Supporting Families During the Holiday Season

The decorations are up, holiday gatherings are happening, and festive music can be heard in every store you go into – it must be December!!

While this time of year brings joy to many, it may also bring sadness to those who don’t have the ability to put food on the table or gifts under the tree this year. Many who work at our organization, along with our partners in the community, go above and beyond to make the holiday season a little brighter. 

Kim Ocasio, Administrative Manager & Director of Charity Events at Ocasio’s True Martial Arts, often donates turkeys to those in the community. While the ongoing pandemic has changed some of the ways Ocasio’s has been able to give – they have remained committed to giving families a meal on Thanksgiving. We are thankful that many of the turkeys go to families that we support!

We are also grateful for our partnerships with Pentucket Bank (Hampstead), Enterprise Bank (Salem), Atkinson Academy, and TD Bank (Hampstead) who have allowed us to place a ‘Giving Tree’ inside their building. The purpose of the ‘Giving Tree’ is for people in the community to purchase a gift for someone we support while raising awareness about what our organization does. While we were not able to put Giving Trees into businesses this year – we look forward to bringing it back in 2022. This year, Enterprise Bank presented us with a $500 check in support of our 2021 Holiday Assistance Initiative. These funds will help families access food, clothing, educational toys, medicine, and other needs.

Our area agency has been partnered with Community Caregivers of Greater Derry for many years in our ‘Hope For the Holidays’ initiative. ‘Hope For the Holidays’ is a way to give homebound seniors gifts to make the holiday season just a little bit merrier.

Holiday Activities Near You maintains an extensive and updated list of upcoming events on their website. Find an activity on their website that matches your interests! Cities such as Nashua, Portsmouth, and Manchester often hold several festive events during this time of year. Visit your town’s website and/or social media page to find an event near you. 

If you are looking for places to donate to this holiday season, consider Toys for Tots, Atkinson Women’s Civics Club, Debbie’s Treasure Chest, and Salem Boys and Girls Club

Looking Forward to 2022

As we reflect back on the past year – we also look forward to 2022. Last month, we received a two-year grant from the Friends of Rockingham County Aging Adults (FRCAA). Cynthia Mahar, Executive Vice President, said, “The grant provides the opportunity to expand upon the support we offer for aging adults and their caregivers. Our Oral Health program will be able to pay for emergent care and expand upon the amount of preventive care we offer. In our Choices for Independence program many of the individuals require assistance to purchase essential household items, clothing, and over the counter medications. We will now be able to assist in covering some of these costs. Respite care support will allow caregivers to have much-needed time away from supporting their loved one at home and allow time to “recharge”. Through this grant we will be able to support the hiring of a full time Registered Nurse (RN) to support our staff in serving older adults and those with disabilities. The RN position will support Service Coordinators with care plan development for aging adults being discharged from hospitals & nursing facilities and in a number of other capacities to assure we are effectively meeting the health care needs of those we serve.” We look forward to utilizing this grant to support families in so many different ways!


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