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  • Writer's pictureNewton Neighbors

How You Can Help: Week of March 29

Dear Neighbors,

As you are out enjoying the fine spring weather, here’s how you can help and connect this week and throughout the spring.

Freedge donations

The Newton Community Freedge is a free, outdoor refrigerator and pantry located in the parking lot of Central Drapery and Dry Cleaning, 420 Watertown Street in Nonantum. Individuals, families, and businesses are welcome to donate fresh and non-perishable food as well as supplies such as diapers and hygiene items. Can you make Freedge donations part of your weekly shopping trip? Donation guidelines here.

Diaper donations for food pantries

As well as groceries, the food pantries distribute diapers to families in need. Both Centre Street Food Pantry and Newton Food Pantry are requesting diaper donations.

  • Centre Street Food Pantry, 11 Homer Street (entrance on Furber Lane): Drop off diapers any time. If the outside door is open, go in and leave diapers outside the pantry door, down three steps to the right. If the outside door is locked, leave diapers in front of the left door and text 617-935-9202.

  • Newton Food Pantry, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue: Drop off Tuesdays 9 – 12 or Wednesdays 8:30 – 12:30 at the War Memorial Circle, City Hall. Call 978-460-0943 when you arrive and someone will come out to retrieve.

Ear loops for masks

Our mighty mask-makers need ear loops! Please sign up here for information on purchasing and donating loops for children’s masks or sewing with our team.

We have by now surpassed the 1,500 milestone for masks distributed to local school-aged students and community partners. Thank you, those of you cutting and ironing and sewing, for your dedication to this project! Right now we are primarily supplying Cradles to Crayons, which distributes about 1,500 masks per month to families in Newton and the Greater Boston Area.

Support our Asian American and Pacific Islander neighbors

Thank you, Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ), for compiling a list of resources and events in support of our AAPI community!

Distribute vaccination information for essential workers

We have put together a flier with information on vaccination appointments for essential workers eligible to book appointments as of March 21. The flier is translated into Spanish, Chinese, Thai, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, and Hindi. Download fliers here and print them out. Sign up here to deliver fliers to your favorite restaurants.

And mark your calendars for these upcoming opportunities to learn, build community, and help each other:

1. March 31: Healthy Cooking for Seniors

Newton Community Farm presents this free online program on Wednesday the 31st, 11 am – noon.

Clinical Dietitian Caila Yates from Newton-Wellesley Hospital will help seniors who feel that making healthy, homemade meals is too much work for one or two people. Topics will cover simple cooking strategies, easy shopping techniques, and ways to enjoy cooking small, nutritious meals. The focus will be on the nutritional needs of seniors. Click here to register.

2. April 11: Spring food drive

Help the three Newton food pantries put food on our neighbors’ tables. Donations of soup, tuna, cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, and jelly will be accepted on Sunday, April 11, 10 am – 2 pm, War Memorial Circle at Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue. See flier below for more information.

3. May 2: NewtonSERVES. Registration opens April 9

Newton Community Pride, in partnership with the City of Newton, is pleased to announce the return of NewtonSERVES on Sunday May 2, 9 am – 4 pm, rain or shine. Volunteer registration opens on April 9.

Strict adherence to the rules and restrictions for the event will allow us to enjoy a day of community service while ensuring compliance with COVID protocols. Project registration here.

4. Adopt-a-Pot: Planters for al fresco dining

Outdoor restaurant dining starts on April 1! Newton Community Pride (our wonderful fiscal sponsor) and the City of Newton are organizing volunteers to help our Newton restaurants create beautiful planters for their outside seating. You can help by purchasing plants, donating money, and/or planting the pots. Sign up here.

5. Yard waste pickup starts this week

If you’ve been busy cleaning up your yard, you’ll be glad to know that yard waste pickup is starting. This kind of information usually goes out in our partner newsletter Welcoming Newton— but we wanted to make sure you knew now since the next Welcoming Newton newsletter will go out in early April. If you are interested in receiving Welcoming Newton’s monthly newsletter, sign up here.

And finally, NNHN recently dropped off two batches of 25 restaurant gift cards each at two Newton institutions. Dave Sellers and Thomas Leavitt of the Boys and Girls Club gave an impromptu speech thanking our NNHN community and stressing how valuable our support is to the club and the families receiving gift cards. Kim Benzan and Jack Fucci of the West Suburban YMCA expressed their gratitude and emphasized that these cards would provide a real boost for YMCA clients. Many more gift cards will be distributed with partners soon. Thank you again to the Rotary Club of Newton for partnering with us on this project.

Thank you for making our restaurant gift card drive a success! And, as always, endless thanks for everything you do. Enjoy spring and stay safe. ~~

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Newton Neighbors, we accept them through our fiscal sponsor. Right now, we can only accept checks, so if you'd like to donate please mail a check made payable to:

Newton Community Pride

1294 Centre Street Newton 02459

(write Newton Neighbors in the memo line)

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