GoLocal Worcester’s 2014 Non-Profit of the Year: The Friendly House
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
"Friendly House has been doing wonderful work for decades. Their daily and weekly educational and athletic programs have helped so many children and families," said Gary Vecchio, President of Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association. "Every holiday season, hundreds and thousands of needy children are given toys and gifts, while families are given food."
Friendly House: A Pioneer of Social Services
Back in 1920, the Friendly House opened as a small three-room settlement house on Norfolk Street in Worcester, under the sponsorship of the Worcester Civic League. Today, Friendly House occupies 36 Wall Street and offers assistance with food, shelter, job searching and resume help.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Friendly House runs a food pantry and even offer gluten-free options with a one week notice.
During the holiday season, Friendly House is also the home of a large, and well-run, food service program and food drive. This summer, Friendly House sponsored 34 summer meal sites and was awarded a $3,000 grant from Project Bread to expand its sponsorship.
As reported by GoLocal, the Sheriff's Food Drive at Friendly House fed 2,000 families in the Worcester Area. "This is the most food we've ever seen in all the years I've been here. This year, rather than just only giving a turkey, we have provided whole meals," said Gordon Hargrove, Executive Director of Friendly House. Hargrove has been at the Friendly House since 1957.
Gordon Hargrove: A Leader for Over 50 Years
"Friendly House has been a constant fixture in Worcester for decades. Through the efforts of Gordon Hargrove, its CEO, the organization has reached out to help 1000's of children and adults in need and to this day continues to make a difference in the lives of many," said Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo.
Hargrove joined Friendly House in 1957 and signed on as its first full-time Program Director in 1965. That year, Friendly House received its first grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity. The grant provided social services to 2,000 residents. By 2010, Friendly House was giving assistance to 25,000 people annually.
How You Can Help
Individuals or organizations looking to help Friendly House in its efforts, please visit: Friendly House Donations.The organization is always looking for volunteer help and through its social services program could greatly use donations of gently used clothing, toys, household items, diapers, baby items and non-perishable food.
"Friendly House has been doing God's work for decades. GoLocal Worcester could not have selected a more deserving organization as its 2014 Nonprofit of the Year," said Vecchio.
Monfredo said, "Congratulations Friendly House may you continue to your fine work in this community for another 50 years."
Related Slideshow: 30 Ways To Give In Central Mass This Holiday Season
The Salvation Army’s traditional red kettle is an integral part of the Christmas scene, with millions of dollars donated each year to aid needy families, seniors, and the homeless. Donations provide and financial assistance provides Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need including families of prisoners. Simply make a donation wherever you see their trademark red kettle or do so online by clicking here.
Goodwill Mass accepts donations of men's, women's or children's clothing and other textiles. Some of the clothing donations are provided to our clients who may need an outfit for an interview or a one week supply of clothing for a new job. Most is sold to neighboring Goodwills, or as salvage with all revenues raised going back into programs and services for Rhode islanders.
You may drop off your old clothing at one of the many clothing donation bins throughout the state or at the drop-box located in 25 Park Avenue, Worcester.
Click here for more information.
Formed in 2002, Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization developed to support military families. On December 14, Operation Homefront will host a “Holiday Toys for Military Kids” event in Wellesly Hills, Taunton, and Springfield from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Toys are limited and are on a first come, first serve registration process. Once your registration is complete you will receive a confirmation email. Please note that this program is for military dependent children only.
Donate non-perishable food items such as rice, beans, and canned vegetables for Thanksgiving distribution by November 21. Donate new or gently used winter clothing such as boots, hats, scarves, and coats to be distributed to ACE families during the holiday season. Donations accepted November – January.
Contact: Amy Connery (508) 799-3653
Donate new toys, games, and books for children of all ages; grocery store gift cards for holiday food baskets; gifts for teens such as movie passes, music, gaming gift cards, and personal care items; and gift cards to clothing and shoe stores to purchase gifts for children and teens. Adopt a family and provide gifts for Christmas. Call for details.
Contact: Sheryl Spafford (508) 832-5707 ext. 10
Donate holiday gifts for children ages 5 – 18 including gift cards for teens to purchase items such as movies, music, and clothing; grocery store gift cards to purchase holiday meals for families in need; and wrapping paper and supplies such as bows and cards. Adopt a family for the holidays and provide gifts. Call for details.
Contact: Liz Hamilton (508) 754-2686
Donate new toys, books, clothes, outerwear, boots, and gift cards for boys and girls ages 4 – 18; gift certificates for movies, bowling, and other activities; non-religious holiday decorations and gift-wrap; and food for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.
Contact: Anna Berin (508) 853-6988
Donate gifts for homeless children of all ages and new household items for more than 80 homeless families including sheet sets, blankets, pots and pans, dishes, silverware, and gift cards to discount and grocery stores. Gifts for teens especially needed.
Contact: Katherine Kerr (508) 791-7265
Donate winter hats and gloves and gift cards to discount stores, grocery stores, and fast food restaurants.
Contact: Brian Bickford (508) 860-1139
Donate new items for newborns and mothers in need: baby blankets, toiletries, newborn undergarments, socks, bibs, infant equipment such as car seats, new maternity clothes, and gift cards for discount and grocery stores. Donate new items for immigrants/refugees such as gloves and mittens, hats, scarves, and home first aid kits. Donate new household items for homeless families including sheet sets, blankets, cooking utensils, pots and pans, and dishes.
Contact: Georgianna Sgariglia
Donate men’s and women’s clothing in all sizes (especially XL and plus sizes) such as sweaters, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jeans, underwear, and t-shirts; toiletries such as hairbrushes, makeup, shampoo, body wash, and lotion; inexpensive male and female jewelry items such as crosses, watches, and rings; games, cards, word search books, and other small gift items.
Contact: Sandy Epstein
Donate non-perishable food for distribution to area emergency feeding programs. Drop off items Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 474 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. Please call the office before dropping off. Please visit www.foodbank.org for more information.
Donate navy blue blazers, white button down shirts, khaki pants, belts, and dress shoes for boys in sizes from boys’ small to men’s medium; sports equipment such as baseballs, soccer balls, and related items; art supplies and music equipment such as instruments, scores, and songbooks.
Contact: Patrick Maloney
Join us for our annual “Holiday for Heroes” campaign. Assist by reviewing, categorizing, and bundling holiday cards that will be delivered to veterans in Central MA. You would need to dedicate about three hours for this one-time seasonal event in early December. Call to schedule date.
Contact: Ray Duffy (508) 595-3762
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