Interested in what the volunteers with RSVP have been up to? Looking for volunteer opportunities? Read the Fall RSVP newsletter here for all this information and more.
Friends Program Trustees, staff, and supporters came together on Thursday, October 5th to recognize the efforts of some remarkable volunteers. The gathering also gave the Friends Board of Trustees the chance to present this years 10th Annual James S. Doremus Award to Steven Arndt.
In selecting the honorees, program staff chose volunteers who are emblematic of what the Friends’ Four Programs represent. “Volunteers are the essence of our organization,” said Friends Board of Trustees Vice President, Catherine Devaney. “Universally they are caring, giving individuals who place great value on helping others in their communities. Tonight’s honorees are well deserving of recognition and represent all of the other volunteers who support our Four Programs.”
Among those honored at the event was Emergency Housing Program volunteer Marcy Charette, Foster Grandparent Program Community Partner Belmont Elementary School, RSVP Program volunteer Ralph Appleby, and Youth Mentoring Program volunteer George Smith.
Read more here.
We are FAMOUS! Thank you to the Granite United Way for featuring the Friends Emergency Housing Program in their 2017 Campaign video. Take a minute to watch the video and support us and the Granite United Way.
The Harris family came to the Friends Emergency Housing Program as a newly intact family, looking for an opportunity for a new beginning. A stable place to live and learn together was the topsoil in which they sowed the seeds for their future. They exited our program an intact family, with Richard and Christine getting married during their stay. Like many of our families they came with next to nothing, and with very little money. They dealt with the trials and tribulations of a rocky past, and what it meant to be homeless. They left with a newfound confidence, with skills and connections to succeed.
Richard was at a time in his life where he was committed to making the changes needed to be a great father and husband. Where he once struggled with addiction and the criminal justice system, he now has all the markings of an upstanding citizen committed to his work and his family.
Christine was able to use our setting as a classroom where Willow and Sage could pursue their homeschool education, both of them passing their annual evaluations this year. Christine, despite physical disability, spent her time engaging with and enriching her children in their multiple interests. Many nights allowed for family time where Richard would cook a tasty meal from scratch and the family would share stories and laugh with one another at the table.
This family is further proof that anyone is capable of overcoming their past and present difficulties and improve themselves and situations. Where there was once ample concern for this family, the staff at FEH ended up delighting in their presence and participation in the program as helpful and collaborative residents. The Harris’ worked the program to a “T”, utilizing supports and referrals, ultimately taking advantage of Community Action Program services and assistance to overcome homelessness. They are moving to independent housing in Pittsfield where they will continue their life’s journey, together as a family.