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Way Home, Friends of Aine seeking volunteers 

Guest Columnist

Many nonprofits in Greater Nashua are frequently in need of volunteers. At the same time, many people in our city are looking for an organization with whom they can share their time and talent. Volunteer Greater Nashua, a website co-sponsored by United Way of Greater Nashua and The Telegraph brings those two pieces together. Those interested in making a difference in our community can find a wide variety of tasks that nonprofits need help with listed on the site. Opportunities can range from digging in the soil with Grow Nashua to helping children with riding lessons at UpReach Therapeutic Riding, to delivering food to homebound seniors with Meals on Wheels. Volunteer opportunities can be found by searching by zip code, interest area and more. We’ve included several new listings featured on the site in this article. You can always find more on Volunteer Greater Nashua at http://www.volunteergreaternashua.org.

The Way Home

The Way Home is a non-profit dedicated to helping low-income households obtain and sustain safe, affordable housing throughout New Hampshire. Since 1988, they have assisted more than 21,000 homeless and high-risk families, individuals, veterans and special-needs clients with their housing needs.

Their mission and vision statements speak of creatively helping those with the fewest resources. When designing their programs, The Way Home looks first to empower their clients in need. Over the past 29 years, this has meant helping them increase their resourcefulness by providing more financial literacy classes, housing counseling and coaching, steps to success coaching, healthy home education, landlord/tenant rights and other life-skills classes.

Their vision is to continue as an innovative, grassroots organization committed to creatively helping those with the least resources increase access, raise hope and build self-esteem. They believe in implementing a “housing first” approach, which provides secure housing with the support needed to make a difference.

The Way Home needs help in a variety of areas. Help is needed in the “Homework Zone” assisting school-age children with their schoolwork on one or more weekdays between 3:30-4:30 p.m. They also need help in the “Children’s Workshop” caring for children when their caregivers are attending a class on one weekend evening per month. They also are looking for office support, new fundraising committee members, a Healthy Homes Advocate, help on their maintenance team and are looking for new members for their board of trustees.

For more information, visit www.volunteergreaternashua.org and search for “The Way Home.”

St. Joseph

Community

Services, Inc. Meals on Wheels/Community Dining

St. Joseph Community Services began operations in 1977. In their first year, they provided 149,338 meals and wellness checks, within 10 years the need for their services more than doubled, resulting in 277,382 meals and wellness checks served in 1987.

Today, St. Joseph Community Services works with a licensed kitchen in the heart of Manchester that produces more than 8,000 nutritious meals each week. Meals are then delivered to numerous dining centers throughout Hillsborough County, where they are served to older adults in community dining centers or sent out as Meals on Wheels to homebound, older and disabled adults.

SJCS is dedicated to promoting better physical, mental and social well-being of older and other qualified adults. Providing nutritious meals, health education, opportunities for social interaction and other related services helps improve the lives of those they serve.

Are you looking for a rewarding and fun volunteer opportunity? Are you interested in helping your homebound older and disabled neighbors? St. Joseph Community Services, the provider of Meals on Wheels and Community Dining for Hillsborough County is seeking reliable and dedicated volunteer drivers to deliver meals to homebound and disabled adults in communities throughout the county. Just a few hours of your assistance on the weekday of your choice, typically between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. can help your neighbors remain healthy and live independently at home.

They have various volunteer opportunities, including drivers, kitchen help, runner/helpers and office volunteers. Volunteer individually or as a part of a team on a rotating cycle. Training is provided.

For more information, visit www.volunteergreaternashua.org and search for “St. Joseph Community Services.”

Friends of Aine

In New Hampshire, one in 13 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling before the age of 18. Friends of Aine is the only organization in New Hampshire whose sole mission is to support those grieving children, teens and families who have experienced a significant death. Currently, they provide services at two locations in New Hampshire, and have plans to broaden their services to assist more families.

The Friends of Aine Center for Grieving Children and Families is seeking volunteers to co-facilitate peer-to-peer, activity-based support groups for grieving children, teens and their adult caregivers. Facilitators will be provided with all necessary training (free of charge) and will always work as part of a facilitation team, under the direction of a licensed clinician. Facilitators lead activities in small groups to create an opportunity for the grieving population to share their own personal experiences, explore topics related to grief, learn coping strategies and be exposed to the Good Grief program and its four tasks of mourning.

For more information, visit www.volunteergreaternashua.org and search for “Friends of Aine.”

Grow Nashua

Grow Nashua’s mission is to bring families together with a common goal of strengthening their community. These families will learn the gardening skills that both promote a healthy, active lifestyle and provide them with an economic benefit of harvesting their own fresh vegetables.

Grow Nashua is growing urban vegetable farms in Nashua’s city and schools and using this common ground to empower people to strengthen their own community relationships. Working among Nashua’s schools, businesses and diverse residents, they are providing the backbone for communication to support the local food system and positively impact the overall health of the community. All programs offered cohesively fit together to give participants the education and resources they need to grow, cook and eat healthy, as well as advocate for their local food system.

Grow Nashua has teamed up with New Hampshire Harvest of the Month to offer fun and informative programming around local food at Nashua’s elementary schools. They are currently looking for a volunteer for each of two upcoming shifts – 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Feb. 5 and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 6. Duties will include distributing recipe taste tests and handouts to students and assisting with moving program materials to classrooms.

For more information, visit www.volunteergreaternashua.org and search for “Grow Nashua.”

Sara Ceaser is the United Way of Greater Nashua’s director of volunteer and community engagement.

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