05pm Elise Valentine will chat with Beth Woods to hear more about The Greater Keene Rotaract Club’s “Send a Scarecrow” fundraiser.

WEEK OF 9/21

This week we spotlight Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities and their 9th annual Walk & Roll fundraiser. The money raised through the Walk & Roll will help fund operating costs that are not covered by Medicaid or other funding sources. Cedarcrest works so hard to provide all the medical, respiratory support, therapy and special education programming for infants, children, and young adults.

While the Walk & Roll event may look different this year due to COVID, the fundraising is still as important than ever – you can register to walk and complete your 2.1 miles anytime between now and October 3rd. You can also make a direct donation to help Cedarcrest hit their $23,000 goal. Click HERE to register and for more information.

Friday at 5:05pm, join Elise Valentine as she chats with Patty Farmer of Cedarcrest to learn more about their Walk & Roll fundraiser.

Cedarcrest Center Logo

WEEK OF 9/14

This week we focus on Reading on the Road, a student-run initiative that collects children’s books and distributes them throughout The Monadnock Region. In doing this, Reading on the Road hopes to promote healthy reading habits and provide access to books for all children. Since the beginning in 2018, they have provided books to various organizations including Head Start Daycares, The Keene Rec Center, The Keene Community Kitchen, The Salvation Army, Keene Community Education, and various after school programs in the region.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Reading on the Road has distributed over 10,000 books to kids, free of any charge, by partnering with Feeding Tiny Tummies and Southwestern Community Service’s free lunch program… they’ve also begun offering deliveries of books to families that request them.

This Friday, join Elise Valentine at 5:05pm, as she chats with Georgia and Amelia from Reading on the Road to hear more about this wonderful organization.

WEEK OF 9/7

This week we focus on the Connecticut River Conservancy and the thousands of volunteers like YOU to help make water cleaner, river banks safer, and wildlife happier, in the annual “Source to Sea Cleanup”… an annual  trash cleanup of the Connecticut River and tributaries across NH, VT, MA & CT.

Connecticut River Conservancy Logo

Due to COVID-19, the annual cleanup has been extended to the entire month of September, and participants can clean up any time during the month to ensure safe physical distancing. Get involved as an individual, or as a group… click HERE for more information!

WEEK OF 8/31

This week we’re focusing on Ryker! A small boy with a huge dream! He started a project called Pawsome Box in October 2019… inspired by his Mom who is a veterinary technician, he became envious that she helps animals every day, so he decided he wanted to help too. With the help of local donations and fundraising, Ryker sends Pawsome Boxes to local shelters, humane societies, and rescues in NH, VT and MA. The boxes are filled with food, toys, treats, and other items that animals need. Most recently, Ryker sent boxes to animals who were affected by Hurricane Laura down in Louisiana.

If you’d like to help Ryker continue to send Pawsome Boxes, you can visit his Amazon Wishlist and purchase items or gift cards, or donate to his GoFundMe!

Follow along with Ryker’s journey on Facebook too!

WEEK OF 8/24

This week we feature 6 year old Ella Wilson who loves helping people. Throughout this pandemic her Mom Jewels has been trying to encourage openness and explain it to Ella in kid friendly terms. Recently, the two were watching the news and Ella heard how many people are out of work. She became really upset and worried about it and asked if she and her Mom could do something to help. Her Mom told her she thought it was a great idea. After brainstorming they decided to try and raise some money to buy grocery gift cards for families in their Winchester, NH community in need. They would like to help at least 5 families in our community as a starter goal, but would love to keep it going as long as they can! They would really appreciate any donation you are able to make to support Ella’s passion of helping others!

Join Elise Valentine Friday at 5:05pm as she chats with Ella Wilson and her Mom Jewels, to hear more about how Ella is helping neighbors.

WEEK OF 8/17

This week we chat about the “Music Under the Stars” Drive-In Concerts Coming August 28 and 29.

A throwback to the 1950’s, drive-in concerts are turning out to be this summer’s entertainment salvation. This popular phenomenon has been happening in big cities like Chicago and L.A. and now, in small towns like Brattleboro.

On August 28 and 29 the Brattleboro Music Center and Retreat Farm will present two live drive-in concerts for the community’s enjoyment, as part of their “Music Under the Stars” series that was so popular last summer and named one of Vermont’s Top Ten Summer Events.

On Friday evening, August 28 the BMC Pops Orchestra 2020 with conductor Zon Eastes will perform Mozart, Britten, Montgomery and Joplin. On Saturday evening, August 29, the VJC Seven will take the stage with jazz vocalist Wanda Houston. The rain date for both events is Sunday evening at 6pm.

Both concerts are free and everyone is welcome. A suggested donation of $20 per car is very much appreciated to help defray costs.

