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Community Welcomes More Volunteer Child Advocates

PLYMOUTH — CASA of NH has announced that six new volunteers from this area recently completed the pre-service training necessary to be an advocate for children who have been abused in local communities.

They have received comprehensive training and are assigned a volunteer supervisor so they always have someone to turn to as they get to know the child they are assigned to and represent the child's best interests, complete court reports and show up to hearing approximately every three months until the child is able to have a safe and permanent home.

"Unfortunately, no community in this state is exempt from the issue of child abuse and neglect," says Jen Buteau of CASA of NH. "Although we have more than 450 volunteer advocates statewide, it still isn't enough to keep up with the current demand." Lately, CASA of NH has had to refuse abuse and neglect cases that they were asked to advocate on from the Plymouth, Laconia and Conway courts.

Their efforts in conjunction with the existing volunteers at CASA of NH save the State of NH approximately 3.5 million dollars a year. Volunteer advocates meet with the child they are assigned to work with monthly, attend periodic court hearings and speak with the various adults involved with the child.

Due to the critical need for more advocates several trainings are scheduled in the next few months throughout the state. Those who are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer or exploring various ways they can support CASA of NH, contact Jen Buteau at 536-1663 or visit www.casanh.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 09:56

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Circle Program Serves with Gratitude

PLYMOUTH —  The Circle Program serves girls from 29 towns in New Hampshire, with major hubs in Laconia, Concord and Plymouth. The growth of the Circle Program means reaching more girls geographically, realizing their dreams of a summer camp experience and matching more volunteer mentors with Circle girls. It also means more communities are benefiting from the good works that Circle girls and teens are accomplishing.
With the hioliday season arriving Circle girls and teens are at it again, busy doing community service all over the Lakes Region. A week ago Saturday over twenty Circle girls, with mentors, went to Lakes Region General Hospital for the first year to create cards and deliver them to patients. The following Sunday a group of nine Circle teens and four mentors donated their time, as Friendly Kitchen volunteers, by serving Sunday dinner to 50 Salvation Army church members and some homeless individuals in Laconia. In teams (potato, corn and mea!) the girls layered, cooked and served Shepard's Pie and even had leftovers to serve a youth group for Tuesday. On November 24 a group of Circle teens, for the 13th year, went to a senior housing apartment in Ashland to serve and enjoy a community Thanksgiving dinner.

On December 7 Circle Program Teen Coordinator, Fox Smith, will head up a group of Circle teen "elves" for the Santa Sale in Ashland. This will be the 13th year helping Holderness Library raise funds through this magical event. For the season finale on December 8, Circle's Program Director, Paula Ferenc, will take a large group of girls and mentors to assist the Meredith Rotary Club in serving dinner to three hundred senior citizens, an annual and loved collaboration since Circle's founding year in 1993.
The Circle Program's philosophy is closely aligned with an approach called Positive Youth Development (PYD), which emphasizes building assets and skills. Positive Youth Development is a research-based approach that focuses on promoting healthy developmental potential. The original five C's of PYD are competence, confidence, connections, caring and character. The Circle Program added contribution to form their six C's. Circle girls and teens embrace opportunities to belong and "give back" through their important contribution of community service.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 09:38

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Granite United Way Launches Giving Tuesday Campaign

MANCHESTER — Tuesday, December 3 is the second annual Giving Tuesday – a national campaign launched in 2012 to create a day of giving at the start of the holiday season and encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. Here in New Hampshire, Granite United Way will mark the day with a special campaign to "Change the State" – one penny at a time. This campaign will also illustrate the high level of philanthropy in New Hampshire from involvement to giving.

Granite United Way has enlisted the help of businesses that currently participate in its employee giving campaigns to kick off the day. They will challenge business partners, customers, colleagues and others to run a one day campaign in their company. The objective is simple – get companies to sign-up on the Facebook app, and then ask their employees to Give a Like on Facebook and give their spare change. All the companies will be "Champions of Change" and will be featured on the Granite United Way Facebook Page. Any employee can kickoff their company's participation in this effort, and get their company listed. Once listed, the company can ask their employees to 'Like' Granite United Way and to collect spare change. Every employee participating is encouraged to also share their 'badge of giving' through the Facebook app. Granite United Way worked with the team from wedü to develop the Facebook app.

"Ultimately, Giving Tuesday is day in which people are encouraged to do simple acts of kindness – even something as small as donating the spare change from their pockets, purses or desk drawers. The idea is that giving feels good, and every little bit, every penny, helps," says Karrie Eaton, Director of Marketing and Communications, Granite United Way. "The simplicity of the 'Change the State' campaign makes it easy for anyone to participate, and we hope everyone who donates will encourage friends and family to do the same by proudly sharing the badge on their social media channels."


Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 09:29

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Financial Aid Night at Inter-Lakes December 10

MEREDITH — A Financial Aid Night for high school seniors and parents/guardians will be held at the Inter-Lakes High School Auditorium on Tuesday, December 10, at 6:30 p.m.
Presented by NHHEAF/Center for College Planning, the event will help participants learn about the financial aid process, the FAFSA, an EFC and all the important financial aid information needed to apply to college. Financial aid night is applicable to students applying to technical programs and two and four year colleges. There is no cost for this program.

Call the ILHS guidance office with any questions.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 09:26

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