LACONIA — Often we read about service organizations aiding people in myriad ways. But individuals with an idea, focus and persistence often step up to help organizations in their community efforts.
Nikki Brandt, manager at the Ellacoya General Store and Deli in Gilford, is a good example. Nikki sponsored a coat drive this winter at the store which netted an impressive amount of donations for Lakes Region Community Services' Family Resource Center in Laconia.
Nikki began thinking about this because of her own life experience. "I have four kids and I've had to go to places for help before I started working, when we only had my husband's wages." But she wasn't thinking primarily of children for this effort. "Some coats were donated for all ages, but mostly adults. There are many things done to help children. There isn't too much thought for their parents. And parents spend what they have for their kids, not themselves." This past frigid winter led Nikki to think about warm coats.
"We have a chalk board at the store for specials, and we just used that and word of mouth to let people know." It was enough. During the month of January many, many coats—in the end, three and a half large trash bags full—were donated. They included both dress and work coats, and some really high quality merchandise. "People really stepped up. Some coats were new. Some customers donated the coats off their backs," recalls Joanne Piper Lang, Director of Development at LRCS.
Finding a recipient for the donations though was initially troublesome. "That was the longest part of it all," Nikki stated. "It took over a month. Some organizations had already done their clothes drives. Then I contacted LRCS." The agency had many clients who could use the coats and was glad to be involved.
"At the Family Resource Center, we recognize the importance of supporting every member in a family-not just the children, in receiving concrete supports in times of need. The Coat Drive allowed us to provide coats to the parents and caregivers of children for the first time. While many families benefited, one struggling mother of three young children particularly comes to mind. While she was doing the best she could to take care of her children, it was discovered that she was lacking what she needed for herself. We had a blast looking through the wide variety of coats donated by Ellacoya until she found her favorite one. It was a joy to see her walking out of our building a little warmer and with a little more pep in her step," commented Erin Klasen, Family Support Manager
Like many who volunteer, Nikki got a lot out of the effort as well, and can recommend it. "My advice to anyone with an idea to help people is, don't give up. Keep trying. When you have something nice to put on, it just lifts you up. Knowing that someone is warmer when they go out to their work, or has a nice business coat for a job interview—and that I did that for people, is an amazing feeling."
Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS) is a nonprofit, comprehensive family support agency with a primary focus of providing supports to individuals with developmental disabilities and/or acquired brain disorders and their families. LRCS has offices in Laconia and Plymouth which combine to serve families residing throughout Belknap and Southern Grafton Counties. For more information contact Joanne Piper Lang at 603-524-8811or visit www.lrcs.org.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 07:34
PLYMOUTH — The Circle Trot race will be held on Sunday, April 19 at 9:30 a.m. Deadline for reduced registration cost will be on Tuesday, April 7.
This is an important and fun community event that raises money for The Circle Program, a non-profit organization that supports low-income girls from twenty-nine towns in NH with mentorship and summer camp opportunities. There are three courses available, depending on each individual's fitness level 10K, 5K and 2K. Walkers and runners welcome.
Registration is easy at circleprogram.org. For more information call race director Pasha Marlowe at 536-4244.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 07:27
GILFORD — The line of students went out the door of Gilford Elementary's Cafeteria Wednesday morning when over 200 students purchased a, "Homemade Breakfast," organized by Gilford Elementary Food Services and a new grassroots group, Gilford Community for Healthy Kids.
"Our goal today was to create an event that would give Gilford parents the opportunity to show their support for healthy food at the Elementary School," said Bethany Cote, a founding member of Gilford Community for Health Kids, "This turnout speaks volumes of what our community values."
According to Kim Dubuque, Food Services Director of Gilford School District, there were a total of 214 breakfast sold on Wednesday morning. The average sales for school breakfast are typically 60-80 per day. The year-to-date participation is 17.9% at Gilford Elementary School, while Wednesday's Homemade Breakfast had a participation rate of 62.2%. The menu consisted of a real egg cheddar cheese omelet, whole wheat toast, orange slices, and choice of milk or juice. The Gilford Elementary Food Services Department executed the event flawlessly despite the colossal, and unexpected, participation increase.
