Doing Good during the Holidays

IMG_0021As the first snow has settled over the state, and the turkey leftovers sit in the refrigerator it’s starting to feel a lot like the holiday season all of a sudden. It crept up on me a little this year, and it always seems to be one of the busiest times of year with parties and present preparations. So I thought in this edition of Doing Good I’d give a quick summary of some of the wonderful events, activities and organizations you can get involved with over the season.

There is nothing better during the holidays than sitting down with family and friends to enjoy a good meal together. Sadly, not everyone finds their cupboards stocked at this time of year – but the New Hampshire Food Bank, and its non-profit distributing partners are here to ensure that New Hampshire residents can gain food assistance where needed. The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of New Hampshire Catholic Charities, opened its doors on World Food Day in 1984 and in that year distributed 250,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry throughout the state. In 2013, the Food Bank distributed over 8.5 million pounds of non-perishable food items, fresh produce, and meats to over 400 non-profit food agencies in all corners of NH. And there are plenty of ways you can help with their mission this year. As well as donating financially to the organization during their Winter Holiday Campaign (just $1 provides for two meals) you can organize a food drive with your neighbours, PTA or friends learn more here. You can also volunteer to one of the 400 agencies across the state that distribute the food, a list of agencies can be found here. And if you are able to go that extra mile you can sponsor one of the state mobile food pantries that have the ability to help the most undernourished parts IMG_0034of the state – to learn more please contact Nancy at the NH Food Bank.

Thinking of what to buy your loved ones this holiday season? Why not participate in Plaid Friday and make sure all your purchases are bought from local retailers, artisans and crafters. Plaid Friday is an event that first started in Oakland, CA as an attempt to help boost local economies and shift some of the “big box” buying that takes place on Black Friday. Information on Seacoast Local shares the impact that Plaid Friday, and other buy local events can have on your community. “Every dollar spent at a locally owned, independent business generates 2-3 times more economic activity in our communities than a dollar spent at a national chain. With American shoppers projected to spend upwards of $800 per person this year during the holiday season, that could give our local economy a huge boost!” You can read more about the organizations included in Plaid Friday in the Seacoast at Seacoast Local, and events in the Monadnock Region at Monadnock Local.

Snowflake Tree Branch

Another great organization that could use your support this year is the Toys for Tots program run by the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve with a local coordinator Staff Sergeant Gavin B. Lewis, based in Londonderry. Their mission is to collect new, unwrapped presents through donation in the months of October, November and December and distribute them to young people in need across the state in order to offer a message of hope to them and their family. All donations can be given to the organization by December 15th if taken to the Londonderry warehouse, or one of the boxes located around the region. There are also volunteer  opportunities with this charity to ensure that the toys make it to those in need. For more information please visit their website.

If you would like to share your stories about a great non-profit organization or individual who is “Doing Good” in New Hampshire, then do get in touch with me at doinggood@stayworkplay.org.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and if you have more suggestions for great organizations Doing Good in NH over the holiday season you can share those with us Facebook, Twitter and here at our website.

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