No one should be hungry or homeless in our community.
The Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization providing meals, emergency shelter, transitional housing, food baskets and advocacy to homeless and low-income men, women and families with children. The soup kitchen, at 2 Quincy Street, serves dinner seven days a week and breakfast five days a week.
Our Awesome Staff at Work
This past year, two individuals who have been pillars of our organization retired from our organization though certainly not from life (if you want proof that retirement is anything but boring check out Lisa and Eileen’s Facebook pages!). Over the past twelve months, it has been fun to watch new people arrive. Some will be with us for a short period of time and some may threaten records established by these two amazing women. In future newsletters, we would like to take a moment to feature the staﬀ, the volunteers, and clients who make up our family. Today I’d like to recognize a woman who many of you might know only by a phone call or an e-mail but who does so much behind the scenes to make the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter what it is today.
If you have had a great experience running or walking to end homelessness and hunger, or if you picked up something fabulous at our auction, or if your congregation or civic group had a great time volunteering, the person to thank is Carol Weeks. Carol started out in Massachusetts (we won’t hold that against her) and graduated from Merrimack College. After spending some time in California working for the Diocese of San Jose on food security issues, she returned to New Hampshire, helping establish and serving as one of the initial directors of the Corpus Christi Food Pantry. In August of 2000, we were fortunate enough to recruit Carol as our shelter coordinator and less than a year later, she transitioned into her current role as Director of Community Outreach. While Carol has lead numerous eﬀorts to strengthen NSKS, I have been even more impressed by the dedication and support she has shown various family members over the past couple of years. Whether it was an ailing parent or supporting a child transitioning into adulthood, Carol has been there. Carol, I know that words are not enough but on behalf of all of us at NSKS we salute and thank you.
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who tend our gardens. We grew and picked over 300 pounds of produce and herbs this year! All of it was utilized by the folks who come to us for help. Next year, we are hoping to expand to an additional location. If you are someone who likes to grow plants or are interested in learning, please keep an eye out for we will be need your help next March or April.
Thinking About Planned Giving?
I’m going to say something that may sound odd. We may not think about it every day, but we are all philanthropists. Just the root of the word phil or “loving” and anthropos or “humankind” is broad enough to describe all of us at least some of the time. Typically, we measure our philanthropy in terms of “what”, as in the things we give: our time, our resources, or our talent. It is equally important to see our philanthropy from the perspective of when.
From the perspective of the nonproﬁt, the question of “when” is usually answered in the form of annual, transfor mational, and perpetual gifts. Our annual gifts are the gifts which keep the organization running day in and day out. Whether you volunteer to help make breakfast, organize a food drive, or make a monthly contribution, we could not open our doors without you. The transformational gift is the gift which moves the organization to a different level. The differences between our old location on Chestnut Street and our new location on Quincy Street are night and day. Over the past three years, we have more than doubled the number of meals provided every month. This change was only possible through the successful and transformational campaign completed over three years ago.
The perpetual gift is the gift that supports the organization into the future. A few years back, I had the opportunity to work for a hospital where my boss had been at a small midwestern college back in the early 1980s. One day, he showed me a letter he received thanking him for the work had done. Twenty-five years later, the planned giving commitments people had made proved to be the difference in the college staying open during the great recession. If the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter is important to you today, please consider including us in your estate plans and supporting our efforts tomorrow.
Thank You Notes
I’ve been including this note in our most recent thank you letter (we write a new one after every newsletter). In case you didn’t happen to donate in August, September, or October, I thought I would share it here:
To Juana & Staﬀ,
Both my other half & I, as well as our roommates, would like to thank you all for all that you’ve done for us. There are no words that can express how truly Thankful we are for the things you do for the sake of others. We are very humble and grateful to you all. Please Continue to be the Blessings that you all Truly are.
We work hard to ensure your donation goes the extra mile. Over the past twelve months, your support helped us provide 80,000 meals, nearly 11,000 boxes of food, and 10,979 nights of shelter. But for all of the numbers and statistics, what matters is the difference we make one individual family at a time. Thank you “for the things you do for the sake of others.”
Awards at Dinner Auction
If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.
Here are some extraordinary folks who touch many lives of those who come to the NSKS. We were pleased to recognize all of you at our 17th Annual Dinner Auction.
