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The U Review
November 2013 U Review
November 2013

Mark Your Calendar:

Cheshire Housing Trust 2013 Homebuyers Seminars
Seminar for first-time homebuyers.
Place: Stone Arch Village Senior Housing Community Room, 835 Court St., Keene, NH
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013
Time: 9:30 AM-4:30 PM
Free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call 603-357-7603, ext. 103, or email
Dance the Night Away!
The annual dance to benefit the NH Special Olympics and the Penguin Plunge team from the Monadnock Region.
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013
Time: 7:30 PM-11:30 PM
Place: Keene Country Club, NH
Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door.
Contact Susan Newcomer at 603-363-8338 for more information.
Special Education: Working Together to Support Children and Their Families
A Panel discussion and small group sharing with community members who work to support students who learn and grow differently.
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM-Noon
Place: The River Center, 46 Concord St., Peterborough, NH
Cost: $15
For more information, call 924-6800 or email
A Place at the Table
Join Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition for a special screening of “A Place at the Table”.There will be a community discussion following the film; Moderator: Senator Molly Kelly.
Date: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM
Place: The Colonial Theatre, Main St., Keene, NH
Cost: Admission is FREE, but a donation of fresh produce or canned goods for local food pantries is encouraged.
For more information, visit
The Orchard School’s 18th Annual Craft Fair & Café
Featuring over 40 artisans.
Dates: Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, 2013
Times: Friday from 6:00 PM-8:30 PM and
Saturday from 9:30 AM-4:00 PM
Place: The Walpole Town Hall, Walpole, NH
For more information, call Petra Gillette at 835-2495.
Monadnock RSVP Volunteer Center Open House
Date: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Place: 64 Main St., Suite 212, Keene, NH
Cost: FREE
For more information, call 357-6893.

In This Issue:

Air TimeNovember on WKBK…

The guest on “The Dan Mitchell Morning Show” at 8:10 am Wednesday, November 20th will be Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services.

WKBK regularly features a Monadnock United Way agency on the third Wednesday of each month.

Magic Pumpkin

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What Is On Your Parenting To Do List Today?

By Margaret Nelson

ParentingWhen my girls were little I would get frustrated over how little I seemed to be able to accomplish in a day. I would do laundry and clothes would get dirty, I baked and it was eaten, I put things away and they were everywhere at the end of the day. I was a stay at home mom and happy to be so. But sometimes I felt like everything I did was undone by the end of the day. For someone who likes to cross things off the To Do List, this was beyond frustrating.

I got a lot of satisfaction out of projects that gave me something to see for my labor — like canning pickles. I loved to see that row of canned pickles sitting on my counter top. They were a visible answer to the question: What did you do today? I would leave them on the counter for a while, just to confirm to myself that I had gotten something accomplished.

I hear parents with similar laments and read comments by parents on Facebook about the frustration of so-called menial tasks done over and over again each day. Changing diapers, wiping noses and other parts of children’s anatomy, answering the constant flow of the three year olds’ questions, performing the ritual buttering of the toast (or whatever your family’s rituals are). These are all part of the package called parenting. Sometimes these mundane, daily tasks can seem exhausting and we get the feeling that we are not accomplishing anything meaningful.

My husband gave me some wise advice. He knew that checking things off my To Do List was important to me. He said to make sure the important things were on my list: like hugging the girls and reading to them. Why not put them on the list and then I could cross them off at the end of the day. Who says that everything on the list has to be something tangible?

Now, as I look at the row of canned pickles I made this year, I realize that they too will be eaten by the end of the year. But I am now able to look at my grown daughters and say that every minute I spent hugging them, every book we read together with a chorus of “can’t we read the next chapter?!”, every mom thing I did — it was time well spent.

So, I ask you who are in the middle of raising young children — what’s on your To Do List today? Look beyond today — your hugs, time spent reading and laughing together, those are the building blocks of mature, capable, confident adults. Now that is time well spent.

If you would like encouragement in the parenting journey, join one of our parenting groups today. Contact me, Margaret Nelson, at or give me a call at 924-6800.

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The Energy Programs at SCS Are In Full-Swing!

The energy programs at SCS are now in full-swing! We are scheduling Fuel Assistance, Electric Assistance, and Neighbor Helping Neighbor appointments. It is best for folks to call the main agency numbers (352-7512 or 542-9528) to schedule an appointment.

Funding for the Fuel Assistance Program (FAP) does not come in until December. We are using the months of September, October, and November to get as many applications done as possible. This means we are unable to assist until then with fuel deliveries. This saves the fuel assistance funding for the most crucial (and coldest) months of the year. We will continue to take appointments December through April.

