Giving Matters

The work of non-profit organizations throughout New Hampshire is significant and ongoing. So each Saturday morning, at 8:35, we take two-minutes to examine the benefits generated by this work. We share the stories of people from all walks of life who have improved their lives with the help of these organizations.

This joint production of NHPR and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is hosted by Deborah Schacter, and produced by Andrew Parrella and Lois Shea.

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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.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/godbout/181576257/in/set-72157594186995972" target="blank">N Godbout </a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

The Nashua Pastoral Care Center runs a number of programs to support families in the Nashua Area. Its Transitional Housing program and Norwell Home helped Robyn Jette find stability.

ROBYN: Before I had moved into the Norwell Home I was living with my mom in a two bedroom trailer that had six people in it, so my daughter and I were sleeping on the couch. My daughter was about eight months old when I moved into Norwell. The move was great, we needed just a place of our own.  It built stability for her. 

The New Hampshire Citizens’ Alliance is a non-partisan group that encourages political and civic engagement. Claire Cavanaugh had never been politically active until she went to a Citizens’ Alliance voter outreach event.

American Red Cross

M.J. Hippern teaches health at Dover High School. She was certified to teach CPR through the American Red Cross-New Hampshire Region. In turn, she teaches CPR to her students.

Stonewall Farm

Dec 17, 2011
Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Bethany Coursen brings her pre-school and pre-kindergarten classes to Stonewall Farm every year. The Farm’s educational programs offer important lessons about the agriculture and nature – and the kids have fun.

The Sharon Arts Center hosts local artists’ exhibitions, offers classes and operates a retail shop in Peterborough.  Beth Krommes, who won a Caldecott Medal for illustration in 2009, learned a technique at the Sharon Arts Center that she said led to the award.

Court-Appointed Special Advocates of New Hampshire provides advocates in court for children who are abused or neglected. Chris placed in foster care at age 16, was assigned a CASA worker to advocate for him. Antonia Andreoli was Chris’ advocate, and was a constant presence for him through the court and foster care process.

CHRIS: Through all the judges and foster parents and case workers and everything that I was dealing with, Antonia was the one person that was stable throughout my two years in the foster care system. I absolutely love her.

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

The New Hampshire Theatre Project mounts productions and runs educational programs for people who are passionate about the stage. Linda Chase, who served as House Manager for a recent production, got involved with the project about six years ago.

Tulane Publications / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

altopower / Flickr Creative Commons

The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosts international visitors, and provides public lectures and programs on foreign affairs to promote understanding and citizen involvement. Kim Tyndall is a longtime member of the Council.

risdmuseum / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Community Child Care Center of Portsmouth provides child care, early education and before- and after-school programs. When Christine Hegarty’s husband passed away, the center provided support to her and her children, Erin and Quinn.

CHRSTINE: What had really appealed to both my husband and myself was the care the kids got and the feeling that was provided by the staff.  And what happened was going to community child care, that really was their neighborhood. My kids loved it. They never wanted to leave.

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