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  • Writer's pictureNewton Neighbors

Eblast, May 3, 2020

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Dear neighbors,

We hope you are well and enjoying the beautiful sunshine as we move into the warmer days of spring and summer. Our community has been busy these past few weeks helping neighbors both within and outside of Newton! We are sharing an opportunity for how you can give back to the community this week by supporting local businesses and your neighbors through our care package initiative. Be sure to read to the end of this newsletter for that and more.


If you are looking for a way to help right now, our highlighted project this week is a great way to help some of your favorite local retail businesses as well as neighbors in need of comfort and entertainment.

Donate a care package with educational materials & boredom busters for a Newton senior or child in need!

How does it work?

NNHN is partnering with the Newton Housing Authority to distribute “boredom buster” entertainment care packages to residents living in Newton public housing - particularly seniors who have been self-isolating and young children (ages 5 and under) who need to be entertained and are not yet in school. The Newton Housing Authority provides a high standard of affordable housing to a diverse population of more than 1300 residents, and seniors and young children have the least access to ways to keep engaged during this difficult time.

Local retailers stepped up to create these entertainment-oriented care packages, and NNHN is connecting them to Newton residents who are the most vulnerable during this difficult time. We see this as an opportunity for you to help those in need while also supporting beloved local businesses in the hopes that it will enable them to stay afloat while closed to physical business.

Participating local businesses include:

  • Newtonville Books

  • Henry Bear’s Park

  • Greentail Table

  • The Paper Mouse

  • Hipstitch

What do the care packages include?

Care packages for seniors include items such as adult activity books (coloring books, crossword puzzles, sudoku and trivia), embroidery and cross stitch kits as well as “cheer” items such as tea, honey, and small home items. Care packages for kids include items such as picture books, puzzles, games, art activities, educational toys, and craft project kits.

How can I gift a care package?

Care packages are $50 and can be purchased online by clicking on the link to the local business website. Your purchase will be delivered directly into the hands of a Newton senior or child living in Newton Public Housing. Join us to support our community and send a message of hope to a Newton resident in need!


Many generous neighbors supported each other this week, donating everything from groceries and pet supplies to warm blankets and robes and even an ipad to a local senior could see his family for the first time in months. Neighbors also supported local organizations.

Thanks to your generous donations we helped the Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry in Newton raise $2000 and with the help of our neighbors at the West Suburban YMCA were able to pick up enough food to feed families for 2 months!

Neighbors also came together in an astounding way to support seniors living in Coleman House who lost power and all their perishables in a recent storm. Our community raised over $3000 and dropped off countless bags of food for Coleman House residents and a kind neighbor purchased a trunk load of items for seniors this week. Peg Coles, Director of Resident Services wrote “...the quick and efficient response from the Newton Community was incredible. We were able to provide our residents with much needed eggs, milk, cheese and so much more - helping them through this crisis. I can't tell you how much this meant to our residents as well as myself and the rest of the staff at Coleman House. Residents have called asking how we were able to get this food so quickly. They could not believe people they didn't know cared enough to come to their aid. This was a great example of how caring individuals can make all the difference - it really was neighbors helping neighbors!!”

Neighbors also worked to support several other communities this past week. Thanks to many generous neighbors, we collected countless boxes of diapers and wipes for the Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas program at Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Waltham, and nonperishable food for the Chelsea Salvation Army and the 12th Baptist Church in Roxbury. We also collected many bags of fabric for the MetroWest sewing group, which is making hundreds of masks for Newton Housing Authority residents and local food pantry clients, in addition to masks for other communities in the region. Finally, neighbors donated $2000 which was used to buy food and gift cards for almost 40 undocumented families. Thank you so much for your generous contributions to these drives!!


If you are in need of support during this time there are many resources available to you, both through Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors as well as through the City of Newton including the following:

  1. Grab & Go Breakfast and Lunch- Expanded to ALL Newton residents

Newton residents can pick up a bag containing 3 days worth of breakfast and lunch at the following locations weekdays from 10am-noon:

Newton North (theater entrance)

Newton South (main entrance)

Newton Early Childhood Program (NECP) at 150 Jackson Rd.

Residents should exit their car to take the grab & go bag.

  1. Food pantries in Newton (you must register to access the pantries)

Centre St. Food Pantry

11 Homer St.

Bagged grocery pickup

Tuesdays 2:30-6 pm and 1st Saturday of the month 11:30 am - 2 pm

Newton Food Pantry

1000 Commonwealth Ave.

Bagged grocery pickup

Every Wednesday 1:30-5:30pm

2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month 1:30-7:30

Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry

187 Church St.

2nd and 4th Friday's 11am-1pm

Twice per month

  1. If you need support you can fill out the Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors Google form available in 10 different languages (you can also fill this out if you are able to provide support to neighbors): (English) (Korean) (Arabic) (Portuguese) (Vietnamese) (Japanese) (Haitian-Creole) (Spanish) (Russian) (Chinese)

  1. Looking for learning support for your children? You can access tutors for your K-12 child at this link. Several neighbors have already signed up for this resource.

That’s all for now! As always, we are thankful for your generosity!

Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors

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