The events will take place on the Concert Stage at Harris Hill on Cedar Street in Brattleboro. Bring your lawn chairs and a picnic as you enjoy live music in a magical Vermont setting, safe and socially-distanced. Gates open at 5pm and concerts begin at 6pm.

Advance reservations are required. You will be assigned a space for your vehicle as well as the adjacent space for outdoor seating! No walk-ins will be allowed.

We hope to see you this summer for our “in your car” concerts!

Reserve a Ticket HERE!

Visit the event page on Facebook!

WEEK OF 8/10

This week we shine a little light on the Everyone Eats! program in Brattleboro. For the past six weeks, Foodworks along with several other local partners, has been helping to implement this program, using Federal Funds to pay restaurants to prepare meals for those impacted by COVID-19. Everyone Eats! provides high-quality meals for and wide: to our neighbors staying in hotels, to human service and social justice organizations, as well as to families and individuals – no questions asked – every Monday through Thursday throughout August from 4pm to 6pm at the C.F. Church building on Flat Street in Brattleboro.

WEEK OF 8/3

This week we’re focusing on Groundworks Collaborative in Brattleboro, Vermont, a shelter and supportive services for those suffering from homelessness and extreme poverty offering food support services for anyone in need. They support basic needs with dignity through their shelters, food shelf and a range of services. When COVID was advancing toward Vermont, with the state’s support and guidance, Groundworks quickly moved everyone experiencing homelessness into local motels, allowing for separation and limiting the spread of COVID. So far no infections! Groundworks also changed how they provide food, moving to a delivery model. The number of people accessing food supports has doubled. Groundworks is currently working on options to keep people in housing, as they’ve interrupted homelessness – and they don’t want to go back to ‘normal’.

Tune in Friday at 5:05pm as John Bailey interviews Laura Chapman from Groundworks Collabortive to hear more about how the organization continues to assist and support the homeless.

To learn more, visit the Groundworks Collaborative website HERE.

Follow Groundworks Collaborative on Facebook HERE.

WEEK OF 7/27

This week we’re focusing on the Hops For Hope 5K, an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society which provides the necessary funds for us to support cancer survivors, caregivers and their communities.  

2020 will be a new adventure as we turn this into a Virtual Event! Join from across the street or across the country –  The fight for a world without cancer reaches far and wide! There are 2 registration options (both are a 100% tax-deductible donation) for individuals or teams.

Participants are encouraged to complete their 5K anywhere that that have the ability to safely run, walk, ride, roll, etc. Each Monday in August registered participants will receive a new WEEKLY CHALLENGE in their inbox which enters them into a weekly prize.

The Top Fundraiser will WIN A Northeast Value Epic Pass, valued at $599 donated by Mount Snow. When a participant FUNdraises $100 or more they are automatically entered to win 1 FREE night stay at the Vermont Huts Association Chittenden Brook Hut. More giveaways will be announced on our Social Media accounts throughout the month.

Register or Donate HERE

WEEK OF 7/20/2020

This weekend, Thursday July 23rd through Sunday July 26th, Thanksgiving in July is back, a local fundraiser collecting monetary and non-perishable food donations to assist hungry children in need.

Keene Elm City Rotary, Greater Keene Rotaract Club, and the Monadnock Understands Childhood Hunger Coalition (M.U.C.H) are coming together to ensure that the hallmark fundraising effort doesn’t fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Children in our region are food insecure, and, unfortunately, this problem isn’t just not going away, it is becoming dire.

There are a couple different ways to make your contribution to help feed local children! Visit the Thanksgiving in July website HERE and click “DONATE” to place your monetary donation, or drop off your shelf-stable goods in the drop box in front of Ted’s Shoe and Sport in downtown Keene. All funds will directly support local children in need of food.

WEEK of 7/13/2020

This week we focus on The Deerfield Valley Rotary Club — Due to COVID-19, the Rotary Club had to cancel its traditional fundraisers so instead, is hosting an outdoor Garden and Live Music Tour this Saturday, July 18th, from 12-4pm, rain or shine. It will be a self-guided tour where you can visit beautiful gardens in our valley in any order you would like, and see live musicians perform! Visit some or all at your own pace. Tickets are a $25 donation, and can be purchased HERE or at the Chamber of Commerce in Wilmington when they are open. There will be a limited number of tickets sold, so get your tickets while supplies last!

The Deerfield Valley Rotary raises money to then donate to the local community where it is needed,  so you can enjoy a great afternoon while giving back to the local community at the same time!

For information about this event and to see the list of musicians that will be performing as well as descriptions of some of the gardens, click HERE. There will even be a couple of artists selling their crafts/art, including a local favorite, Ann Coleman!

Follow The Deerfield Valley Rotary Club on Facebook!

