Posted by: seacoastgathering | July 3, 2015

Next Cross Roads House volunteer orientation

Below is information from Cross Roads House about the next volunteer orientations for Portsmouth’s transitional housing shelter. Their orientation will provide you with everything you need to know to help out there.

cross roads 1

Find out how you can become a volunteer by attending Volunteer Orientation on Thursday, August 13, or Thursday, September 10, from 5:30-6:30 pm at the shelter. Orientation includes a shelter tour, an overview of kitchen operations, and volunteer expectations.

If you have any questions about volunteering or about our orientation program, e-mail JoAnn Rohde at j.rohde@crossroadshouse.org or call 603-436-2218 ext. 107. Pre-registration for orientation is not required. 

Please Note:  Volunteers must be over 18 and out of high school to volunteer at the shelter   

Click this link for driving directions and parking instructions.

Cross Roads House
600 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Ph  603.436.2218  Fax  603.430.9217
www.crossroadshouse.org
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Posted by: seacoastgathering | June 19, 2015

Summer can be crunch time for families

Summertime can be a challenging time for families in need. Children are home from school and many communities do not have meal programs to offset school lunches–so families feel the strain on their food budget.

In the midst of our own summer fun, we need to be sure not to neglect our local food pantries and shelters. For example, food pantries often have greater need for kid-friendly donations in the summer: canned pasta, peanut butter/jelly, breakfast cereal, juice and snack items. If you’d like to know where and how to donate to your nearest Seacoast food pantry, click here: Seacoast Eat Local food donation info

At shelters like Cross Roads House, summer donation needs support the outdoor activities of children there, as well as gift cards to help them have clothing for the following school year. Needs can include sunscreen, bug spray, beach towels, ice packs, water bottles and rain ponchos. See the  Cross Roads House website for their latest needs.

Thanks for not taking a summer vacation from doing good.–Patrick

From sunscreen to lunches and snacks, summer can put an additional strain on the family budget.

From sunscreen to lunches and snacks, summer can put an additional strain on the family budget.

Posted by: seacoastgathering | December 5, 2014

Holiday Guide to Giving and Volunteering

Most people want to do something good for others, especially during the holiday season, when a simple act of kindness can make the holiday special for both the giver and the receiver. Since most of us are busier than normal this time of year, it is nice when someone makes it easier for us to find the right opportunity. That is exactly what the United Way of the Greater Seacoast does with its Holiday Guide to Giving and Volunteering.

I feature their guide each year because it is one of the best and most comprehensive volunteer guides I’ve come across (I’ve even borrowed some ideas from it to help create a “get connected” guide for a church I’m working for). Whatever your interest – Adopt a family, donate food, gifts or gift cards, sort and distribute baskets – the Guide covers all areas of needs in Rockingham and Strafford County (NH) and Kittery, ME.

Below is the link to help Seacoast families, co-workers, friends, clubs, classrooms and faith groups make plans to help others during the holiday season:

http://www.uwgs.org/holidayguide

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Posted by: seacoastgathering | June 30, 2014

Doing good with food on the Seacoast

When summer is in full swing, opportunities to do good with food abound. Here are a couple:

Farmers’ Markets

With the explosion of farmers’ markets on the Seacoast (and just about everywhere else), nearly all of us have a convenient means of contributing toward a more sustainable local food economy. For farmers, having easy access to people paying retail prices for their fresh produce is crucial to maintaining profitable farm operations. But only we as consumers can make it work. Last week my wife and I showed up during the final hour of the Kittery Community Market. One of the farmers was finishing up his time at the market by offering his remaining bunches of leaf lettuce at buy one get one free–knowing that anything unsold would not last until the next market day. More customers like us can accomplish a lot by simply taking the time to get fresher produce. At last count, the Seacoast area of New Hampshire and Southern Maine hosts 34 summer markets and 10 indoor winter markets, so none of us has to travel far. Click below to find the market nearest you:

http://www.seacoasteatlocal.org/seacoastharvest/index.php?page=farmersmarkets

Increasingly, farmers’ markets are providing a donation location for those wishing to contribute fresh produce to their local food pantry. Just buy an extra bunch of carrots or half-dozen ears of corn and deposit it in a bin. Be on the lookout for this easy way to support local food producers and help those in need.

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Food Pantry Donations

Speaking of food pantries, summer provides a unique opportunity to get nutritious fresh produce in the hands of those in need. Most food pantries gladly accept fresh food donations, either purchased or grown from your garden. Click below for details on the Seacoast food pantry nearest you:

http://seacoasteatlocal.org/get-involved/food-for-all/

So whether you are shopping for and/or growing your summer harvest, be mindful that you are doing something good for the world around you.

Patrick Klingaman

Posted by: seacoastgathering | October 30, 2013

United Way’s Holiday Guide to Giving and Volunteering

imagesCA0VWSKWMost people want to do something good for others, especially during the holiday season, when a simple act of kindness can make the holiday special for both the giver and the receiver. Since most of us are busier than normal this time of year, it is nice when someone makes it easier for us to find the right opportunity. That is exactly what the United Way of the Greater Seacoast does with its Holiday Guide to Giving and Volunteering.