We have taken over 2,300 applications so far and have 933 appointments booked out at this point!

The Electric Assistance Program (EAP) provides a discount off the utility bills of eligible households for a period of twelve (12) months.

Neighbor Helping Neighbor (NHN) can be helpful for households that do not qualify for our regular programs and have a disconnection notice from their utility and are experiencing a hardship that makes it difficult to make the payment.

The Weatherization Program (WAP) continues to work with households to weatherize and winterize their homes. Households need to be found income eligible and meet the other requirements of WAP. The need for weatherizing far outweighs our funding but we do what we can to get as many households taken care of each year as possible.

Representatives from SCS Energy Services have been attending the United Way Trainings that have been taking place. The trainings consist of an emphasis on evidence-based results/reporting and community impact. SCS appreciates the opportunity to participate in this.

Check out the SCS website at for information on WIC, Senior Housing, Family Housing, Fuel Assistance, Electric Assistance, Head Start, Workforce Development, Weatherization, Housing Stabilization, and our other agency programs.

We are wishing everyone a warm and safe fall season!

~ Energy Services Team

Southwestern Community Services is a Monadnock United Way Agency

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The Work Experience Program

The Work Experience Program is offered under the New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). WEP provides participants with the work habits, skills, and experience needed for successful transition to paid employment. As a WEP host, your organization can provide an individual with an opportunity to develop hands-on experience and develop work skills needed to get a job, while at the same time easing your own staff’s workload.

For more information on the Work Experience Program, download their brochure here, or contact Becky Holland, Community Job Specialist at Southwestern Community Services, by phone at 603-313-7182 or emailing

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Monadnock Community Early Learning Center’s Second Annual PAY-IT-FORWARD Event

On Thursday, October 24, the staff of Monadnock Community Early Learning Center in Peterborough held its second Annual PAY-IT-FORWARD event.

The fundraiser, “Super Bowl Bash”, invited families and friends to come to the Center for a simple meal of soup, bread and dessert.

Throughout several weeks, bowls of all shapes and sizes were donated to the Center. On the evening of the 24th, quests were welcomed to a transformed dining room complete with children’s art decorating the tables. Bowls were purchased for a donation and diners were then directed to a buffet that offered a variety of homemade soup and breads choices prepared by staff and parents. After the meal, while chatting over dessert, bowls were washed and prepared to be taken home.

Monadnock Community Early Learning Center is please to PAY-IT-FORWARD to the Monadnock United Way and hopes that the donation demonstrates the Center’s appreciation to MUW for their overwhelming support throughout the years.

Monadnock Community Early Learning Center is a Monadnock United Way Agency

Monadnock Community Early Learning Center Souper Bowl

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Annual Dance to Benefit the NH Special Olympics and the Penguin Plunge Team

Penguin PlungeDance the Night Away with the Music of the “The Nines”!

The annual dance to benefit the NH Special Olympics and the Penguin Plunge team from the Monadnock Region will be held in the Keene Country Club Ballroom on Saturday, November 9th, 2013 from 7:30-11:30 PM.

You can get your tickets in advance for $20 at Toadstool Bookstore (Keene) or Prime Roast. Ticket price is $25 at the door.

There will be light appetizers, desserts and a cash bar.

All the proceeds support the New Hampshire Special Olympics and the Monadnock Penguin Plunge team. If you cannot attend but would like to make a donation, please send your donation to the NH Special Olympics with a designation for the Penguin Plunge team!

Contact Susan Newcomer 603-363-8338 for more information.

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Low-Income Taxpayer Project of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Pro Bono Referral Program

The first part of October saw much frustration within the low-income taxpayer clinic community across the country, as the partial government shutdown prevented advocates from helping the many impoverished people facing crippling levies on their Social Security benefits. There was no one answering the phone at the IRS — no one to grant these people a hardship waiver. Fortunately, the shutdown is now over, and advocates are once again able to secure this much-needed relief.

On a more positive note, the Low-Income Taxpayer Project conducted two outreach events last month — one at a public high school and one at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In each, clinic coordinator Barbara Stewart explained the benefits of filing tax returns, answered questions about common IRS issues, and described the services offered by the clinic. As always, the goal was to spread the word about the help the LITP can give people facing controversies with the IRS.

For more information on the Low Income Taxpayer Project, email Barbara Stewart, Clinic Coordinator at

NH Pro Bono is a Monadnock United Way Agency.

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Hundred Nights Launches “Healthy Feet Program”

Hundred NightsThe nights are getting longer and colder and the dampness never really leaves your socks, shoes or boots. George Washington, or anyone with good military training, could tell you how important good boots or shoes are to a person spending a lot of time outdoors. For the homeless, taking care of your feet becomes critical as winter arrives.

