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  • Writer's pictureNewton Neighbors

Eblast, June 15, 2020

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

We hope you are well and are enjoying the beautiful weather these past few days. We want to take a moment to mark the end of school and congratulate those of you celebrating with graduates this week! We would also like to celebrate all of you for your overwhelming response to our largest ever porch drive ever! We are especially grateful to our kind and generous porch hosts for collecting and managing items and updating us regularly on the progress of the drives: Mary Ann, Susan, Suzy, Saumya, Eunice, Jenn, Alyssa, Joan, Hannah, Keirnan, Harshita, and our very own NNHN co-moderator, Martha. Finally, we want to thank intern extraordinaire, Subin Jeong from Tufts University along with Martha Bixby for all their coordination efforts to make this drive happen! With your support we were able to collect literally carloads and carloads of much needed clothing items, diapers, wipes, toys, and books (take a look at some of the photos below). Thanks to you, we were also able to collect non-perishables, diapers, wipes, and monetary resources for our neighbors in Brockton.

We are grateful for your continued support and as always eager to share other ways you can support neighbors. See below for information on how to support the Brockton Workers Alliance, get a lawn sign thanking frontline heroes, donate menstrual products, register for the summer session of Story Starters, and help a neighbor reach her goal of collecting 25 graduation gowns to send to Gowns for Good!

Ways to get involved this week

A huge thank you to everyone who donated to our large porch drive last week! While most of the drive is now over, we are still collecting non-perishable food, Market Basket gift cards, baby formula, diapers (all sizes), and wipes for the Brockton Workers Alliance. You can drop these items off anytime between now and Thursday morning at 9 AM (June 18th). Please drop off at either 73 Charles St, Auburndale, MA 02466 OR 51 Hyde St, Newton Highlands, MA 02461. You can also support their food distribution by donating to their GoFundMe.

  1. Support local agencies and thank frontline heroes with a lawn sign

From organizers Simon French and Lisa Gordon: Not everyone was sequestered during the COVID-19 pandemic. A small group of people put themselves on the front line, and in danger, daily, for us. We're talking about the healthcare workers treating the ill at our numerous hospitals and health centers. The people who unpacked the trucks, stocked the shelves, and ran the registers at grocery stores, so that we could eat. The MBTA drivers who shuttled us around, when we absolutely had to leave the house. And so many more.

To say thanks to these frontline heroes, a small group of Newton residents created Signs of Gratitude, a program that allowed local citizens to buy COVID-19 Heroes yard signs, at cost.

Now Signs of Gratitude is partnering with Village Bank, which has, in the spirit of communal gratitude, agreed to underwrite the purchase of the signs. So now, anyone can get a lawn sign for free. All we ask is that you make a small donation to either Newton Food Pantry, the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund or the Newton Wellesley Hospital COVID-19 Fund.

To learn more about Signs of Gratitude and order a lawn sign, visit their website.

  1. Donate menstrual products to Dignity Matters

Periods don’t stop during COVID-19! Help community members gain access to essential menstrual products by donating to Dignity Matters, a non-profit organization that collects, purchases and supplies feminine hygiene products, bras and underwear to women and girls who are homeless or disadvantaged, in order to help them stay healthy, regain self-confidence, and live with basic dignity. You can drop menstrual products off at one of the Newton collection bins at 120 Garland Rd or 9 South St, or look here to find a bin in your area. A full list of accepted items can be found here. Products from Dignity Matters are provided to women in Newton through the Newton Food Pantry.

  1. Register for the summer Story Starters program and engage in conversations with your children about race and racism

Story Starters is a local organization that uses children’s literature to give families the tools and support to talk about race and racism and to engage in family-centered social justice conversations. Story Starters is running a virtual program this summer for families with kids ages 3 - 8 anywhere in the continental U.S. From July 6 - August 30 we will offer families the opportunity to learn skills that disrupt implicit racial bias. By engaging in these conversations, Story Starters families will have the chance to deepen their understanding of race and racism and get the support they need to become upstanders in the push for racial equity. We look forward to connecting families across the country in their efforts to build anti-bias homes.

Learn more and register here.

  1. Donate your graduation gowns to local hospitals

Congratulations to all our graduates! If you are interested in donating your gown to be used as PPE at local hospitals through Gowns for Good, please contact Sue Hardy at Sue has collected 10 gowns so far. Help her reach (or exceed) her goal of 25 gowns!

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