I feature their guide each year because it is one of the best and most comprehensive volunteer guides I’ve come across (I’ve even borrowed some ideas from it to help create a “get connected” guide for a church I’m working for). Whatever your interest – Adopt a family, donate food, gifts or gift cards, sort and distribute baskets – the Guide covers all areas of needs in Rockingham and Strafford County (NH) and Kittery, ME.

Yes, I know I’m posting this around Halloween, but that is because it is never too early for families, co-workers, friends, clubs, classrooms and faith groups to make plans to help others during the holiday season. Here’s the link:

http://www.uwgs.org/holidayguide

Posted by: seacoastgathering | October 17, 2013

Entrepreneur Showcase grows Seacoast businesses

The Seacoast Entrepreneur Showcase:
Building a more Local, Green & Fair Economy on the Seacoast
Thurs. Oct. 24, 7-9 PM at the White Heron Cafe, 601 Islington St., Portsmouth

 
Seacoast Local hosts its 2nd entrepreneur showcase. The Showcase brings together investors, entrepreneurs, and community members that are passionate about building a local economy based on values of community well-being and sustainability. The Event features “lightning” presentations by local entrepreneurs looking start or expand their business.:
UNH Net Impact – Student initiative to discern the potential for microfinance in the Seacoast area.
 Islinglass River Hop Exchange – Processor and Distributor of locally grown Hops for supply to area Micro-Breweries
Economic Information Exchange – a new venture to provide product “Impact Ratings” on the economy on both the state and national level
Juice Burger – New Hampshire’s first “farm-to-sidewalk” food truck.
Serenity Cafe & Market – Rye based Serenity Cafe & Market looks to expand to a second location in Kittery
Hopestill Garage – Chef Evan Mallet discusses plans for his new restaurant
in Newmarket and financing utilizing “edible” shares

RSVP online and get signed up for the Book Raffle – titles on sustainability & the local investing
To learn more please visit: seacoastcommunitycapital.com

The showcase is not an offer to sell securities or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities.

About Seacoast Local:
Seacoast Local is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advocates for a more Local, Green and Fair economy on the Seacoast of New Hampshire and Southern ME.

Posted by: seacoastgathering | August 5, 2013

Become a gardener for good at Cross Roads House

cross roads 1I’ll admit that I’ve spent more than a handful of posts sharing different ways to be “gardeners for good.” It isn’t the only way for us to do good for those in need, but it is certainly within the reach of most of us. I just came across another opportunity to become a gardener for good even if you don’t have garden space of your own: volunteer at Portsmouth’s (NH) Cross Roads House.

This wonderful transitional shelter for the homeless has recently planted a vegetable and herb garden to help provide more nutritious, fresh food for its residents. Funded by a grant from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Program, Cross Roads now has six raised beds and a variety of containers growing produce just outside its dining hall windows. In their most recent newsletter, they requested additional volunteers to help water and harvest throughout the remainder of the growing season. If interested, they ask that you contact Sand DeSisto at sandydesisto@gmail.com  

In addition to garden help, the shelter always is appreciative of key items of need to help residents as they transition from homelessness to independence. Below is a “wish list” from their website:

Immediate Needs: the following items are in greatest demand at this time

  • New men’s socks and underwear
  • COAST bus tickets
  • Gas cards in small increments

Pantry Needs:

  • Coffee
  • Ketchup
  • Tomato and spaghetti sauce
  • Canned peas and corn

Linens

  • twin sheets
  • twin blankets
  • pillows & pillow cases
  • bath towels

Personal hygiene products

  • travel size shampoo
  • travel size conditioner
  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • disposable razors
  • shaving cream
  • deodorant
  • diapers/pull-ups
  • baby wipes
  • hand sanitizer
  • aspirin/ibuprofen/acetaminophen

Miscellaneous

  • bike locks
  • pad locks
  • travel alarm clocks
  • monetary donations

Gift Cards (in low denominations please)

  • gas station
  • auto store
  • Wal-Mart
  • grocery store
  • Rite Aid
Clothing

  • new socks
  • new underwear (all adult sizes)

Food and beverages

  • powdered drink mixes
  • bread crumbs
  • juice and juice boxes
  • salt & pepper
  • prepared sauces (ie. BBQ or Teriyaki)
  • sugar
  • non dairy creamer
  • regular coffee
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • cereal
  • lunch box snacks
  • canned meals (Dinty Moore, etc.)
  • soup
  • baby formula
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • salad dressing
  • shelf stable milk

Donations can be dropped off at any time at the Cross Roads House office.

TEL : 603.436.2218  |  FAX: 603.430.9217  |  info@crossroadshouse.org
 
 
 
Have you had any opportunities for doing good this summer? Please share your comments below. Thanks!
Posted by: seacoastgathering | July 22, 2013

Become a (Church) Gardener for Good

On this blog, I’ve written a number of posts encouraging those with an interest in gardening to plant “gardens for good,” providing produce to area food shelves, homeless shelters and other worthy causes. Those without gardens of their own I encouraged to participate in an area community garden. Here I want to emphasize another huge opportunity to feed the hungry: church gardens.

church garden1

Many churches–particularly those in small towns and suburbs–have acres of little-used lawn space. Increasingly, churches are fencing off a portion of their land and planting gardens, donating nearly all of the produce to those in need. I know of two churches with gardens near me, not including one inactive garden at the church where I work.