WEEK Of 7/6/2020

This week we focus on two juniors from Keene High School, Mike Mariani and Devin McLaughlin who recently set out on a “Pedaling for Prevention” Tri-State bicycle journey (approximately 700 miles through NH, VT & ME) raising awareness for suicide prevention and honoring Mike’s brother Nathan Mariani, who died by suicide in 2018. Shortly into the trip, Devin suffered a knee injury, so the trip unfortunately had to end, however, determined to continue to spread their message that “long journeys can lead to beautiful destinations”, they altered their plans, regrouped and set out on a suicide awareness speaking tour.  They completed this tour on Monday 6/30 and were greeted with a hero’s welcome in Chesterfield, NH.  When medical staff allow it, Mike and Devin plan to redo their New England ride, and also plan to cross the country (their original plan before COVID-19) in the summer of 2021 just after their Keene High School graduation.

The amazing team at Bulldog Design helped the boys create a line of Pedaling For Prevention apparel. All proceeds benefit the ride and suicide prevention. Click HERE to order your apparel.  The store is open through July 15th. New items have been added, including face masks.

 

Any proceeds from their “Pedaling For Prevention” ride benefits The Samaritans, a local suicide prevention agency.

Donations can made at any Savings Bank of Walpole branch or mailed to:

Pedaling For Prevention, c/o Savings Bank of Walpole, PO Box 744 Keene, NH, 03431.

Letters of support can be mailed to:

Pedaling For Prevention, PO Box 303, Spofford, NH 03462.

Email: PedalingforPrevention2020@gmail.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pedalingforprevention2020/?hl=en

Venmo: https://venmo.com/pedalingforprevention2020

FaceBook: https://facebook.com/pedaling4prevention2020/

Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/f/sq26t-pedaling-for-prevention

For more information please visit: http://pedalingforprevention.com.

WEEK OF 6/28/2020

This week we focus on Stuart and John’s Sugar House and Windyhurst Dairy Farm, in Westmoreland, NH.

Stuart & John’s Sugar House is known for maple syrup, pancakes and the like. Many people don’t realize that Stuart and his wife Robyne also own and operate the Dairy Farm right across the street—Windyhurst Farm. The Adams Family has 4 generations living and working on the farm in various ways.
The Adams family has one of the remaining few dairy farms left in NH. In a state that had hundreds of dairy farms less than a generation ago, they are now one of only about 94 farms left in this state. It’s more expensive to produce milk in the northeast. Milk prices have been too low for too long and many farms have been forced to sell.
In 2020, the milk price forecast was looking just slightly better. Farms around the state might have even come close to breaking even for a while. Then, COVID happened with devastating effects on milk income…essentially, the income was cut in about half of what it had been at the beginning of the year.
Through the spring, Stuart and John’s and Windyhurst Farm had to get creative with the situation they were all forced into. They sold ice cream and their own beef in March and April out the take out window to customers who were brave enough to venture out when there were so many unknowns. They brought in some frozen foods and supplies that they could get from their restaurant suppliers to sell to people. They have slowly been trying to reopen.
During those unsettling times, it was hard to know what to do. They felt so helpless. As a family they believe strongly in their motto—to let their family serve your family. How could they serve our community during this time, when they weren’t sure if they would even have a future farming with all this uncertainty.
In the midst of it all, they started to hear about how places around the country were running fundraisers to donate milk to people in need. A great idea—a mutually beneficial solution to solve two problems—people needing food, and farms having an oversupply and being forced to dump milk. They thought they would try it out for a week or two, and see how it went.
They started the first week in May. They were thinking maybe they would get 15-20 gallons in donations that first week…and they got 48 right off the bat! They ended up with another 128 that weekend that they spread into the following week.
They contacted a few local food kitchens and found that The Community Kitchen in Keene would accept milk donations, as well as a rehab home called House of Hope. Then after they got up and running, they were contacted by Feeding Tiny Tummies and they have started donating to them, too.
Their customers add $3 to cover a gallon of milk to their food and ice cream orders. Each week they tally it up and then distribute fluid milk to the charities. Since they can’t bottle on our own farm, they do the next best thing—they purchase milk from Market Basket in Swanzey that comes straight from the Hood plant in Concord where their milk is bottled; so indirectly, it’s their farm’s milk. 🙂
So far in 8 weeks, they have been able to facilitate the donations of over 525 gallons of milk. They do break out some of the donations to get half gallon and pint sizes sometimes to accommodate the needs of the community kitchen and feeding tiny tummies. Oftentimes half gallons let them spread the milk further between more families, and work better for smaller families or elderly folks. The pint size has come in handy for the community kitchen for the take out meals they had to do during COVID.
Thanks for supporting Stuart and John’s and Windyhurst Farm as they work to support our community!

