The excitement never ends! We are having a spring fundraiser. We set a goal for $2,000 to help us finance our monthly care recipient social events. We hold an event on the third Thursday of each month for our beloved care recipients. Steering committee members Martha Thompson and Kathy Malley create these much-loved events. Martha and Kathy cook a delicious warm meal and then provide some form of entertainment. In the past few months we’ve had musical bingo, a visit from the Arlington High School chorus, a song-and-dance movie clip showing, a bus trip to Weston, and so on.
Our care recipients love these events. It’s a chance for them to get out of the house, have a yummy meal, have some fun, and perhaps most importantly, socialize with other people in our community. And while we love putting these events on, they cost money to produce. And that’s where our fundraiser comes in. You will see the link on the home page to Flower Power. It’s really simple to order flowers and plants on the site. Neighbor to Neighbor gets 50% of the money, and you and your loved ones and friends get awesome plants and flowers for spring. There are even white strawberry plants on there. Who knew?
We hope you will help us entertain and feed our care recipients. They deserve so much.
We are nearing the end of our annual campaign. The ongoing support of individual donors, foundations, and corporations is amazing. I am so heartened to know that our community supports us in lots of different ways, and financial support is crucial. We operate on a very small budget each year, and the largest part of our income comes from individual donors, i.e., people writing checks. This year, amounts have varied from $15.00 to $500.00 and everything in between.
There’s nothing better than opening up our post office box and finding a pile of small donation envelopes waiting! While the emphasis of Neighbor to Neighbor is obviously on the people we help, the financial bit is a detail we can’t not pay attention to (bad grammar). If you have made a donation, my sincere thanks. If you would like to make a donation, just click on the Donate tab.
We wrote two successful grants in 2018. We’re two for two! Grant writing is something I am new to, so I’m pretty proud that we’ve been successful. All of that graduate work in English is paying off! We will look for other grant opportunities throughout the year and work to increase our income.
Monthly Events. Kathy Malley and Martha Thompson, two of our steering committee members, are the monthly event mavens. They are awesome at coming up with clever ways to entertain our care recipients, and if you know Martha, you probably know that she is a wonderful cook. Martha and Kathy work hard to feed and entertain our care recipients and volunteers. If you would like to attend one of our events, they are almost always on the third Thursday of each month. Give me a call at the office, and I will add you to the RSVP list. It’s important to let me know if you’re coming so we can plan accordingly for lunch.
Fundraising. We have some ideas in the works for fundraising events in 2019. Visit the webpage to see updates. One thing that is challenging here in rural Vermont is finding a venue that is large enough to hold an event. Parking is also a major issue. If you have or know of a venue that will host 100+ people (and their cars), don’t be shy! Please let us know.
Thanks for tuning in. I hope to post more frequently this year. As always, thank you for making Neighbor to Neighbor a success. The work we do is good and important, and we plan to continue doing it far into the future.
Well, it’s the Monday after our first annual Neighbor to Neighbor pie auction, and I’m still standing! The steering committee and I worked for over nine months to pull it together, and it was very much a group effort. I am so grateful to work with an amazing group of volunteer steering committee members who make my life so much easier. More than 20 volunteers–N2N volunteers and community members–pitched in. As you might imagine, there are many, many details that go into making a pie auction a success, and they worked their bums off to get everything set up and in place and then to “work the event” and happily do whatever was asked of them. The people who believe in and support Neighbor to Neighbor are simply fabulous humans. I rely on them for so much, and they are my angels.
If you came to the event, I hope you had a good time! If I didn’t say hello, I’m sorry. I was being pulled in a lot of different directions that night. My son even pitched in to help with the live auction and check-out process. To those who bought tickets but were unable to attend, or those who couldn’t connect with us on the last day to see if there were tickets left, my apologies. I hope you will join us next year.
A million thank yous to Dee Myrvang, the pie auction goddess who steered the ship and got us through in one piece. xo
Summer is in full swing. Green. Green. GREEN! In the dead of winter, it is impossible for me to imagine the muted landscape ever getting green again, but here we are! Tomato plants are growing, the bugs are buzzing, the horse show is in town….I love this time of the year in Vermont. In California, summer means “golden,” as in sun-dried hills of grass dotted with dark green oak trees. It has its own beauty, and it’s what I am used to, but summer in Vermont is spectacular!
We are looking for pie bakers for our first annual pie auction that will be held in November. If you love to bake pies or know someone who does, please let us know, and we will add you to the master baker list. We need 100 pies, both sweet and savory for both silent and live auctions. It’s going to be a wonderful event at the Inn at Manchester event barn. Please consider making a pie or two, and please come to the event. It’s the week before Thanksgiving. Why bake pies when you can come to the auction, get something delicious for Thanksgiving dessert, and help Neighbor to Neighbor? It’s a win all the way around!
