Family Resource Center joins in the season of giving

GORHAM — The Family Resource Center is helping to spread some holiday joy to nearly 90 families throughout Coos County this Christmas. With generous support from sponsors and donors, families in need received winter jackets, hats, gloves and mittens, holiday food baskets and gifts. The FRC “Warm for Winter” coat drive began in the fall and supplied coats to infants and young children through their Project Youth Afterschool programs in the Berlin-Gorham area as well as through their Family Support Programs in Coos and northern Grafton counties.

“Many of these families are working hard to make ends meet” said executive director Patti Stolte. “They are doing the right things for their families and each year we work with a variety of donors and agencies to coordinate services to fill wish lists making sure that children have warm coats, families can have a holiday meal and presents and that they can build happy and healthy Christmas memories. It fits the spirit of the season as well as the Family Resource Center mission to build healthier families and stronger communities."

Some on the wish list included a single mom who recently departed from a shelter into an apartment that has a seven month old baby and a young son who asked for pajamas and toys, a homeless family that had been couch surfing since the fall trying to save for a security deposit and keep their children in school who asked for Legos and new jeans. The wish list spoke of pots and pans (both real and play), trains and storybooks, warm socks and slippers, baby dolls and teddy bears — the kind of gifts that everyone wants at Christmas. There are many stories along with many wishes in this season of giving and the FRC sought to be a part of helping the community, along with many others who work with needy families.

The Family Resource Center provides comprehensive services to parents and their children, from pregnancy through age 18. Services include parenting classes, parent-child groups, play groups, information and referral, after school assistance, supports for veteran families, and other programs to meet community needs. Services are available to all families and can be especially supportive of families struggling with challenging issues, limited financial resources and troubled family dynamics. FRC seeks to strengthen families by promoting health, wellbeing, self-sufficiency and positive parenting through support and education.

The Family Resource Center is a part of the statewide network called Family Support N.H. and recently received funding from the Wyman Family Fund through N.H. Charitable Foundation in support of the family services they provide. For more information on how to access Family Resource Center services, call (603) 466-5190.

Holiday basket deliveryStaff from the Family Resource Center and Berlin Marketplace preparing for delivery of holiday food baskets to families in need. Pictured from the left are Todd Gendron from the Berlin Marketplace; and Naomi Levesque, Jen Buteau, Judy Arsenault, Kristen Kennett, Ashley Poirier, Gina Belanger and Troy Sanschagrin from the Family Resource Center in Gorham. (COURTESY PHOTO)