WEEK OF 6/22/2020

This week, we focus on the company MAMASEZZ, a local company that delivers fresh (never frozen) delicious, hearty, whole food plant-based ready to eat meals to your door… when the pandemic hit, they not only set up an in-house food store for everyone who works for them along with providing MamaSezz meals to their employees, but they are also continuing to donate hundreds of meals per week to food shelves and community pantries in the two towns where they have a base of operations, Brattleboro and Keene. MAMASEZZ is also working with a group of Brattleboro folks to provide restaurant food for people in town in a four-week pilot project that they hope to continue here and around Vermont. They are planning to offer logistics and their van to help move food safely to the distribution locations.

WEEK OF 6/15/2020

This week we highlight The Local Crowd Monadnock and their 4Ward Initiative — through a variety of crowd-funding campaigns, you’re empowered to support the local business you wouldn’t want to live without! The dollars raised helps these locally owned businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis, meet changes in community needs, and seize new opportunities to move towards a more local, green and fair economy in the Monadnock Region. Consider donating today to help one of the several businesses through TLC Monadnock’s 4Ward Campaign like: The Monadnock Food Coop, Orchard Hill, Archway Farm and Prime Roast.

WEEK OF 6/8/2020

This week we spotlight the Rotary Club of Keene – the organization is hosting their annual Lobster Feast Raffle Fundraiser with money raised being put back into the community through Jane’s Kids, which outfits local children in-need. Raffle tickets are only $5.00 each and there are 3 prizes (complete dinners for 10 delivered to the location of your choice within in the Monadnock Region *delivered uncooked due to constraints around COVID*). Contact your favorite Rotarian to purchase – or email info@keenerotary.org.

WEEK OF 6/1/2020

This week, we spotlight Nicole Reisman of Brattleboro – Operator of Nicole’s Community Kitchen, and known as “The People’s Chef”. When we all began social distancing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals became housebound. Nicole selflessly stepped up and began using her culinary skills to provide hot home-cooked meals for her fellow Southern Vermonters during this time of need. Through her Facebook group page “Nicole’s Community Kitchen“, she makes meal announcements and takes orders, and with the help of volunteers, delivers these meals to people in Brattleboro and the surrounding area.

KRISTOPHER RADDER — BRATTLEBORO REFORMER

KRISTOPHER RADDER — BRATTLEBORO REFORMER

KRISTOPHER RADDER — BRATTLEBORO REFORMER

WEEK OF 5/25/2020

This week, we’re focusing on Becky Arbella of Shires Housing, who helped create a temporary food shelf in Dover, Vermont in the Sundance Base Lodge of Mount Snow. Through different funding, including a GoFundMe account that surpassed her original request of $2500, an emergency grant, and food/beverage donations from the Vermont Foodbank, River Bend Farm Market, Mount Snow, and other local givers, she started the COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Dover Food Shelf.

As the need from local families grew, Becky found it difficult to purchase items in bulk for the food shelf, so she decided to take the remaining funds and purchase several $25 gift cards to each of Dover and Wilmington’s small grocery stores to give to families, so they could purchase their own items while keeping the money in the valley.

COVID-19 Dover Food Shelf Schedule

WEEK OF 5/18/2020

This week we focus on Brooke Kaplan of Vermont’s own Darn Tough Socks. The company is selling the “Foodbank Farmer’s Market” sock, with every penny from the sale going straight to the Vermont Foodbank. This lightweight lifestyle sock has a purpose beyond keeping you comfortable, it provides comfort to others… and so far, has donated over 170,000 meals to Vermonters in need.

   

WEEK OF 5/11/2020

This week, we’re featuring Joe Tolman, owner of Bulldog Design in Keene, who launched “the great grey tee project” in Keene and Brattleboro. Since early April, customers could order Oxford grey t-shirts with logos of local businesses and organizations in dark grey on the fronts, with “community support team, grey tee project member” printed in all caps on the left sleeve.

          

The shirts cost $19 each, and $10 from each sale went to the business that customers chose to support. Since many businesses were affected throughout the stay-at-home order, this was a way for Bulldog to help the community make it through COVID-19 related closures. In just over a month, nearly $100,000 was raised to assist local businesses!

WEEK OF 5/4/2020

This week, we’re featuring Jim Westbrook of CherryRail Farm who has put together a free food event on weekends in May and June for the public at The Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, VT.

Free breakfast sandwiches are available to the public on Saturdays and Sundays starting in May.  Just come down to the Retreat Farm in Brattleboro between 9 am – 12 pm for a sausage or cheese egg sandwich made fresh with local eggs and sausage.  To honor the social distancing details, you’ll place your order at the drive-up order area and then drive up to the pick up station.  Socially distanced walk ups are welcome also.  Sausage donation and catering by CherryRail Farm with additional donations and support from Pete and Gerry’s Eggs, Against the Grain, Brown and Roberts, Leader Home Center and Wendy’s.

 

For more information email Jim at CherryRailFarm@gmail.com.

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