Occupying acres of land in every community, church gardens have an unlimited potential for good. The problem: finding and keeping enough volunteers. As you know, gardening requires many months of regular attention. To mount a large-scale church garden takes immense volunteer resources–much of them during times where the church is busy with many other activities. As a result, some churches have been forced to cut back or cease gardening because it can’t maintain a steady flow of volunteer help (and other church gardens would consider expanding if they had more help).

So if you’d like to be a large-scale gardener for good but don’t have a large-scale garden, find a church near you with a garden and offer to help (most will welcome the help even if you don’t attend there). If you attend a church with an unused plot of dirt, consider starting up a church garden of your own. Here’s a blog post I’ve come across with some wise tips from a successful church gardener:  http://christchurchgarden.com/2012/09/29/how-to-start-your-own-church-garden/

Patrick Klingaman

Posted by: seacoastgathering | January 28, 2013

Doing good by fueling the growth of local businesses

One of the ways we can do good in our local communities is to promote, buy from and even invest in local organizations that make the Seacoast thrive. Seacoast Local is a local nonprofit that has been one of the leaders in encouraging those kind of worthwhile activities. Below is an announcement for the organization’s first Seacoast Entrepreneur Showcase, coming on Tuesday 2/5/13 from 6 to 8:30 pm at the Red Door in downtown Portsmouth. I hope you will join me at this event (or one of the future showcases–check back here or the Seacoast Local website link below for more upcoming events):

Subject Line:  Seacoast Local – Entrepreneur Showcase

Seacoast Local will be hosting its first Seacoast Entrepreneur Showcase, a public gathering for investors, entrepreneurs and community members who are interested in the intersection between investing, the local economy and sustainability.  The event will consist of short, “lightning” presentations by local entrepreneurs and pioneers in the local investing movement.  Food and Drink will be offered and there will be plenty of time to mingle before and after the presentations.

  • Michael Bartner, Slow Money http://slowmoney.org/  – A national, nonprofit organization dedicated to “bringing money back down to earth” by catalyzing investment in local food systems.
  • Andre Cantelmo, Heron Pond Farm – A sustainable agricultural farm expanding its reach with a new farm stand in Kensington
  • Allison Grappone, Nearby Registry – An online gift registry and e-commerce service that allows brides, grooms, expectant parents, and others to select gifts from their favorite local independent businesses and nonprofits
  • Curtis Gould, The Soup Guy – A Dover-based purveyor of 100% natural, gluten free artisan soups (locally sourced when possible) with new expansion plans
  • Steve McPhee – A custom cabinet & furniture maker specializing in eco-friendly design using alternative and local materials
  • Josh Henry, 7th Settlement Brewery and Pub – A start-up Brew Pub in downtown Dover brewing Ales that pay homage to the history, traditions, and local ingredients of the Seacoast

Entrepreneurs will be discussing key aspects of their business but presentations do not constitute an offer to sell securities or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities.

Pre-Registration Required

Where & When:  Red Door at 107 State St., downtown Portsmouth, Tuesday, Feb. 5th from 6 to 8:30 PM

The event is part of Seacoast Local’s Community Capital initiative sponsored by Optima Bank & Trust.  To learn more about Seacoast Local and its programs please visit  www.seacoastlocal.org
Hope to see you there (or at a future showcase)–Patrick
Posted by: seacoastgathering | December 3, 2012

Progress in helping the world’s hungry children

Since many of us have been exposed to decades of images of starving children, world hunger it can feel like an overwhelming situation, too big for us to tackle. That’s why it is important to trumpet progress when we find it: More children survive past their fifth birthday than ever before.

Poor children under the age of five are considered the most vulnerable population in the global hunger situation. The fact that an estimated 6.9 million young children died in 2011 is a tragedy. However, given that the death toll was nearly twice that in 1990–12 million under-five age children–this represents significant progress.

With millions still dying any celebration is premature. It does provide a reason for hope. All that work and giving by millions of you is having an impact. This news can also fuel our determination and resolve, for we can beat back the extreme poverty that cause millions to die every year.

Thanks to the UNICEF report, whose summary I saw in the most recent edition of World Vision News (www.worldvision.org ), we also know where to focus our efforts. According to their estimates, 82 percent of all under-five mortalities are located in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Those involved in working or support organizations involved in battling world hunger should be congratulated and encouraged to continue the fight. Others feeling the urge to join the battle can know they are joining a war that can be won–and that their efforts can make a difference.

Although I support several fine organizations making a impact in saving the world’s children, I must admit that I’ve always been most impressed with the efforts of World Vision. How about you? What organizations that help the poor are you most excited about supporting? Please comment below.

Patrick Klingaman

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