What foot conditions are common among homeless people?

  1. Ingrowing toe nails – Not uncommon but can lead to gangrene if left untreated as the infection spreads.
  2. Corns – Homeless people often wear tight or ill-fitting footwear, which tends to cause friction, leading to hard and soft corns.
  3. Ulcers – Some homeless people are living with Diabetes Mellitus and have high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classic symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger). Unfortunately, ulcers are common in homeless people, as a result of being out-doors in all weather conditions.
  4. Nail dystrophies – Many nail conditions are common amongst homeless people mostly because of poor foot hygiene and not changing shoes and socks regularly. This leads to a lack of oxygen in the skin, resulting in infection.
  5. Bacterial infections – From being on the streets and not being able to wash regularly, the feet tend to harbor bacteria.
  6. Fungal infections – Athletes Foot is common, due to lack of washing and being in shoes for very long periods of time.
  7. Bromhidrosis – Feet can smell very badly when they have not been cleaned and almost all the homeless will have this condition.
  8. Hyperhidrosis – Sweaty feet is another problem which occurs when feet are in shoes for long periods of time, and this can cause blistering

With this in mind, Hundred Nights announces the launching of their Healthy Feet Program. They hope is to collect medicated foot powder, antibacterial creams, bandages, foot soak tubs, and enough warm, sturdy boots and socks to help protect the feet of those who are living outdoors at this time of year, or will be at the shelter overnight starting December 21, 2013.

For more information call 603-352-5197 and ask for Mindy, or drop items off at 17 Lamson Street in Keene.

Volunteer Opportunities at Hundred Nights

Volunteers are needed at Hundred Nights Cold Weather Shelter to help between December 21, 2013 and March 31, 2014 with Intake (6:30 PM-9:30 PM) and Overnight (9:00 PM-7:00 AM) shifts at the Shelter. Upcoming training sessions will be held Wednesday, November 6th at 6:00 PM, Saturday, November 30th at 2:00 PM, Saturday December 14th at 2:00 PM, or Wednesday December 18th at 6:00 PM upstairs at the Hundred Nights building, 17 Lamson Street in Keene. For more info or to sign up for a training session please call Deb Chambers, Shelter Manager at 603-313-5807.

Hundred Nights would also love to find a few volunteers to lead a holiday craft class on a weekday morning or read to children at the Resource Center, for an hour or two a week in the afternoon. For more info please call 603-352-5197 and ask for either Angela or Mindy.

The Hundred Nights is a Monadnock United Way Agency.

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A Place at the Table

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The Orchard School’s 18th Annual Craft Fair and Café

Friday, November 22nd and Saturday, November 23rd

Come and be part of this traditional Craft Fair and Café event at The Walpole Town Hall. The fair is being be held earlier in the season this year, on Friday, November 22nd, from 6:00 PM-8:30 PM and Saturday, November 23rd from 9:30 AM-4:00 PM. The fair will feature more than 40 locally (and nationally) known artisans whose work is of the highest quality. All of the crafters live and work within a 40 mile radius of Walpole, bringing locally and sustainably produced options to the conscientious shopper. Your purchases will go directly to supporting your neighbors’ livelihoods!

The Orchard School Craft Fair and CafeA sampling of the crafted work includes: silver jewelry, wool items, handmade wooden toys and crafts, pottery, fine beaded jewelry, traditional straw ornaments, flannel & wool shirts & dresses, handmade baskets, photography, woodwork, carvings and more. Something for everyone on your wish list.

Relax and enjoy a delicious dinner or lunch in the Café, featuring homemade chili and quiche with Orchard Hill Bakery providing delicious bread. Top it off with a scrumptious gourmet dessert. All proceeds from the Café will directly benefit The Orchard School’s programs. The event will feature local musicians throughout the day on Saturday.

On Saturday, park near the common and support three other events on the Walpole Green: The Walpole Thanksgiving Farmers Market, St. John’s “Christmas on the Green” holiday bazaar and The First Congregational Church’s “Mistletoe Mart”. Up the road a bit, Marlow’s Christmas on the Pond event is also taking place.

All your holiday shopping needs can be cared for with locally produced goods in one day!

The Orchard School is a community benefit organization dedicated to providing inclusive and high quality early education, childcare, summer day camps, family support and a meeting place for community activities. Call 603-835-2495 for more information about the school or about this event. You can also visit to see a sampling of the available crafts to purchase. Shop local and support a healthy community economy this holiday season.

