Congratulations to Friends Foster Grandparent Program volunteers Claire Bickford and Ginny Wentworth for being recognized by the schools where they volunteer (please scroll down for the full stories).

2018 07 05 Claire Bickford 2018 06 27 Ginny Wentworth

Claire was honored by Belmont Elementary School as their ‘Volunteer of the Year’ for her commitment working with a student needing extra emotional and social support. Grammy Claire, as students lovingly call her, was able to reach this student beyond that of her special education teacher and assistant. Grammy Claire’s support resulted in academic progress and an increased ability to communicate. Mrs. Donovan, Grammy Claire’s teacher says, “Gram is a gem, dedicated to teaching and caring about all of the children she works with. I am retiring after 35 years of teaching and Claire brought the same joy to me as she has done every year to each child in my classroom. I thank her and the Friends Foster Grandparent Program for bringing such a wonderful person into my life and the lives of the children in my classroom.”

Ginny, affectionately known as Ms. Ginny, was awarded a certificate during a school-year-end celebration at South Range School and now has a book dedicated in her name in the South Range Library with the following heartfelt inscription: “Ms. Ginny came to South Range School 5 years ago as part of the Foster Grandparent Program. She started her career here with a first grade teacher who was looking for a volunteer. Right away, Ms. Ginny found herself getting attached to the delightfulness of first graders. Having no grandchildren of her own, she found an entire classroom full in first grade. Her kindness, gentleness, genuine interest in them, all the while expecting them to try hard to improve in all that’s expected of first graders, endeared her to their hearts. Her first class of first graders are now fifth graders and they still greet her with enthusiasm when they meet up with her, delighted to see her, anxious to see if she remembers them. After three years in first grade, Ms. Ginny currently works with kindergarten classes. Her same caring qualities and patience are now helping our youngest students get a good start at South Range. From helping children learn popcorn words, to becoming better mathematicians, to learning kindness for each other, celebrating with them when they master a skill and encouraging them when they still need a little more practice, Ms. Ginny has found a place in the hearts of many children and adults at South Range School. All of this, and more, has prompted us to choose Ms. Ginny to be our 2017 – 2018 Volunteer of the Year at South Range School.”

The Concord Food Co-op is supporting local causes, such as the Friends Program, and helping the environment at the same time! From April 1st thru June 30th, $1 from every $2 reusable bag sold at the Co-op ~ totaling $511~ was donated to the Friends RSVP Food Insecurity Project!

Thank you Concord Food Co-op and participating patrons for your thoughtfulness and generosity! These funds are deeply appreciated and will be put to immediate use!


Concord Food Co op   2018 07 19 Coop Bags cropped 2


Cooking Matters!

This summer the Friends Youth Mentoring Program is teaming with the UNH Cooperative Extension to bring a Nutrition Connections series to our mentors and mentees. Over the course of five lessons led by UNH’s Alyssa Lemmerman, our mentees learn about nutrition and healthy food choices as well as make some tasty dishes. Each lesson is a new culinary adventure! Do you know the differences between go foods, slow foods, and whoa foods? Our mentees do thanks to Nutrition Connections and their very supportive mentors who assist them during each class!

2018 06 14 YM Cooking Matters

Early on Saturday, June 23rd, volunteers started arriving and setting up for the Runner’s Alley Capital City Classic 10K charity road race. It was a rainy morning but the rain stopped just in time for the race to begin then started again shortly after the race ended. 477 runners ranging in age from 8 to 83 competed in this 6.2 mile run, which is part of the Capital Area Race Series and welcomed runners from across the country. When tallied, 100% of the race proceeds will be donated to the Friends Program and Intown Concord.

Friends Program Board of Trustees members were there supporting the event. Catherine Devaney, Vice President, gave opening remarks and was interviewed by Concord TV and Donna Rice picked up and delivered donated food for the refreshments tent. Our Friends Emergency Housing Program family shelter Program Director and Case Manager, Lorrie and Simon, were present to staff the Friends Program information table along with Sandra, Marketing & Outreach. Simon and Sandra (along with volunteer spouse Steve) were flaggers along the race route.

We had a strong volunteer representation spanning our programs: Foster Grandparent Program volunteers Diane (was at the registration table) and Marge accompanied by her spouse Sonny (were at the refreshments tent); Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteer Louise (was a flagger in a critical spot along the route where she had to redirect the runners from the northbound to the southbound lane of Main Street); Youth Mentoring Program recently matched mentor Pam & mentee Yvette (helped in the refreshments tent); and former Friends Program Development Director, now volunteer, Laura (who was part of the Friends Program's participation planning, coordinated the refreshment tent, and much more).

As detailed in our Facebook posting: the Friends Program received a sponsorship from Concord Oral Surgery; Bank of New Hampshire donated 2 prize baskets for the male & female 1st place finishers; food was donated by Panera, Concord Food Coop, The Works Bakery, and Laura; and coffee was donated by Revelstoke Coffee (a new business that just opened downtown).

We had a blast and are so deeply grateful for the community support!

2018 07 10 Capital City Classic min

Martha Dickey joined the Friends Program as the Development Director on July 9th. Martha was born and raised in Boston and moved to New Hampshire in 2002. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2008 from Franklin Pierce University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Leadership.

Before joining the Friends Program, Martha was the Stewardship Manager at FIRST in Manchester, NH where she spent 8 years working with corporate sponsors to help them strategically align their philanthropic intentions to further the FIRST mission. Prior to joining FIRST, Martha worked at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for four years, where she worked with the Advisory Committee of the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund.

Martha has four children, six grandchildren and a cat. She resides in Boscawen with her husband, Paul. When Martha is not working, she is dedicated to spreading awareness and prevention of suicide. She recently joined the Board of the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Please join us in welcoming Martha! She can be reached by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 603-228-7604.

2018 07 11 Welcome Martha Dickey