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  • Writer's pictureNewton Neighbors

Helping Neighbors Newsletter, May 14th, 2023

After a Successful Diaper Drive, Let’s Gear Up for Summer!


Diaper Distribution 2023: Beyond the Numbers


This past weekend, Newton Neighbors core team members and volunteers participated in our second annual community diaper distribution. We gave out more than 21,500 diapers to about 250 families–more than twice the number served last year! Families came from as far as Lowell to pick up diapers, reinforcing once again what a huge need you are helping to fill.


An initiative many months in the making, the day was a great success. And it wasn’t just the kind of success that gets tracked on a spreadsheet in numbers, but the kind of success that can only be felt in the heart, heard in the words, and seen in the actions of neighbors. The kind of success embodied in some of the stories from that day:


  • After receiving diapers from us, a neighbor came back with a box of delicious homemade cookies as thanks to our team

  • Thirteen-year-old Kenzie volunteered for hours with our FamilyACCESS team to give out diapers because, in her own words, she is “an extrovert and wants to be with people.”

  • Two little girls came with their mom to collect diapers. They picked out roses from our flower bucket and delighted in giving them to mom for mother’s day.

  • Parents who received diapers returned two hours later with containers of formula to share with other families.

Thank you, Neighbors–none of this would be possible without your support! We are also most grateful to the many partners and community members who came together to make the diaper initiative happen. THANK YOU to:


  • Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, and Costco for donating gift cards used to purchase food, water, and roses for families

  • Horace Mann Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Mason-Rice Elementary, Garden City Kindergarten Soccer, St. Vincent de Paul, and Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church for organizing diaper collections

  • Newton Book Shed for donating children’s books

  • Neighbors Maureen and her husband for helping transport diapers in their truck

  • Rovitta for helping with the unloading and organizing of many many diaper boxes

  • Team member Lisa Gordon for receiving shipments and storing piles upon piles of diapers at her house

  • FamilyACCESS of Newton and American Legion Nonantum Post 440 for partnering with us for diaper storage and distribution

Recruiting Drivers for Food Pantry Delivery for May and June


We are looking for volunteers to help us deliver from food pantries in Newton to families who are unable to access the pantries themselves. Delivery usually takes about an hour to complete. You can sign up to deliver during one or more of the following times:

  • Tuesdays from Centre Street Food Pantry (Newton Centre). Pickup at either 12 or 12:15.

  • Wednesdays from Newton Food Pantry (City Hall). Scheduled pickup times between 12:15 - 2:45.

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

We are still in need of drivers for Friday, May 19, picking up from the Post 440 Mobile Food Bank in Nonantum. If you are available, please sign up here: https://volunteersignup.org/JM9QD

June signups are now also open: https://volunteersignup.org/FL98E


Freedge

Newton Neighbors continues to stock the Newton Community Freedge every Thursday. Please help our neighbors by picking up a few extra items when you go shopping for groceries. Drop them off anytime at the Freedge at 420 Watertown Street, or at 174 Oliver Road in Waban. Some of the most needed items are milk, eggs, yogurt, butter, flour, cereal, soap, cooking oil, pasta, and mac and cheese. We need volunteers to help maintain the Freedge! If you have some time to give on Thursdays, please sign up here to help.


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.


Gardening

This weekend Newton Neighbors volunteers will be working on a number of gardening projects at a Newton Housing Authority (NHA) property. We will be putting together container gardens for residents at this property, cleaning up and planting some additional plants in the pollinator garden, and doing other small garden-related projects for residents.


A big THANK YOU to everyone who makes these projects possible: our dedicated volunteers; our NHA partners, both residents and the tireless NHA employees; and our partner organizations in all things green, Newton Community Farms and the Pollinator Working Group of the City of Newton. Also a special thank you for the grant funding provided by Newton Community Pride and Newton Conservators, who made the Container Garden Project possible.


If you would like to join us on May 21 for a two-hour shift, please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/508084DADA722AB9-containe

Coming Down the Pike: Have a Graphing Calculator to Give Away?

Newton Neighbors will be planning a school supply drive this summer. If you have a graphing calculator to give away, please email us at newtonneighborshelping@gmail.com! We wanted to get this request out before the school year ends.


Newton Community Farm’s Annual Spring Seedling Sale

May 20 - 21, noon - 3pm


Visit Newton Community Farm this weekend for:

  • Over 20,000 seedlings in 90+ varieties

  • Soil and soil amendment from Vermont Compost Company

  • Advice from garden gurus

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Thank you again, Neighbors! Keep an eye out for our other upcoming initiatives.


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