8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today

Herb Newell, Executive Director, Shares Ways You Can Help Family Shelters

Ways to Help Family Homeless Shelters During Covid-19, 8 Ways to Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore

I’ve always been thankful for the incredible kindness, energy, and generosity shown by our friends over the years. Still, it was a wonderful surprise to receive so many notes and calls offering to help us during this difficult time. Despite having the Covid-19 crisis upend your lives, you’ve been eager and willing to lend a hand to others. That’s why I created the list below.

I hope it will answer your questions about the support Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore needs right now – and in the months ahead. Please call our Weymouth office at 781-340-1604 or text me at 781-413-7018. For more details or to arrange a delivery time.

We Need Your Assistance at a Safe Distance

Most of these suggestions show ways you can help that don’t involve close contact with others. That’s because we’ve had to suspend all of our group volunteer programs in and around our shelters. This includes our furniture bank, tutors and play space volunteers, and our housing “makeovers”. For your health and ours we can’t have people come to our shelters during this time of social distancing.

You can imagine how difficult this situation has been for our staff. Instead of depending on onsite volunteers, they must take on the extra responsibility for whatever needs to be done. Yet, day after day, they continue to show their willingness to help in any way they can. Quite frankly, they can use a lot of prayers as the stress factor has been enormous.

They can also use your help with the following vital tasks and equipment:

1. Virtual Volunteers for Tutoring and Fun

tutor, distance tutoring, homeless shelter tutors, 8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today, distance learning

Providing children at the shelter with learning experiences has always been tough. It’s even more challenging in the close quarters caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. But we don’t want them to fall behind in their studies. That’s why we’re looking for virtual tutors for our younger shelter guests.

If you have experience tutoring or teaching others, or would like to give it a try, give us a call at 781-340-1604. All you need is your computer and a Zoom or Skype account and the willingness to help a young student accomplish their learning goals.

We’re also looking for Virtual Volunteers who want to read or tell stories, sing, talk, exercise, or play games with our kids individually or as family units.

2. Mask Making for Adults and Kids

mask, child mask, adult mask, 8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today

If you’re making face masks from home or have extras to spare, we’d love a few to protect our staff and guests. We’re especially in need of masks that active and young children can actually keep on. I’m sure you’ve experienced that with your kids. What really works?

3. Lawn Mowing and Light Maintenance

lawn mowing, maintenance, 8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today

Even during the Coronavirus, the grass still grows at our shelters. And it will continue to grow all summer long. You can use your own mower and tools or try ours. Either way, if you’re interested in sharing your lawn maintenance expertise, please call the shelter to set up a time to come by. Of course, we can use this help all summer long!

4. Spring Planting

8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today, flower box, spring planting

Here are two great projects for those with green thumbs.

  • Window Boxes: Because we don’t want Covid-19 to rob our families of spring flowers, we’re determined to plant them in every window box. We have a generous donor/volunteer from “CityScapes” who will donate flowers and one of our guests is growing flowers from seed. This will make the shelter community look beautiful. It will also be a fun project for each family to care for their own flower box outside their guest rooms.
  • Community Garden: It has been my personal dream to have a community garden with vegetables every summer. I have a stand with 150 plants growing from seeds and I’d like to get this underway in the next few weeks. I think it will be a fun project for the guests and staff alike – at the appropriate distance, of course.

5. Data Driven Volunteers  

8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today, data entry, database, volunteer

If you have experience keeping a database and a few days you can spare for virtual training, we’d love your help. We will introduce you to our databases and show you how you can use your skills keeping Friends of the Homeless data up to date.

We use three kinds of data:

  1. Information to keep up to date on our friends and families: who we help, how we help them, and who helps us.
  2. Data that we need to provide to our donors, grantors, and government about how we help our shelter guests.
  3. Financial data we need to keep a small nonprofit running.

If you have experience in any of these areas, we’d love your help.

6. Chromebooks or Laptops for Student Distance Learning

8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today, chromebook, laptop

Thank you to the Weymouth and Quincy Schools for providing laptops for our students from those schools. Still, some of our children in other school systems do not have their own computers or learning devices. That means they need to do their assignments using the minimal resources in our shelter office; and often that means missing deadlines or falling behind on their study goals.

We know that donating a Chromebook laptop sounds like a lot to ask, but it will make a huge difference to all of us. If you have a laptop that you are not using, would you consider donating it for our students to learn?

Another option: If you have an old laptop that’s gathering dust, you may be able to convert it to one that a student can use. Check out this site to see if an update is possible. Or watch this YouTube video for ideas on how you can make an older laptop computer usable for our students.

Whether it’s new or newly configured, please consider a laptop donation. Then call us at 781-340-1604 to arrange a delivery time.

7. Gift Cards and Check Donations

8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today, Giftcards, Checks, cash donations, donation

Gift card and check donations are always welcome in our shelters. If you use gift cards, remember you’ll be supporting local shops experiencing lower sales during this Covid-19 crisis too. And because both types of donations can go through the mail, you’re protecting the staff and guests as well.