The Orchard School is a Monadnock United Way Agency

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CEO and Board Fundraising Roles

By Katie Gardella

I just read a great article that likened the fundraising roles of the CEO and board to, respectively, “the scout” and “the Calvary”.

What a great way to look at this dynamic! I like it because it reminds us that staff and board are all on the same team, working together in slightly different roles, to reach the same end. We often need reminding of this.

So, what does it mean to be the scout? The CEO of an organization is the advance guard — the person always on the lookout for new funding opportunities, whether it be grants, corporate, or individual support. The CEO is also responsible for working with members of the board who have fundraising skills or are willing to learn them — making the entire process run smoothly. In this way, the scout serves as organizer and facilitator of the fundraising process.

In its role as the Calvary, the board is called upon by the CEO to assist in cultivation and stewardship and to broaden the prospect pool. The board can help in a variety of ways: opening doors, introducing friends to the work of the organization, going on calls with the CEO, another board member, or even alone.

Creating financial sustainability for a nonprofit organization is a team effort — the CEO can’t do it alone, and neither can the board. Each serves a unique role in moving the organization forward.

How about starting your next board meeting with a rousing rendition of the “Charge of the Light Brigade”?

Katie Gardella is Founder and President of Prosper Fundraising Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in major gifts, board and staff development, and development planning. Please visit for more information and free resources.

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Leadership at the Helm of Community Change

Hoffman-Haas FellowshipWhether it’s rallying neighbors to address a community issue, ensuring a historical theater is preserved or working on more global issues of poverty, violence in schools or clean air — we as citizens depend on nonprofits to make impact in our communities.

At the helm of every nonprofit is a governing board, charting the direction, overseeing fiscal strategy and exploring ways to increase mission impact. Today’s nonprofits need dynamic business and community leaders in these vital positions.

Announcing a new initiative of the Center — The Hoffman-Haas Fellowship.

Our goal is quite simple — to populate NH nonprofit boards with inspired, prepared, and ready-to-engage leaders who bring a solid grounding in governance essentials and serve as an infusion of energy for an existing board.

Is board service in your future? If so, apply to become a Fellow today.

Be part of the first graduating class of the Hoffman- Haas Fellowship Program!

To apply, visit

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Community Champions of Health Celebrated

The Monadnock Region’s Healthiest Community Initiative, Healthy Monadnock 2020, launched by the Council for a Healthier Community in 2006, held its fourth annual Champions Celebration event on October 10th at Keene High School with over 150 community members in attendance.

The agenda featured an update of the Champions program, including involvement of Individual Champions (2,100); School Champions (11 and growing); and Organizational Champions (84 local businesses and groups) — all who have pledged to live, share, model and inspire the goals and values of Healthy Monadnock 2020.

Six H.E.A.L (Healthy Eating Active Living) Awards and the Healthiest Community Champion of the Year Award were given out to individuals and groups who model healthy behaviors in themselves, their family, neighborhood, organization, town, school or other group. In addition, the Heart Safe/Heart Strong Coalition honored an Individual, Lauren Platt, and Organizational Champion, Walpole Fire, who both have made an extraordinary effort to improve cardiovascular health in the region.

Individual Champions awarded were: Angella Joslyn, who after battling a health scare, continues to live her life sharing her knowledge of healthy eating habits and love of running with her students at Winchester School; and Jen Ireland, an “uber” Champion, for efforts in sharing healthy eating and active living strategies with her staff at Monadnock Family Services in Keene, including implementing physical activity breaks into the day, starting a wellness committee, and mentoring MFS Inshape clients on the benefits of healthy eating and regular physical activity.

Organizational Champions awarded were: Hamshaw Lumber for implementing a campus wide tobacco free policy, the institution of ‘instant recess’ breaks during the day, and participation in a company-wide 5K walk; and Elm City Bagels & Deli for truly ‘championing’ healthier eating in the Keene community by adopting Turn a New Leaf healthy menu options for patrons.

School Champions recognized were: Marlborough School in Marlborough for implementing school wide physical activity breaks into their classrooms, creating a task force to start implementation of a Safe Routes to School program to encourage active commuting to and from school, and 80% staff participation in the Champions program; and Fuller School in Keene, for encouraging walking and biking to school day, starting an active 5-2-1-0 after school club, and supporting their students to participate in the recent Kid’s DeMar marathon sponsored by last year’s Champion of the Year, the Elm City Rotary Club.

