Deborah Schachter

Host, Giving Matters

Deborah Schachter is a Senior Program Officer at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire's statewide community foundation. For more than 13 years, she has been responsible for statewide and regional grant-making; spearheaded a range of special initiatives; and worked with nonprofits, donors, public officials, businesses, and other community leaders to advance community well-being on the Foundation's behalf. She initiated and has led the Foundation’s work on Giving Matters, in partnership with NHPR, since the inception of the series in 2001.

Contact

Giving Matters Program Page

Dana Trahan was uninsured when she started to lose her vision, but did not realize that this was the result of a brain tumor. SeaCare Health Services helped her get the care and treatment she needed – quickly.

Dana: I would be watching my son’s baseball games and I really felt as if I needed to keep blinking my eyes to get focused on him, so I thought it made sense to have my eyes checked. Knowing that I didn’t have the health insurance, it was important to me to figure out a way to make this an affordable experience, and that brought me to SeaCare.

D-Acres

Aug 4, 2012
Evans-Brown / NHPR

At D-Acres in Dorchester staff and interns work on sustainable food production and education programs for the public. For Scott Codey, who arrived fresh from New York City, the work he does is about more than growing food.

Scott: Our role is as an educational institution where we essentially teach and learn about permaculture farming and community living. Permaculture stands for permanent agriculture, and the idea is to live with the land rather than live on the land. We really try to develop farming practices which mimic what’s going on in nature.

The Family Place

Jul 28, 2012

The Family Place provides a variety of services to help young families through a myriad of challenges. Jennifer Smith learned about the Family Place when her daughter was a newborn and in neo-natal intensive care.

Zebra Crossings

Jul 21, 2012

Zebra Crossings provides opportunities for kids with chronic health conditions to expand their experiences and grow their independence. Heather Hesse-Stromberg’s eight-year-old daughter, Haiden, has asthma.

Haiden: It’s a chance for kids to do activities they don’t usually get to do and it’s a chance for kids to make new friends.

NH Teen Institute

Jul 14, 2012

The New Hampshire Teen Institute is a non-profit organization that offers leadership and risk prevention training to teens, helping them understand and grow into their own strengths and potential. Susanna Keilig participated and volunteered in the Teen Institute’s “Leaders in Prevention” program and in the week-long summer program.

Stacy Carey’s daughters were able to attend the Southern District YMCA’s Camp Lincoln on scholarship. As a result, Stacy was able to return to the workforce.

The Second Wind Foundation’s Upper Valley Turning Point Recovery Center supports people in recovery from addiction and addictive behavior.  The center hosts AA meetings and helps match people with sponsors, provides care plans and helps with job searches.  Its Willow Grove facility provides transitional housing.  The organization helped Terry Gianelli get her life back on track.

The Rochester Opera House is a historic theater located in the Rochester city hall. It has been a center of community and community entertainment for more than a century. Now it is leased and operated as a non-profit, bringing a variety of shows and performance opportunities to the community. Shay Willard started acting there as a sixth grader; he is now a graduate student in film production and is directing a play at the opera house.

Krempels Center

Jun 16, 2012

The Krempels center is dedicated to offering a variety of assistance and support to people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Sandra Fortant sustained traumatic brain injuries from a car accident in 2005, and she had to start life over again. A year later she discovered the Krempels Center.

B.R.I.N.G. I.T.!

Jun 9, 2012
CSenter

 

The BRING IT Nursing Program, part of the New Hampshire Nursing Diversity Pipeline Project, encourages minority youth to consider careers in nursing.  Sevda Islamova is a Turkish immigrant from Russia who joined the program.

Sevda: : In the program, I learned how to take blood pressure, CPR, first aid care, and most importantly, I learned that I need to believe in myself.  If you don’t believe in yourself you won’t be able to achieve anything.

The Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum is dedicated to sharing Native American history and culture, past and present, with all who come through its doors. In addition to displaying its collection and maintaining a lending library, the museum holds Powwows and runs educational and special programs. Peter Newell is chief of the New Hampshire Intertribal Native American Council.

Robin, the cat.

The Humane Society for Greater Nashua cares for more than 2,500 animals each year. And it provides some often overlooked services to people who need help caring for their pets. Pam Gustafson has adopted cats from the shelter, and volunteers there.

Seacoast Family Promise organizes a network of religious congregations to help homeless families. These congregations open their facilities on a rotating basis to provide overnight shelter and meals; at the organizations’s day center, staff help families with the support they need to get back on their feet. Karen and her son came to Seacoast Family Promise for help in 2009.

Anna: I was teaching maybe a skull lab the other day, and in the middle of the lab one of the little kids turns to his friend and says “This is a lot of fun isn’t it.”

The Montshire Museum of Science is a vibrant center for children -- and adults -- to make discoveries about science and the natural world. Anna Super was three years old when her parents first brought her to the museum. She’s 29 now,  and still fascinated.

Emerge Family Advocates provides a safe, neutral supervised place for child visitation and custody transfer. The Honorable Lawrence MacLeod, a New Hampshire circuit court judge, says that service is beneficial for children and families.

Riverbend Community Mental Health helped Brian Ross get the proper medication to treat his mental illness, and helped him to get back to work.