Cards and gift checks can be mailed to: Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore, PO Box 202, North Weymouth, MA 02191.

8. Other Covid-19 Supplies

8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today. coronavirus, covid-19, paper products, shelter needs

Like everyone else, we’re in need of:

  • Face masks (especially child-size)
  • Gloves
  • Purell or other hand sanitizer (must be 60% alcohol or higher)
  • Rubbing alcohol (must be 70% alcohol)
  • Disinfectants or disinfectant wipes (Clorox, Lysol, etc.)
  • Soap and other hygiene products
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels

We also need games, crafts, and art supplies to keep kids of all ages active (from infants to high school seniors). Sidewalk chalk is super! Gooey messy stuff, not so much …

And, of course, we’re always in need of diapers for our youngest guests.

If you’d like to donate any of these items, please call our Weymouth office at 781-340-1604 to arrange a delivery day and time.

Get Ready! Summer Projects in the Queue (potentially July 1, 2020)

Once we’re able to get out and about again, our shelters will have a lot of ‘catch-up’ projects to do. We expect to be able to start hosting volunteer groups starting July 1, 2020. Here’s what we’ll need:

  • Maintenance Projects and Room Makeovers

Help a Homeless during covid-19, summer projects, DIY, maintenance
Do you have a few hours, a day, or a week to lend us a hand? We would love to talk to you about hosting you or your group at our facilities in Norwell or Weymouth. At Friends, we need your help with things like cutting up and moving the tree that fell last winter – and fixing the trailer it fell on!

We also need help cleaning out and remodeling one of our guest rooms. There is so much to do and so few hands to do it these days!

  • Dumpster Donation

dumpster donation, 8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today, shelter help
We’re looking for a group that might want to sponsor a dumpster rental – or a trash disposal company that could donate one – so we can clear out unneeded items from the Furniture Bank this summer. Of course your group could also join us to help organize the furniture and demolish and discard the unneeded items.  

  • Summer Soak

Summer Soak, 8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today, Power wash, shelter wash
Nope! It’s not a hot tub. But our “Summer Soak” is a refreshing volunteer opportunity for youths and young adults. Simply put, it’s a “car wash” for the siding of our shelter units that removes built up dirt due to passing traffic during the winter. Volunteers will:

— take down the flower boxes and move outside furniture, building by building

— power wash the outside of the buildings until they are sparkling clean

— move everything back to where it was

This is a great volunteer project for people who don’t mind getting a little wet in the hot summer sun!

Finally my special thanks to …

8 Ways You Can Help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore Today, thank you

  • Our Staff and Volunteers

The dedicated “Band of Brothers” (actually, mostly Sisters) who step up to serve homeless families every day – Covid-19 notwithstanding!

  • Emergency Sanitizing Service

Rev. Dennis Scott came out of retirement to lead the crew that is helping us stay squeaky clean during the Covid-19 emergency. They expertly clean and sanitize our common areas every day and guest rooms once a week. So we all have one less chore to worry about!

  • North River Community Church

They generously donated Easter Dinners to our guest families. And each dinner was delivered with 4 new storage tubs to help families organize their rooms so our new sanitizing effort would be more effective.

  • Norwell Food Pantry, Norwell Schools, Weymouth Food Pantry, Weymouth Schools

Covid-19 has put a strain on our family’s food budgets. These wonderworkers are providing extra food for our children and parents at a time of great need!

  • Dan Hoskins, Mike Berry, Josh Houston, Peter Scanlon, and Nathan Scott

We thank Dan for helping us restore a fence with damage at our Norwell location so kids could play safely. Mike made an emergency electrical repair. Josh of Huston Construction Solutions of Raynham, MA covered a leaking roof after a windstorm. Peter fixed a badly broken door. And Nathan helped us set up computers and large screen TVs for Skype and Zoom meetings. All keeping proper distancing in mind, of course.

Thanks again to all of you for your generous donations of skills, time, and materials. We’re grateful to have your ongoing support.

We Greatly Appreciate Our Supporters

I’d also like to thank YOU in advance for any assistance you can offer to our staff and families during these extraordinary times.
With your help, and God’s grace, we will soon emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever.

Come to the Festival of Trees this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6&7

Don’t Miss The Festival of Trees in Hingham this Friday, December 6 & Saturday December 7. 

Join the Hingham Women’s Club (HWC) at the Hingham Heritage Museum (34 Main St), for the annual Festival of Trees, featuring

  • more than 30 beautifully decorated trees
  • silent auction items
  • and dozens of raffle prizes

… all donated by local merchants and community groups.

View the trees and bid for the one you like best

Will it be the Red Sox-themed tree? Or the one decorated for Date Night? Other themes you’ll want to check out include: Fore! x Four, New Year’s Resolutions, Fixer Upper, The Finer Things Club, and Family Adventures.

The trees are on display on Friday, 12/6 from 5pm to 8:30pm and Saturday, 12/7 from 10 am to 1 pm. Silent auction and raffle winners are awarded at 12:45 pm on December 7th.