If you’d like to bake for us, call me at 367-7787 or use the Contact tab on the website, and I will add you to the list.
Enjoy summer and all the Northshire has to offer. We are so fortunate to live in this amazing place.
Although it’s a little gray and damp today, we are clearly out of winter. Finally! I feel as though I looked out the window one morning and GREEN was turned on. All of the trees in my yard had tender leaves on them. Flower plants magically popped up out of the soil. It was as though the winter spigot was turned off, and the spring/summer one was turned on full blast. We earned it this year.
Our book and author lunch was a success. The speaker, Marian Knapp, was funny, warm, and captivating. We still have a few copies of her book Aging in Places at the office if you’d like one. They are $15, and the full amount goes to Neighbor to Neighbor.
We’re now looking forward to November and our big fundraising event. We’re holding our first annual pie auction at the Inn at Manchester celebration barn on November 17th…just in time for Thanksgiving! There will be both silent and live auctions of 100 pies, appetizers, music, and fun. We will announce the details as the time gets closer, but if you’re a master pie baker or know of one (or more), please consider donating a homemade pie to our auction. Both sweet and savory pies are what we’re looking for, the more inventive the better.
Our spring newsletter is accessible through the website. Just click on the Neighbor to Neighbor stories button on the top menu, and you will find links to both our Fall 2017 and our Spring 2018 newsletters.
Happy Summer to you, and thank you for your continued interest in and support of Neighbor to Neighbor. We can’t do it without you.
Locals tell me that this was a rough winter. I fared better than last year, certainly, but I am ready for the rush of green and color that comes with spring. I am ready to put my heavy coat in the closet for a few months and to drive down 7A with the windows down.
We have some exciting things happening at N2N. Our Book and Author Lunch, which is a Neighbor to Neighbor annual event, is taking place on May 18th at the Manchester Country Club. Our author is Marian Knapp. At age 70, she received a Ph.D. and authored a book called Aging in Places. It is part memoir, and part commentary that offers ideas and reflections on how to plan for a meaningful future. “Aging well in place means that our communities are aware of and advocate for the characteristics that make a livable community for all citizens–including its elders.”
Tickets are limited. If you are interested, call me at (802)367-7787 or use the Contact Us tab on the website menu, and I will hook you up!
We have big plans for our major fundraiser in autumn. We are having a PIE AUCTION! Keep checking back for more information and details. If you are a baker and would like to make a pie for us to auction off, we want to hear from you. Our goal is to have 100 pies to auction off in both a live auction and a silent auction. It promises to be a wonderful event that will delight everyone. I love pie. I cannot wait!
We are always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in becoming one of our awesome crew, please let me know. It’s a wonderful way to help someone who is housebound or feeling isolated down one of the little dirt roads we drive past every day. You will get at least as much out of your volunteer experience as the folks you are helping. I gave one of our care recipients a ride yesterday, and she told me all about Manchester and how it looked when she was a little girl walking to and from town. It made my day.
We are all in this together…and N2N is making connections to help our community of elders thrive.
We’re having an open house at our office on Friday, 23 February from 11:00-1:00. You can drop in any time. Neighbor to Neighbor steering committee members and volunteers will be here to chat with you about what makes N2N such an amazing organization and about ways that you can help as a volunteer. I will be there, too, and I hear there is going to be coffee and something sweet and yummy. If you can’t make it to the open house, please feel free to give me a call or use the contact us tab up above to send me a message. I will get back to you ASAP.
Volunteers report that they get at least as much out of the experience as our care recipients! If you have a few hours a week or a few hours a month and want to make a difference in a Northshire neighbor’s life, please join us.
We are also in the beginning planning stages for our big fundraiser in the fall, and we can use all the help we can get! If you’re an organizing maven, we want you. If you can schlep stuff on the day of the event, we want you. Posting flyers? Yep, we want you. Thanks in advance.
I have the most delightful view out my office window. I see birch trees–now bare–and people’s backyards filled with new snow. When I visited Manchester several years ago for the first time, I realized why I loved it so much. It looked like my childhood dream come to life. I was horse-crazy and lucky enough to have my own horse, Bobbisox, from the time I was 10 until I was 17. I rode her in the watershed where she was pastured and imagined my future as some combination of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Little House on the Prairie. There would be a lot of horses and barns, no matter what.