Todd Bookman, NHPR

At Camp Inter-Actions, blind and visually-impaired children have the opportunity to do all the usual summer-camp things -- like boating and swimming and crafts. And the unusual -- like creating a full-scale choral production.

Camper: I’m absolutely music obsessed, so my favorite camp activity is music. I could do that all day long. I thihnk we do a fantastic job, Duy is a great director.

Duy Bui started there as a junior counselor, went to the Manhattan School of Music, and has gone on to create a choral program at the camp.

Good Bridges, a program of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, helps women transition from prison back to meaningful participation in their communities. The program pairs mentors with women transitioning from incarceration. April Dunn, a realtor, has been helping Val Fredette make that transition.

 

April: For a woman coming out of prison they have obstacles that the average person doesn’t have. 

Val: I needed somebody that could show me the right way of doing things and somebody to look up to and really mentor me. 

The Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter provides about 1,700 meals each week and operates two homeless shelters. But it also helps people address the root causes of hunger and homelessness -- and to offer the proverbial ounce of prevention. The shelter helped Jackie, who is in recovery from alcoholism, get back to work.

Jackie: The people at the transitional housing program where I live referred me to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter for assistance with education and vocational goals that I had.  

The Upper Valley Business & Education Partnership makes connections between schools and their wider communities. Tyler Mansfield and Jim Madden met through the Partnership’s “Everybody Wins!” reading mentoring program.

JIM: I’ve always loved to read so it was really just sort of a natural fit to share my love of reading with the students. I guess we both discovered we kind of liked mysteries.

Northeast Passage

Mar 24, 2012

16-year-old Victoria Arlen uses a wheelchair to get around. But before a neurological disorder left her partially paralyzed five years ago, sports were a big part of her life. Then she heard about a sled hockey team organized by Northeast Passage, an organization that specializes in therapeutic recreation and adaptive sports.

 

Monadnock Chorus

Mar 17, 2012
Todd Bookman, NHPR

The Monadnock Chorus has been sharing song and creating community for more than 50 years. Phyllis Scott joined the chorus in 1972.

PHYLLIS: Wherever I have lived I’ve felt the need to be singing. It’s just very fulfilling to me, it’s a wonderful way to make friends and it’s just part of me that’s all.

Courtesy of NH Preservation Alliance

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance helps to save the places that are central to New Hampshire’s history and identity. The Alliance helped a group of townspeople in Acworth save that town’s historic meetinghouse, which had been a center of community for almost two centuries. The building was named one of New Hampshire’s “Seven to Save” by the Alliance, but was going to cost about $1 million to preserve.

Kathi Bradt was part of the committee that worked to preserve the meetinghouse.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ibnhusin/">Mohd Hafizuddin Husin</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Joe and Carrie were out of work and had run out of money. They had been living in a motel room with their two young daughters. The Crossroads House homeless shelter has helped them get back on track.

JOE: I was teaching in Maine part-time and suddenly there was no more work. So I said to my wife “let’s see what New Hampshire has - substitute teaching and stuff like that." We lost our place where we were living and we were living in a motel.

Yawa Agbenowossi came to the United States from Togo, in West Africa, as a young child. She discovered the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester when she was in middle school. 

YAWA: Well, before I found the club, I just never took anything into consideration. I was never worried about the future. I found the club by a friend introducing it to me actually. She said that “you can come to the Boys and Girls Club” and soon enough I was coming there every day. They couldn’t keep me away from the club. That’s when I started to change.

Community School

Feb 18, 2012
Cheryl Senter, NHPR

The “local foods” movement is a growing trend. In South Tamworth, The Community School has embraced it – serving an open lunch for the community every week at no set charge, made of locally-produced foods. They call the program “Farmers’s Table.”

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkheadedbug/">John Brownlow</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

When Bob and Celine Richer decided to retire to New Hampshire, they knew they would need an energy-efficient home to be able to afford the long heating season. Bob contacted the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association for help. The Richers’s home is constructed of insulated concrete form with a geothermal and solar heating system.

Bob: The Sustainable Energy Association provided us guidance and encouragement along the way because there were so many things to choose from.

s_falkow via Flickr/Creative Commons

Since 1992, the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Emergency Project has provided free legal services to low-income victims of domestic violence. Scott O’Connell is an attorney from Manchester who drives to a crisis center in Berlin once a month to volunteer his services, working there with local advocates. Donna Cummings is the director of the crisis center where O’Connell volunteers.

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Good Beginnings of the Upper Valley pairs trained volunteers with new parents to help them with day to day needs after a child's birth. Ruth’s story is the mother of four, including triplets. Sally Wood is a Good Beginnings volunteer.

RUTH: When I found out I was expecting triplets I figured I would need some help, so I contacted Good Beginnings. They set me up with Sally, my volunteer.

Circle Program

Jan 21, 2012
Cheryl Senter, NHPR

The Circle Program provides low income and other girls in need with opportunities to build courage and self-confidence. Circle provides a year-round mentoring program and a summer camp. Emily joined the Circle Program when she was 12.

EMILY: When I was little I saw my sister go through the Circle Program, she was older than I. She was always having so much fun. She actually still has her Circle friends too and when my turn came I was so excited.

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