Outstanding Volunteer – Cabot West
Cabot has been our Lead volunteer on Saturday mornings, directing various individuals and groups to successfully accom- plish a variety of tasks during our 7:30AM – 11:30AM shift. In addition to organizing our volunteers each Saturday morning, he often comes by Friday night to make sure we were all set, and usually returns each Saturday evening to help our dinner service as well. We are grateful for your commitment and dedication and donation of your time! We are thrilled to be able to present you with our “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” award!
Outstanding Volunteer Group – Main Street United Methodist Church
In January, Paul, Mary, and Sharon from Main St. United Methodist Church came to NSKS looking to share ideas on how to operate a food pantry more efficiently. This initial conversation evolved into the first collaborative pantry space in Greater Nashua. This partnership brought together two separate pantries operating no more than two blocks from each other and at roughly the same time. Since May, 8-12 volunteers at our pantry every week come from MSUMC. Even more impressive, since July, the pantry at 2 Quincy St. has been open on the second Sunday afternoon but not as the NSKS but rather as MSUMC. One facility helping two separate organizations come together to feed the hungry of our community. It is a remarkable partnership and hopefully first of many examples going forward. We’d like to publicly recognize you with our Outstanding Volunteer Group award!
Outstanding Corporate Leader – Cirtronics
We are thrilled to acknowledge the long-standing partnership of time and treasure we’ve had with Cirtronics! We are grateful for their time. For more than 15 years, they’ve allowed employees to share time with us. A large volunteer group from Cirtronics comes to our Food Pantry annually to help pack and distribute some of the Holiday Thanksgiving Baskets & turkey. The group is always happy to help us however they can. We’ve had other employees volunteer, too, including groups to unload deliveries, restock shelves and help sort supplies for our Backpacks for Back to School program. We are grateful for their treasures. Going back many years, they’ve consistently had a generous check to present to us to help support the services our agency provides. And through their Community Outreach Committee, we’ve received donations from drives and events they’ve held to collect school supplies, new socks, blankets, books and coats for our clients. Thank you, Cirtronics, for all you’ve done for Nashua.
Please Give Generously
Remember NSKS as you celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Please give generously. Thank you!!
- $10 Grocery Gift Cards
- Financial Contributions
- Large Diapers
17th Annual Dinner Auction
ENDING HOMELESSNESS CHAMPION
Marzen Group LLC
Joanne & Roger Gaudette
New England Financial Planning Group
Janet and Dan Griﬃn
India Association of New Hampshire
Lovering Auto Group
RPL Properties LLC
White Mountain Computer
Brady Sullivan Properties
Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency
Fay’s Fine Cabinetry
Harvey Construction Corporation
Lowell Five Bank
Welts, White & Fontaine, P.C
EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM PILLAR
Barry & Honorow PLLC
Nashua Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry
Proctor Ski & Board
RBC Wealth Management
Liliane Sznycer & Abner Taub
Apple Therapy Nashua
Dube Investment Properties
Keegan Family Courage and Faith Foundation
Lake Sunapee Bank
Mass Design, Inc.
Morin’s Landscaping, Inc.
Pheasant Run Apartments
Ripano Stoneworks Ltd
Ruo & Haschig Realty Inc.
St. Mary’s Bank
We are grateful to all of you for helping make our event such a success.
*as we go to press
Executive Directors Blog
The other day, I was unlocking my bike at 2 Quincy Street and met a man named Mark. Mark had just left our food pantry and was waiting for a ride. A veteran who had recently found housing, Mark was grateful for the food assistance and wanted all of us to know how much it made a difference.
One thing that Mark said that caught my attention was that no one should have to be hungry in Nashua. On the one hand, that is a true statement. The work we all support at NSKS and in solidarity with our partnering organizations provides for a significant amount of food assistance in the Greater Nashua Area. On the other hand, the food we provide, while significant, is far from sufficient to meet the needs of the food insecure in our community. Nationwide, 10% of people over 65 are food insecure. For Nashua, that would mean at least 1,300 individuals or couples. 40% or 4,000 children attending Nashua Public Schools receive free or reduced lunch. Even though we have doubled the amount of food assistance, there is so much more we can and need to do.
How you can help: Politically, please support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP beneﬁits (formerly food stamps) are critical. The box of food we provide at NSKS is only supposed to last 3-5 days. The loss or reduction of SNAP benefits would do significant harm to our community. Individually, explore ways you can grow more food and reduce food waste. It is an exciting time with so many great ideas out there to help end hunger. For example, here is a link to a town in England that made a commitment to have as much public land as possible grow food:
Imagine eating lunch while walking the streets of Nashua!
– Michael Reinke
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