Reflecting on my first year as Chairman I am both honored and humbled to have collaborated with an amazing board of trustees and dedicated staff, working together to accomplish our mission.

While helping area youth remains a core agency function, the organization has evolved to expand the scope of its mission over time. Over the past four decades, The Friends Program has expanded from a grassroots effort of serving Concord-area youth to the four programs we manage today. The four programs consist of Youth Mentoring: since 1975 serving Merrimack County; Emergency Housing: statewide in scope, sheltering homeless families since 1980; Foster Grant Parents:  since 1986; serving all counties except Coos; and Retired & Senior Volunteers Program: since 2006, engaging Merrimack & Rockingham County seniors.

Our organization provides invaluable services to those in need in our community and it is due to this vast outreach that we rely so heavily on volunteers.  We will continue to assess the community we serve but we can’t do it without the support we receive from our businesses and individuals; all that have been devoted friends.   Anyone can make a difference, whether it’s a donation of time through mentoring by making a positive impact in a child’s life, a senior utilizing life skills to serve in our schools, or by making a financial commitment.  I want to launch ahead by encouraging, welcoming and being a resource for a better future.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for a great first year.


Joanne M. Gagnon

Chair, Board of Trustees