‘Tis The Season
Knitted slippers with colorful pom-poms, a comforter, a giant floor puzzle, baby socks, children’s books, a science kit, a tea set, and cozy pajamas. These are just some of the items taking up a corner of my office. Yes, it is the season for giving.
The River Center acts as a clearing house for community members who want to help and families who need some help bringing Christmas joy to their children. There are several Christmas giving programs that coordinate gifts with families but these programs have deadlines in early November. Plans for gift giving can be thwarted by many things– including the loss of a job a few weeks before Christmas, a high electric bill, or unexpected car repairs. Tina Kriebel volunteers to coordinate gifts for families that connect with The River Center after those deadlines.
Eversource donated 20 cut Christmas trees, tree stands, and lights. One of our staff and a volunteer spent a day bringing trees and joy to families in our community. A couple dropped off their annual jar of change to be given to a family- this year more than $500. A couple throws a holiday party every year and asks their guests to bring gifts to support local nonprofits. This year those gifts were given to The River Center and our families- toys and treasures abound. Knitted hats, scarves, and mittens are coming from knitting groups.
Intermingled with the holiday preparations is great need. A single mom came to pick up a fresh-cut Christmas tree, tree stand and lights. She asked me how she might get some help getting new tires for her car. She told me that the current tires were not safe and she felt like the car was all over the road. I gave her the contact information for the Salvation Army. They will help her get new tires.
A woman came in for her Fuel Assistance appointment. On her way past our front desk she stopped to ask for information. She cares for a veteran in her home and she wondered if he would be eligible for assistance. I assured her that there are many ways veterans can access support and connected her with Southwestern Community Services for more information.
An elderly woman called feeling confused and uneasy in her home. Staff at The River Center has done much to support her and connect her with appropriate services. We have referred her to the Bureau of Elderly Services who are providing support and watchful should she become unsafe living on her own.
We have received a number of calls requesting wood from our wood bank this month. Those calls come from Rindge, Jaffrey, Peterborough and other surrounding towns. Yes, we have cut, split, and dry firewood thanks to the many volunteers who work hard so emergency heating needs can be met.
The needs are great and the generosity of our community is great. Your financial support of The River Center during this season of giving makes a difference. Donations can be sent to our address at 9 Vose Farm Rd. Suite 115, Peterborough, NH 03458 or at www.rivercenter.us. Together we can support our families, our neighbors, and our community.
Happy Holidays from all of us at The River Center Family and Community Resource Center.