The event also features Santa between 10:30am and 12:30pm on Saturday, December 7th with photos taken by Irish Eyes Photography.

Then join us to celebrate our Evergreen Evening

This year, the HWC will revive our tradition of capping off the event with our Evergreen Evening cocktail party, on Saturday, December 7th at 7pm.

Tickets are $85 and include cocktails, food, and merriment! Plus more amazing silent auction items will be available for guests to bid on during the evening too.

Tickets can be purchased at https://evergreenevening.eventbrite.com/.

Can’t make it and want to contribute? Text the word Evergreen to 243725 to make a donation!

Help us raise funds for two important causes

Both of these special events, are part of Hingham’s annual Christmas in the Square, and represent our biggest fundraisers for the year.

Last year’s Festival of Trees raised more than $12,000 to benefit the Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore. It also contributed a more than $6,000 to Hingham Women’s Club Scholarship Fund to help college-bound students.

Please reach out to fot@hinghamwomensclub.org with any questions about the event.

5 Easy Ways You Can Help Homeless Families This Holiday Season

So Many Ways You Can Help Homeless Families This Season 

Just in time for the holidays, we made our list – and checked it twice! – of 5 easy ways you can help homeless families on the South Shore this season. Some are super easy to do. Others give you a chance to enjoy the spirit of the holiday season while your contribution goes to helping us put an end homelessness on the South Shore.

Either way, you’re sure to find an activity that will make this year’s celebration more meaningful and joyous than ever! Some fun ways to help homeless families are: Continue reading 5 Easy Ways You Can Help Homeless Families This Holiday Season

Calling all Shaw’s Stamp Collectors! The deadline is Dec. 13th.

Based on the success of their stamp collection campaign last fall, Judith Patt and the members of the Promise Church in Weymouth are at it again this year. They are collecting and redeeming extra stamps from the annual Shaw’s Supermarket stamp promotion.

But the deadline is fast approaching, so there’s no time to waste! Continue reading Calling all Shaw’s Stamp Collectors! The deadline is Dec. 13th.

Meet Tandah Etienne: Tireless Advocate for Homeless Families

Our new Program Director returns “home” to work on behalf of  homeless families

When Tandah Etienne arrived at Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore this summer as the new Program Director, it was a return to her roots. In fact, Tandah’s work as an advocate for homeless families began when she was a student at Eastern Nazarene College. Back then, she volunteered at Friends of the Homeless under the direction of then Executive Director Dorothy Newell.

Since then, Tandah has worked as an advocate for homeless families and individuals in a variety of settings including: Continue reading Meet Tandah Etienne: Tireless Advocate for Homeless Families

Watch North River Church Pembroke Helping Us!

We love when churches help Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore.

When North River Church offered to come and do an extreme makeover on our Rehoboth campus, we had to accept. Here is an exciting video of volunteers giving all they had for the day to help homeless families feel at home! Continue reading Watch North River Church Pembroke Helping Us!

Promise Church shows how small donations bring big benefits for families leaving shelters

See how small donations bring big benefits

A photo from Promise Church offers proof that even small donations bring big benefits. The church collected Shaw’s stamps shoppers didn’t need and turned them into bakeware for shelter families moving into new homes. Continue reading Promise Church shows how small donations bring big benefits for families leaving shelters

Like music? Want to celebrate spring? Don’t miss our two benefit concerts this week!

Looking for a great way to celebrate spring? Then you don’t want to miss these two special benefit concerts this week!!

Tomorrow at 7:30 pm

On Thursday, April 26, the Eastern Nazarene A Capella choir plus the children’s chorus from South Shore Christian Academy will join together for a musical treat you don’t want to miss. The concert will take place starting at 7:30 pm at Wollaston Church of the Nazarene, 37 East Elm Street, Quincy, MA . The concert is free, but donations are encouraged. All proceeds will benefit Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore. Continue reading Like music? Want to celebrate spring? Don’t miss our two benefit concerts this week!

Save April 26th: ENC’s Spring Benefit Concert plus Children’s Chorus

Mark your calendar today and join us on April 26 for ENC’s Spring  Benefit Concert for  Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore.

The concert begins at 7:30 pm and will feature the talented voices of: Continue reading Save April 26th: ENC’s Spring Benefit Concert plus Children’s Chorus

Mar 4 Brothers in Harmony gig will raise funds for homeless families on South Shore

Looking for something to do on Sunday afternoon?

Join us at the C Note in Hull on Mar 4 from 3-6 pm. You’ll enjoy a lazy afternoon of of blues, R&B, and soul music performed by Brothers in Harmony as they raise funds for homeless families.

Brothers in Harmony brings together a remarkable collection of the region’s best blues and jazz musicians. The group includes Brian Templeton, Ed Scheer, Johnny Blue Horn, Mario Perrett, Bobby Gus, Larry Luddecke, and Steve Monahan. They jam together once a year to raise funds for charities focused on homelessness.

“We’re particularly delighted that these talented artists chose Friends of the Homeless as their charity. In addition, Continue reading Mar 4 Brothers in Harmony gig will raise funds for homeless families on South Shore