Helping Neighbors Newsletter, January 15th, 2023
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
On January 17, 2000, Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King Jr., shared these words at a gathering to honor his life.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured
by the compassionate actions of its members.”
As we look ahead to this new year, her words guide and inspire us. We also look to YOU, our Newton Neighbors community, for guidance and inspiration. For the past three years, every project we have created and every need we have addressed has been inspired by you, our compassionate community.
In 2020, you noticed that families were struggling to access food in our community despite the presence of several food pantries run by generous and giving volunteers. Because of you we now have a robust food pantry delivery program.
In 2021, you worried about local restaurants struggling with COVID restrictions and Project Takeout was born, enabling us to support many local businesses and families with restaurant gift cards.
In 2022, you courageously shared the challenges you faced in accessing expensive diapers and inspired us to launch our first, and very successful, diaper collection and distribution initiative.
You are the spirit of our community.
And now we turn to you to share our program plan for 2023 and ask that you fill out this brief survey to tell us how you want to get involved with Newton Neighbors in 2023. Whether you are looking for a bite-sized way to participate or ongoing opportunities, we have something for you! The survey is just an indication of interest, not a commitment to volunteer, so please fill it out even if you are not sure what you can commit to!
Our Plan in 2023 (flyer copy)
Volunteer Opportunities with Newton Neighbors
Food Pantry Delivery: Weekly food delivery from local pantries to families
Bulk Food Delivery: Weekly bulk food delivery from local food rescue organizations to pantries
Freedge Coordination: Weekly monitoring of the Newton Community Freedge
Summer Camp Fundraiser: Initiative to raise funds to send kids to summer camp
Gardening Project at Newton Housing Authority properties: Beautify community spaces and plant veggie and herb container gardens
Diaper Drive: Collect donations and distribute diapers to local families
Drive for Five: Collect food donations to support local food pantries and the Freedge
School Supply Collection: Collect donations and distribute school supplies to local families
Thanksgiving Gift Card Drive: Collect donations and distribute grocery gift cards to local families
Ongoing community outreach opportunities, including:
Booth at the Newton Harvest Fair, Earth Day & MLK Day
Distribution of Newton Neighbors brochures to our community
Other behind the scenes opportunities, for example:
Join our team of Facebook moderators
Help us redesign our website
Contribute to our bi-monthly newsletter
Ongoing Through January 16: Community Food Drive
Locations for food donations:
Village Bank Locations (ONLY until noon on Saturday 1/14)
Scandinavian Living Center
Newton City Hall (please note: City Hall is closed on Saturdays)
Newton Police Headquarters
Newton Free Library
Cereal (kid-friendly and name brands preferred)
Hearty canned soup (meat, beans, veggies)
White tuna in water
Shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste
Mac & cheese
Cereal /granola bars
Please check sell-by dates carefully and do not donate expired items.
Click here for more information.
INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE:
NEWTON’S 55TH ANNUAL MLK CELEBRATION
Monday, January 16, 9:30am
Newton North High School
Community learning resources will be available pre-program
Event Information and updates: newtonma.gov/mlk23
FOOD PANTRY DELIVERY: CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
We are looking for volunteers to help us deliver from food pantries in Newton to families who are unable to access the pantries themselves. We need drivers for January and February. Bring your kids!
Delivery usually takes about an hour to complete. You can sign up to deliver during one or more of the following times:
Wednesday afternoons from Newton Food Pantry, pick up food at assigned times between 12:15 - 2:45pm.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or find out more.
January 28 - 29 Newton Community Pride (NCP) is SNOW excited to announce WinterFEST, scheduled for January 28 and 29 in Newton Highlands, Cold Spring Park, and Newton Centre. These all-outdoor events will be filled with wintertime family-friendly fun!
For more information and schedule of events, visit: https://newtoncommunitypride.org/winterfest/
We are not a community of givers and takers, but a community of doers!
As we plan for 2023, we look forward to working with you on one of our ongoing initiatives or one of the many new ones that will doubtless be created during the year. We will keep you updated through our newsletters. In the meantime, if you have a few hours to spare, please join us!
Thank you to our neighbors who make our work possible. We wish you a happy, healthy, and fulfilling New Year. Peace.