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February 2024 Helping Neighbors

Welcome to the February edition of our Helping Newsletter! In this month of love, we highlight the power of compassion and connection and showcase beautiful examples of coming together to share resources. We are a community that thrives on care and empathy. In a world often divided by differences, you have shown that when we join together with a common purpose – to care for one another – incredible things can happen!

In the early days of the educators’ strike, many of you volunteered to pick up Grab and Go meals for families who lacked transportation to access meals their children would normally receive in school. Hours after we asked for your help, dozens of you, along with our friends at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill and our social worker partners, came together to organize, pick up, and deliver food to over 90 NPS families! Your outpouring of support and solidarity reminded us of the early days of Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors when, in the first week of our Facebook group, a thousand of you joined to support families with food insecurity. It's awe inspiring to see how our community continues to rally together almost four years after our founding, demonstrating the true spirit of mutual aid and solidarity. 

Here are some pictures of our food-distribution volunteers during the strike. Thanks, everyone!

Announcing the 2024 Summer Camp Drive

DId you know that many Newton school students who receive camp scholarships are unable to pay the additional 10-20% fees required to attend? When we found this out in 2021, we started this program to bridge the scholarship gap. Three years later, we remain committed to helping families and students reap the benefits of camp life. 

Camp matters! 

Summer is a critical time for children to learn, grow, and play. Hear what Burr School Social Worker Nicki Eastburn had to say about this impact:

Camp scholarships provided by Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors and the Newton community have been tremendous! It's been such a great resource to help connect students and families with fun and enriching summer programs to keep them engaged and continue their social, emotional, and academic growth over the summer! 

Now We Need You to Make a Difference

Our goal is to raise at least $10,000, and the good news is that we are off to a great start with a $2,500 donation from a Newton-based charitable trust! It’s thrilling to see such support for our program. 

For as little as $80, you can help a student enjoy a week of camp at one of Newton’s Parks and Recreation programs. Please help us to reach our goal. Make your tax-deductible contribution by clicking here. 

Thank you for your generosity and ongoing support. Summer Camp 2024, here we come!

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.

  • The third Friday of the month from Post 440 Mobile Food Bank. Pickup between 9 - 9:15am before they open to the public.  

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

Sign up for March here:

Sign up for February here:

Call for Volunteers: Freedge 

The Newton Community Freedge is Newton Food Pantry’s community refrigerator and pantry initiative. 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 anyone in need.  

Every Thursday, Newton Neighbors coordinates donations to the Freedge. Volunteer opportunities throughout the day include picking up food from business partners and bringing it to the Freedge, shopping for items, and cleaning and maintaining the Freedge. 

Links to signups:

Can-Do Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

You could be eligible for thousands of dollars of tax refund when you claim the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. In order to claim your tax credits, you must file a tax return. 

To find out if you qualify for free Can-Do tax preparation assistance for 2023, call the CAN-DO VITA site at 617-906-7293 to schedule an appointment. CAN-DO is located at 413 Watertown Street in Newton.Your tax return must be filed by April 17, 2024. 

February is Black History Month!

Newton Community Pride is sponsoring a series of events including an African-American photographers’ exhibit,an artist talk, a panel discussion on the film American Fiction, and an author storytime. More information here.

Thank you, Neighbors. We look forward to volunteering together with you for the rest of the month of love and beyond!

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