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April 2024 Helping Neighbors Newsletter

April 20th is Volunteer Appreciation Day. While we often refer to many of you as volunteers because you so generously give your time, energy, and resources to support our projects, you are so much more than volunteers – you are our neighbors. The word “volunteer” doesn’t quite capture the full essence of what you mean to us. You embody the spirit of neighborliness in its truest form. 

What does neighborliness mean to us? It means being there for one another in times of need, offering emotional support, and building a sense of belonging. It means recognizing that everyone has something valuable to contribute and embracing all community members’ unique perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. It involves creating physical and virtual spaces where everyone feels welcomed, respected, and valued. It’s about recognizing that we are stronger and that we can make more resilient, thriving communities by supporting one another. So, dear neighbors, thank you for all you do, and Happy Neighbor Appreciation Day!

In the spirit of neighborliness, read on to find out how you can contribute to NN’s diaper drive, food delivery, and Freedge initiatives, plus several other opportunities to help our community. Thank you!

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Newton Neighbors Initiatives

Diaper Drive and Distribution


Through May 4: Citywide Diaper Drive

Sizes Requested: Newborn - 7

Open boxes are welcome, but please put diapers in labeled plastic sleeves or bags.  


Our diaper drive is underway, and with your help we hope to be able to provide families in Newton and surrounding communities with much-needed diapers. One in three families struggles to afford diapers, making it even harder for them to buy food and other necessities.


Help us support local families by donating diapers at:

  • FamilyACCESS of Newton, 492 Waltham St, West Newton

  • Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm: Drop off inside the front doors–look for a table with a diaper dropoff sign. NO weekend dropoffs. 

  • American Legion Nonantum Post 440, 295 California St, Nonantum

  • 7 days a week, 9:00am–6:00pm:Drop off in the main office. From the parking lot, enter the glass doors, go up the steps, and turn left.

  • Purchase diapers from our Amazon Wish List (https://tinyurl.com/nndiaperdrive2024)

  • Diapers will be shipped directly to one of our collection points


Huge thanks and appreciation as well to the wonderful businesses and organizations who will be partnering with us for this drive, by organizing mini-drives or hosting donation boxes to help us collect as many diapers as possible! Thank you very much to Service Stars, Riverside Children’s Center in Waban, the YMCA, St Mary’s Episcopal Church, St. Vincent De Paul, Lynn’s Vintique, Newtonville Books, Franklin Elementary PTO, Horace Mann Elementary PTO, and Memorial Spaulding Elementary’s 5th Grade Class.


Call for Volunteers: Food Pantry Delivery

We are looking for volunteers who can help deliver groceries from our local food pantries to our neighbors who are unable to get to the pantries on their own. 

Our schedule is:

  • Tuesdays from Centre Street Food Pantry. Pickup at 12 or 12:15 before the pantry opens to the public.

  • Wednesdays from Newton Food Pantry. Scheduled pickups between 12:15 - 2:45.

It usually takes about an hour of your time and makes a big difference to so many in our community! 


Sign up for April here: https://volunteersignup.org/CPF8R

Sign up for May here: https://volunteersignup.org/4YPWW



Image: Freedge

Call for Volunteers: Freedge 

Every Thursday, Newton Neighbors coordinates donations to the Newton Community Freedge, Newton Food Pantry’s community refrigerator and pantry initiative. Volunteer opportunities throughout the day include picking up donations from business partners and bringing them to the Freedge, shopping for items, and cleaning and maintaining the Freedge. 

Located in the parking lot of Central Cleaners at 420 Watertown Street in Nonantum, the Freedge is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offers free food and personal-care items to neighbors in need. Please sign up below  to help on Thursdays:

Other Community Drives


April 28: Clothing Drive

Sunday, April 28, 9am - 12pm; 4pm - 6pm

Our Lady Help of Christians, 573 Washington Street, collection truck in lot entrance on Adams Street

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is holding a community clothing drive on Sunday, April 28, from 9am to noon and 4pm to 6pm. The collection truck will be in the parking lot of Our Lady Help of Christians church (573 Washington Street, with the lot entrance along Adams Street). 


Donations must be clean and in good condition. Accepted items include: 

  • Clothing of all types and all seasons, including coats

  • Shoes

  • Other textile items such as linens, towels, and blankets

  • Please do not bring non-textile items

This is a great opportunity to empty out your closets and help people in need – a win/win situation! If you have any questions, please email svdp@sholnewton.org.


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Through April 30: Towel Donation Drive

Chestnut Hill Square, bin in lobby of Medical Building

Chestnut Hill Square is hosting a towel donation drive to benefit Welcome Home, Newton’s local home goods pantry. Welcome Home provides families experiencing hardship with the basic household items they need to live with dignity. Now through April 30, donations of new towels can be dropped off in the marked bin in the lobby of the Medical Building. To make a monetary donation, visit WelcomeHomeMass.org.


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Ongoing: Donation Drive for Homeless Families

Porch dropoff at 108 Adams Street, Nonantum


Our Lady Help of Christians Church is providing emergency shelter for 30 homeless families, and Ward 1 City Councilor Maria Greenberg has organized a donation drive to help them. The families, including legal immigrants awaiting a range of stabilizing assistance, are housed in the Church shelter under United Way’s SafetyNet program. The children range in age from ten months to eight years. 


The shelter is requesting the following donations:

  • New books for infants and young children

  • Disposable diapers for infants up to five years

  • Disposable wipes

Porch dropoff any time at 108 Adams Street in Nonantum.


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Through April: Turn Your Cans and Bottles into Cartons of Milk!

Throughout the month of April, Working Towards Change volunteers will be collecting cans and bottles to return for deposit. The proceeds will help fund their spring Bags of Kindness for the Newton Community Freedge and Teddy Bear Tuck in Bags for Circle of Hope, AND help in their Earth Day Awareness campaign.

If you have cans and bottles lying around, volunteers will pick them up, recycle them, and use the deposit to help their initiatives. Please use this form https://tinyurl.com/cancollection2024 to let Working Towards Change know when they can pick up.

Since 2019, Working Towards Change has been creating programming and service opportunities that encourage high school students to engage in community service to expand their learning and a sense of purpose by contributing to their communities and initiatives worldwide through small acts of kindness, service projects, awareness campaigns, leadership development training, and fundraising efforts.


Newton Swap Shop Reopens on April 25!

Hours: Thursday - Saturday, 7:30am - 1:30pm, weather and staff availability permitting


Clear out clutter without adding to the waste stream! Newton’s Swap Shop is located at the Newton Resource Recovery Center. Drop off clean, usable, working unwanted items for reuse, or come to take usable goods for their personal use.


The Swap Shop is run by volunteers and may close if no volunteers are available. They are always looking for more volunteers! For more information, contact the DPW Sustainable Materials Management Division.


The Swap Shop does not accept:

  • TVs or monitors

  • Large or stuffed furniture

  • Large appliances

  • Hazardous materials

  • Building materials

  • Child car/booster seats, cribs, strollers

Open to Newton residents only – proof of residency required upon request.


As Earth Month draws to a close, we thank our neighbors for donating, recycling, reusing!



 


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