Now I get to drive past barns every day, and although I don’t have my horse anymore, I have a Subaru, and that’s almost as good! As I was shoveling my driveway (scene of my broken wrist last January), I thought about one of our care recipients. A. lives alone in her home. While she is pretty spry and full of energy, she can no longer shovel her walk or rake the snow off her roof. When we get a big snow, she calls me and asks if I can find someone who can do that work for her. I put the word out to our volunteers, and someone always comes through. She came up to me at our monthly event today to thank me for helping her. She slipped a little envelope in my pocket with a check and a little note. I said it was my pleasure, and I meant it. It truly is my pleasure to work here and to make connections with so many lovely people. Our neighbors. They need our help, and thanks to our intrepid volunteers, we are able to help them to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.
We need more volunteers to help us fulfill our mission, which is “To assist our neighbors to live independent by providing no-cost, volunteer services that help to nurture relationships.” Some people think of us as a transportation service, and I am glad that we can help them get to appointments and other places they need to go. But that is not all that Neighbor to Neighbor does. We want to help people stay connected to our community and to feel cared for and appreciated. If you have a few hours each month to help, I want to hear from you. Please give me a call or email me (go to the Contact tab at the top of the page).
Stay warm, everyone!
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your holidays were happy and healthy. I’m adjusting to the COLD after a few days in sunny Southern California. It was a culture shock to be back on six-lane freeways and traffic. I do not miss that at all. It was, however, great to see my brother–the first time I’ve seen him since my son and I moved here. My family keeps shrinking, so it’s even more important for me to keep my connections with my loved ones.
At Neighbor to Neighbor, we serve a lot of folks who don’t have family nearby. They have to fend for themselves and rely on the goodness of others to lend them a hand. Think about all of the tiny dirt roads in the Northshire and how many (mostly elderly) neighbors live down those roads, isolated from the rest of the community. We provide transportation, yes, but Neighbor to Neighbor is about so much more than taking people to appointments.
We try to match the people we help–we call them Care Recipients–with a volunteer. That way, they make a connection with a specific person who becomes their companion and trusted friend. Volunteers go to CRs’ houses and just hang out, fix a burned-out bulb or two, have coffee, and talk. Volunteers can call their CRs to check in with them and see how things are going. One of our volunteers suggested we have a Happy Birthday list. We will mail out birthday cards to our care recipients each month and just let them know we appreciate them and are thinking of them.
These are little things, yes, but they mean the world to people who are living in isolation. That is why we have monthly events, too. We’re going to have a Winter Games day this month with card and board games and lunch, of course. If you’re in Manchester on Thursday, 18 January, come and see us at the First Congregational Church. And, as I said to the Care Recipients, bring your poker face!
If you would like to become a Neighbor to Neighbor volunteer, please give me a call at the office and I can tell you all about what we do in detail. Your help would be most appreciated. I guarantee it!
With best wishes for the new year,
There are probably some very nice people who enjoy asking people for money, but I don’t fall into that category (the asking for money part, not the nice part). Even though I know N2N depends on the generosity of our community and friends from outside our neighborhood, it’s tough. A dozen different “asks” arrive in our mailboxes, and most all of them are for very worthy things. So how do we decide who to give to and whose flyer or letter gets tossed into the recycling bin?
I like to see my money in action. For example, even though my son was always on financial aid at his schools, I always donated what I could to the annual campaign because I knew that he benefited directly from other parents’ generosity. It might seem counter-intuitive to give money to an institution that was giving us money, but really, it wasn’t. It was one small way to show my support for the school overall and a way to have my name listed with other donors. I didn’t care about keeping up with the Joneses, because, quite frankly, I couldn’t. It was more a way of saying that we didn’t just take from the school; we also gave back.
Donations to Neighbor to Neighbor go directly to our operating budget. We use the money we raise to pay for our office utilities and other mundane stuff (like my salary), and to put on our monthly social events for our care recipients. They look forward to meeting once a month (on the 3rd Thursday), and it has become an important part of what N2N stands for. I love it when the phone rings and a care giver enthusiastically says, “YES!” they will be able to attend our event, and I feel sad when I hear that someone cannot attend. On the day of the event, the room is filled with delicious food smells (courtesy of Steering Committee member Martha Thompson, who coordinates the meals) and happy conversations among the care recipients and the volunteers.
Some third Thursday of the month, come down to the First Congregational Church in Manchester Village and join us. I hope you will come away with both a full belly and a happy heart when you interact with our care recipients and our volunteers and see exactly where your generous donation is being put to use. If you would like to make a donation, click on the Donate tab at the top of the page.