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  • Writer's pictureNewton Neighbors

HELPING NEIGHBORS: HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2022, ONWARD TO 2023!

Dear Neighbors,


Though this is the last newsletter of 2022, it has been a year of many firsts for our organization! Check out some of these highlights below;


  • In February Newton Neighbors obtained our 501c3 status and are thrilled to continue to work with our community on this basis.

  • In May we organized our very first diaper collection and distribution and gave over 350 packs of diapers to families in our community

In August and September we hosted our very first in-person events, with a “pop up” at Jack’s Abby Beer Garden at The Street Chestnut Hill and a table at the Newton Harvest Fair.

  • In November we received our first community micro grant to work on a collaborative gardening project in spring 2023 with Newton Community Farm and the Newton Housing Authority.

  • Our Thanksgiving Day Gift Card drive yielded record-setting generosity from our community, enabling us to distribute one hundred and fifty $75 gift supermarket gift cards to families.

  • In December we reached 5,000 deliveries from local food pantries to families and individuals who are not able to get to the pantries themselves


Other highlights included becoming a weekly Newton Community Freedge partner and printing our very own Newton Neighbors thank you cards.


As we look forward to 2023, our core team is working hard on designing our programmatic work plan, building our organizational infrastructure and making time to do the important work of connecting with and supporting our neighbors in Newton and other communities. If you have an idea for a project or want to get involved with our organization, email us at newtonneighbors@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you.


Finally, we could not do the work we do without our partners collaborators and supporters. We recently received a kind note from one of our partners and wanted to share it with you. Thank you for all you do!

“To the Generous Donors of Newton Neighbors, Thank you for the wonderful donation of grocery gift cards to Thom Charles River Early Intervention Program families. Your gift will help community families in need in Waltham, Watertown and Belmont. We appreciate the amazing work you are doing to serve our communities.”

Sincerely, Chrissy Kammel, Program Director, Thom Charles River Early Intervention


Please consider closing out the year by supporting neighbors by volunteering to deliver food or help the Newton Community Freedge.


FOOD PANTRY DELIVERY: CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

Huge shout out to our NN community! In early December we reached 5,000 deliveries from local food pantries to families and individuals who are not able to get to the pantries themselves. We are so grateful to our drivers, our responsive delivery recipients who are so responsive, our partners at Newton Food Pantry, Centre Street Food Pantry and Post 440 Mobile Food Bank, and the local social workers we partner with. None of what we do is possible without all of you who facilitate these deliveries!


If you would like to volunteer, our delivery schedule is:

  • Wednesday afternoons from Newton Food Pantry, pick up food at assigned times between 12:15 - 2:45pm.

  • The 3rd Friday of the month from the American Legion Nonantum Post 440 Mobile Food Bank, pick up food 9 - 9:15am before the pantry opens to the public

  • The first Saturday of the month from Centre Street Food Pantry, pick up food between 1:30 - 2:30pm after the pantry has been open to the public.

PLEASE NOTE we could still use two more volunteers for Wednesday, December 28. If you are around Christmas week we could use your help! Bring your kids! December: https://volunteersignup.org/EB4HM

February: https://volunteersignup.org/QRX8D FREEDGE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The Freedge is going strong through the holiday season and we continue to take care of Thursdays. If you are shopping, it is so helpful to pick up an item for the Freedge! Some of the most needed items are milk, eggs, yogurt, butter, flour, cereal, soap, cooking oil, pasta and mac and cheese (especially the kind where you don’t need to add milk and butter but just the packet of cheese sauce). You can bring items or stop by to clean/organize any time, any day, but If you have some time to give on Thursdays, please go to our volunteer signup sheet at volunteersignup.org/79B7E.

BULK FOOD DELIVERY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

NN’s bulk food delivery program is looking for short- and long-term volunteers to join us in delivering fresh produce from local food rescue organizations to MetroWest and South Area food pantries. Help bridge that last link in the distribution chain and provide good food to so many who need it. Commitments range from once in a while to once every 4-6 weeks, or even more. Please reach out to us at newtonneighborshelping@gmail.com to volunteer or find out more.


THANK YOU: ARABIC BAPTIST CHURCH FOOD DRIVE!

Our food drive to benefit the Arabic Baptist Church Food Pantry ended last week and we are so grateful for the support. A message from Pastor Samy Ibrahim, Arabic Baptist Church:

Your support and help is so valuable and very important for our food pantry. We are so appreciative to you and your team. May God bless you richly.

OUR VERY FIRST MICRO GRANT!

Newton Neighbors is pleased to announce the award of a Community Micro Grant by Newton Community Pride to support our 2023 Spring Container Gardening Program. This program will be a joint effort between Newton Neighbors, Newton Community Farm and the Newton Housing Authority. Our group will provide container gardens for up to forty residents of the NHA Horace Mann complex. The program will serve as a pilot that Newton Neighbors and our partners hope to expand in 2024 and beyond. Look for more information on this program and a call for volunteers in spring 2023.

THANK YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

We could not end 2022 without expressing our unending gratitude to our neighbors who have responded so generously to the needs of our community throughout the year. We look forward to working with you again in 2023.


Thank you again, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from all of us at Newton Neighbors!







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