The Healthiest Community Champion of the Year was awarded to the Jen Risley, who has advanced the action plan of Healthy Monadnock 2020 by being an active member on advisory boards and committees for the Healthiest Community Initiative, plays a key role at the new Monadnock Food Co-op and Monadnock Buy Local, encouraging the community to keep their purchases local, works to keep young professionals in Keene as a member of the Keene Young Professionals Network, helped to pass the complete streets resolution in Keene, and is an advocate of local food and the farming community. Most recently, Jen is helping to create an opportunity for a Monadnock Region public showing of the film “A Place at the Table,” showcasing the issue of hunger and food disparity throughout our country on Sunday November 17th at 1:00 PM at the Colonial Theatre in Keene.

According to Linda Rubin, Director of the Healthy Community Initiative, the Champions are the heart of Healthy Monadnock 2020. “Champions are the faces of the Initiative, inspiring others to join in,” Rubin said. “They are taking steps, both small and large, to improve the places where we live, learn, work and play — the places where health really begins.”

Jen Risley accepts Healthiest Community Champion of the Year award with last year’s winners, Elm City Rotary Club.

Jen Risley, third from right, accepts Healthiest Community Champion of the Year award with last year’s winners, Elm City Rotary Club.

About Healthy Monadnock 2020

Healthy Monadnock 2020, formerly named Vision 2020, is a community engagement initiative designed to foster and sustain a positive culture of health throughout Cheshire County and the Monadnock region. Founded and developed by the Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene in 2007, Healthy Monadnock 2020’s action plans are being guided in the community by the Healthiest Community Advisory Board, a group of 30 individuals representing schools, organizations, coalitions and businesses. Currently the City of Keene, the Keene School District and five area coalitions are implementing action strategies designed to improve quality of life and prevent the leading causes of death for everyone.

For information about Healthy Monadnock 2020, to view the current list of Healthy Monadnock 2020 Champions, and to see how you can become a Champion, please visit or call (603) 354-5454, Ext. 3930.

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Agency/Program Wish List

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western New Hampshire
A 12-foot x 4-foot conference table (stand alone or modular) and chairs; also several desks, chairs and file cabinets
352-9536, ext. 106

The Community Kitchen
Delivery drivers to deliver take-home food boxes on Thursday mornings; depending on the route, it would take 1-2 hours; volunteers need their own vehicle and be able to lift about 40 pounds — 352-3200

Contoocook Valley Transportation Company (CVTC)
Volunteer drivers for the Eastern Monadnock region — 877-428-2882, ext. 5

Keene Day Care Center
Washable markers, balls (any kind) — 352-2129

Hundred Nights
Gently used warm winter clothing, including boots, sock, hats, gloves, parkas, long underwear in adult sizes; medicated foot powder, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, feminine hygiene products; tents and sleeping bags; coffee sugar, sugar substitute, powdered creamer, peanut butter; 24 vinyl mattress covers for bunk beds — 352-5197

Keene Senior Center
Gardening hand tools for vegetable garden, paper towels, paper napkins, disposable coffee cups, IT volunteer to help with computer problems — 352-5037

MAPS Counseling Services
An acoustic guitar for an adolescent client who comes from a very impoverished background 355-2244

Monadnock Adult Care Center
Sewing machine Chris, 5322427

Monadnock Area Peer Support Agency (MPS)
Someone to tune our piano, twin-sized comforter, beading supplies 352-5093

Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention
Toilet paper, paper towels, household cleaning supplies (kitchen spray, bathroom cleaner, window cleaner, etc.)

Monadnock Family Services
Three or four small couches to use in their Therapy Offices— Sandy Jones, 283-1655

Phoenix House Keene Center
Bicycle(s) in good working condition, area rugs, towels, percussion instruments — Mary, 358-4041

The River Center
Lawn mower, window A/C unit, child-sized picnic table, garden tools (trowels, spades, gloves, etc.), potted mums

WishingThe Samaritans, Inc.
Individually packaged snacks and/or beverages, crossword and Sudoku puzzle books — 357-5510

Southwestern Community Services
Plastic sealable totes with lids (large and medium), metal dressers, metal living room furniture, metal or tile tables for kitchen & living room, metal kitchen chairs, energy efficient light bulbs, personal care items, 35-gallon trash bags, twin sheets, new pillows, bath towels — Cathy Thornton, 352-7512, ext. 4295

Southwestern Community Services Energy Services
Any donations to Fuel Assistance, Electric Assistance, or Weatherization provides 100% direct assistance to clients in the form of preventing electric disconnects, providing emergency fuel deliveries, etc. — Keene, 352-7512 or
Claremont, 542-9528

Winchester Learning Center
Metal Tonka trucks and wagons, large and small, new or old — 239-7347

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Monadnock United Way | 23 Center Street | Keene, New Hampshire 03431 | 603-352-4209
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