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We would like to thank the community for the hundreds of generous donations of new and unused school supplies for our eighth annual distribution for income-eligible students on Thursday, August 22nd.
Needham families, residents and companies donated school supplies, tissues, hand sanitizer, crayons, etc. along with gift cards to Staples. Every student was offered a backpack to fill and a gift card to Staples to help them purchase supplies not available in the distribution; and every student going to Needham High received the school’s daily planner.
The goal of this program is to send all of our students back to school with the supplies needed to succeed; no matter their income or grade level….students from K through college were invited to participate. Council volunteers sorted, organized, set up & assisted with the distribution event…it takes a village!
In addition to meeting the needs of income-eligible students, Needham classroom teachers and guidance counselors have been invited to visit the Council and select supplies needed for their students. As we know, most classroom teachers spend significant amounts of their own funds to help supply their classrooms and students…this program makes it a bit easier for them.
The can & bottle redemption shack at the RTS is BACK!
Donate your cans & bottles and turn them into MILK!
Needham resident, Jeff Dinneen has been collecting and recycling around town…Now his project will be at the Needham RTS and easily available to all who want to donate their can & bottle deposits. Jeff recycles the donated cans & bottles and then uses the funds collected to purchase milk for the Council Food Pantry. We, in turn, distribute the milk to income-eligible Needham residents….a WIN/WIN!
Thank you to Jeff and to the Town of Needham for supporting this very worthy project!
On March 6, 1930, 19 Needham neighbors came together at the MacGregor Instrument Company to create an agency to support residents during the difficult days of the Depression. Rev. Harry Kimball acted as the presiding officer. The group assembled unanimously approved the name “Needham Community Council” for this new venture. Membership comprised 1 representative from each organization in town devoted to social welfare with a stated purpose of creating a “focus for community spirit” to cement all organizations in the town in like work.
Bylaws were written and officers were elected to “aid in the coordination of all the organizations of the town for the community welfare and to initiate new community activities where there appears to be a need. There shall be no membership dues, and from time to time the Council shall devise ways to raise whatever money may be necessary for its work”.
It has been 90 years , and the Needham Community Council continues today to fulfill the vision of that first group of residents and, we continue to raise whatever money may be necessary for our work!
The first programs supported by the Council included a Red Cross Welfare Bureau, the creation of a Labor Exchange in Needham [which became a free employment bureau for the town] and endorsement of the Community Christmas Celebration. An early need to address hunger in town was met by the creation of the Council Food Pantry.
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GENEROUS DONATIONS!
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Always an amazing day here at the Council!
All supplies are donated by Needham residents and local businesses; our volunteers donate many hours of their time to help us set up; each participant receives a gift cards to Staples, worth $25 -$30 each…boxes of school supplies are sent to us anonymously, and more….so much more!
Over 90 students from income-eligible families will participate in the 2019 Annual Back to School Supplies Distribution Program. In 2018, one Mom came with 3 kids and she left in tears and said…“I don’t know how I would manage without your support”…and, we don’t know how we would manage without the support of the entire Needham community.
You make it all possible!
Check out this great Youth Services program funded by the Needham Community Council since its creation in 1998.
At 10:00 last Thursday morning, 11 volunteers met around a table upstairs at the Needham Community Council, all wearing matching red shirts. Each volunteer shared his or her favorite school supplies as an ice-breaker. After a brief introduction to what the Community Council does and what they would be doing for the day, the eager volunteers went to work.
Their ice-breaker was a perfect way to start the day; half of the group spent their day sorting out school supplies, while the other half worked in the food pantry.
Volunteers working on school supplies began by unloading box after box of donations onto a few tables. Downstairs, the other half of the volunteers began cleaning the food pantry area, some taking trash cans outside to be rinsed out, while others helped sort different food donations.
Project VAN has become well known among Needham kids and their parents. Students from grades 8-12 grade sign up to volunteer with Project VAN during the summer as a way to fulfill the service hours required to graduate.
However, some choose to keep coming back and volunteer, even after finishing their requirements.
“I really like how you can see how you’re impacting the community,” explained volunteer Christina. “As you travel from place to place, you can see a bunch of different places you can volunteer and make a difference.” Christina has been volunteering since 8th grade and will be a senior next year. This is her last year participating in Project VAN. She plans to continue volunteering around her community.
“When we start talking about volunteerism with younger kids and teenagers, and we set up that standard in the community that volunteering can be fun, it’s helpful – you’re giving back to where you grew up. That’s really our goal,” explained Carolyn Tracey, who helps run the Project VAN program.
Upstairs, volunteers working on the school supplies faced a mountain of a problem. “I think we have to call it binder mountain,” said one volunteer, referring to the slouching pile of binders at the end of one table. They needed to find a better way to sort the binders out so that they didn’t tumble to the floor.
They had only been there a half hour, and the group had already carefully combed through the boxes and filled the tables with supplies. Tape dispensers, staplers, scissors, pencils, and markers were all neatly sorted. “What should I do with this lock?” asked one volunteer. Space was made and the lock was quickly added to the pile. The kids smiled and laughed as they found strange donations, including a collection of pens neatly organized as if for display.
By the end of the day, the group had conquered their mountain and organized supplies for the 90 child and adult students who depend on school supplies from the Community Council.
School will start back up in just a few weeks. When these students return to school and glance at the supplies in their backpacks, they will surely be reminded of the difference their one afternoon at the Needham Community Council made.