This was the first event organized by Gilford Elementary Food Services and Gilford Community for Healthy Kids. The event was marketed via facebook, a flyer, and word of mouth. The flood of support from Gilford parents is fueling Gilford Community for Healthy Kids to continue it's mission with a second event focusing on lunch. "While marketing this event to the community, we received a great deal of feedback from parents, asking us to focus on school lunch," said Jen Coapland, one of the organizers of Gilford Community for Healthy Kids, "and that is what we would like to focus on next."
The mission of Gilford Community for Healthy Kids is to improve the health, well-being and academic success of our students through community engagement and the empowerment of Gilford School District leaders to provide healthier food options in our school menus.
Specific goals include:
1. Reduce highly processed food through increased "in-house" cooking.
2. Reduce/eliminate artificial dyes & flavors and preservatives.
3. Reduce the amount of added sugar.
4. Increase locally-sourced produce and meats.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 07:25
April events at Moultonborough library: women’s liberation, state dog, scarves and building a library in Nicaragua
MOULTONBOROUGH — Moultonborough Public Library will host various events during the month of April, which include: a program on women's liberation, the N.H. state dog, how to turn scarves into cover ups, and a power point on a community outreach project in Nicaragua.
Scholar Mike McKinley will present a historical program entitled "Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane: Pioneers of Women's Liberation" on Tuesday, April 7, at 10:30 a.m. at the Moultonborough Public Library.
The program will explore the life and times of Phoebe Ana Moses (a.k.a. Annie Oakley) and Martha Jane Canary (Calamity Jane). Oakley competed successfully in a man's world without giving up her femininity, grace and charm, but Calamity Jane broke every rule designed to keep women in their place in the male-dominated Victorian Age and is viewed by some as a disgrace to all womankind. Yet, both went against the norm and became prime movers in the early struggle for women's equality and symbols of feminine independence and freedom.
The Historical Society will hold their first program of the season on Monday, April 13 at 7 p.m. The topic will be "Harnessing History: New Hampshire's State Dog, the Chinook," with Bob Cottrell and his Chinook dog, Tug. This program looks at how dog sledding developed in New Hampshire and how the Chinook played a major role in this story. Explaining how man and his relationship with dogs won out over machines on several famous polar expeditions, Cottrell covers the history of Arthur Walden of Tamworth and his Chinooks, which are now the State Dog of New Hampshire.
On Thursday, April 16, at 10:30 a.m., Jennifer Correia, owner of the local shop, "Beyond Obsession," will present a program entitled, "Tie One On With Us," in which she will demonstrate the various ways to tie and wear scarves and beach cover-ups.
The plans to renovate a village schoolhouse into a library in El Hatillo, Nicaragua, and ways the community can contribute will be discussed during a power point presentation on Monday, April 20, at 7 p.m.
El Hatillo is a small impoverished village located near Leon, Nicaragua. Former Peace Corps volunteer, Danielle Costanza, previously assigned to this site, has maintained communication with people of the village. The villagers have expressed a need for a small community library, as most children do not own a book, or have access to books.
Students of Moultonborough Central School have been fund raising through bake sales and coin drives to raise money for shelving, books and basic repairs. They are hoping to raise another $400 in order to apply to "Library in a Box," an organization that supplies books to needy communities. In addition, Moultonborough Central School will have a book drive to collect Spanish books. The group working on the project is also creating an Amazon wish list where supporters can buy books to donate. Since it will be a community library along with children's books there is a need for cookbooks, agriculture and gardening books for adults.
Some of the people working on the project plan to travel to El Hatillo in August and work with the villagers to clean up the classroom, build shelves, and set up the library. It is estimated that about $3,000 needs to be raised to complete the project.
All programs take place in the library meeting room, located off the lobby near the main entrance, and the public is invited to attend. The library is handicapped accessible. For more information, please call the library at 476-8895.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 07:19
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