This week I had the privilege of speaking with Nicole Clark of Strafford. Nicole is the AVP Area Manager at Northway Bank, a Board Member for The Pass Along Project, and a Rotarian out of Portsmouth, who is also involved with the local Interact Service Club. She volunteers with the Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity and serves on the committee for the annual “Building Houses, Building Hope” golf tournament.
Nicole left New Hampshire for a few years to attend college in New York, but New Hampshire was calling her home. When I asked her what she loved about New Hampshire she said “I love the ability to hike along the Kancamagus one day, swim in the north Atlantic Ocean the next, and then watch a moose wander through my backyard first thing on a Sunday morning. New Hampshire is a state with a diverse workforce and a strong economy. When I was dating my husband, we would come home to hike, stroll Market Square in Portsmouth, and always squeezed in a visit to The Common Man for dinner. It didn’t take much convincing to have him call NH home too.”
When Nicole isn’t volunteering you can find her spending time with her husband, and their rescue pup, Cooper, skiing Mount Sunapee or Ragged Mountain, camping near Highland Lake, having drinks at Poco’s Bow Street Cantina in Portsmouth with girlfriends, hiking Mount Monadnock, or riding up north in Berlin.
Nicole first got involved with The Pass Along Project, whose mission is to provide pre-packaged clothing to children entering foster care, after hearing the founder, Lynette, speak at the Seacoast Board of Realtors‘ Chilifest. Nicole said that Lynette’s passion to help others was contagious and “oftentimes children in crisis arrive in their new homes with clothing in trash bags or just the clothing on their backs. The organization provides gently used or new clothing to ease the burden and provide a smooth, welcoming transition for all. These packages go with the children no matter where they will go. A foster family can contact them and delivery will be made within 48 hours for the child.”
Five Things to Know About The Pass Along Project:
- It was founded in 2017.
- According to their website, 738 children enter the foster care system each day in the United States.
- They have eight locations throughout the state. The areas they serve are: Concord, Hampston, Laconia, Littleton, Manchester, Milford, Nashua and Ossipee.
- For only $30 you can become a bundle sponsor. This beautiful act of kindness will be delivered to a child as they transition into a foster family. The Pass Along Project is always looking for donations of gently used or new clothing. Bundle Bees are needed to help sort clothing and make put the packages together. They also encourage corporate sponsors where the company name will be on all canvas bags, bundles, and their website.
- They are currently looking for large venues to donate space for social distancing sorting events.
If you would like more information on how to get involved check out their website or find them on social media!
When I asked Nicole, what advice she’d give young professionals looking for a way to give back to the community? She said:
Get out and get involved. Our communities have never needed it more. Whether it’s delivering turkey dinners for Thanksgiving meals (Rotary Club of Portsmouth), joining a COVID safe sorting event (The Pass Along Project), or delivering groceries to an elderly neighbor, we need to do all we can to help each other out. ASK… you don’t know until you ask. Ask questions about what is needed in your community and how you can use your strengths to make a change. Find the biggest need and then be part of the solution.
Thank you, Nicole!
“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind.” -William Arthur Ward
There are so many wonderful people and agencies making a difference in our own backyards!