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The Seacoast Women's Giving Circle was founded in April 2006 by a group of local women eager to use their skills and resources to address critical issues facing the Seacoast community.

Volunteer Projects.

The Giving Circle Active and Backer members have participated in a variety of volunteer projects—diverse in their scope and nature—since the group's inception in 2006. Following is a list of organizations we have supported through volunteering, their missions and the nature of our participation.

  • Giving Cycle 2012-2013

    Project Safety:
    Project Safety works to expand the programming on substance abuse, health, and safety that currently exists in schools and in the Portsmouth community. Giving Circle members volunteered for a road race aimed at raising awareness and funds for the nonprofits efforts. We worked at the registration tables, staffed water stations, and participated as runners in a 5K and in the one mile Family Team fun run.

    Families First:
    Families First focuses on a broad range of health care and family services for all. Our members purchased gift cards from local businesses, such as Bowl-o-Rama, Rumble Tumble, and the Music Hall, to give the gift of quality family time and entertainment to the many families and individuals who access the substance abuse/mental health services at Families First.

    Day of ImpACT:
    Giving Circle members organized several service projects out of a desire to have a broad impact on our community over the course of a day's worth of work. We worked together on a public awareness project for CASA, which is short for Court Appointed Special Advocates Association. They train and supervise volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in the NH court system. We also assisted Conservation Law Foundation with a rain garden project in Durham and we helped Cross Roads House, our local homeless shelter, develop their new vegetable gardens.

  • Giving Cycle 2011-2012

    Wentworth Connections:
    Wentworth Connections was a senior center for Portsmouth residents. Giving Circle members painted, gardened, and spent time with seniors in the day program.

    Rockingham Community Action:
    Rockingham Community Action (RCA) provides education to adults and children, helps feed families and elders, provides heating assistance, and offers employment counseling for those facing financial hardship in Rockingham County. Our members raised funds for local families seeking support from RCA's heating assistance program.

    Cross Roads House:
    Cross Roads House provides secure, transitional shelter and assistance for individuals and families seeking stable housing. Giving Circle members prepared and served corned beef and cabbage in honor of St Patrick's Day and stocked the freezer with additional meals for the residents.

    Day of ImpACT:
    In a new tradition, Giving Circle members organized several service projects in an attempt to have a broad impact on our community during a day of collective effort. We worked in teams to clean up the beach in Seabrook in collaboration with The Blue Ocean Society. We helped Seacoast Mental Health with yard maintenance and planting while other members painted, weeded, and moved boxes for Discovery Portsmouth, a venue for historical, cultural and artistic shows associated with the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

  • Giving Cycle 2010-2011

    Wentworth Connections:
    Wentworth Connections was a senior center for Portsmouth residents. Giving Circle members painted, gardened, and spent time with seniors in the day program.

    Rockingham Community Action:
    Rockingham Community Action (RCA) provides education to adults and children, helps feed families and elders, provides heating assistance, and offers employment counseling for those facing financial hardship in Rockingham County. Our members raised funds for local families seeking support from RCA’s heating assistance program.

    Cross Roads House:
    Cross Roads House provides secure, transitional shelter and assistance for individuals and families seeking stable housing. Giving Circle members prepared and served corned beef and cabbage in honor of St Patrick’s Day and stocked the freezer with additional meals for the residents.

    Day of ImpACT:
    In a new tradition, Giving Circle members organized several service projects in an attempt to have a broad impact on our community during a day of collective effort. We worked in teams to clean up the beach in Seabrook in collaboration with The Blue Ocean Society. We helped Seacoast Mental Health with yard maintenance and planting while other members painted, weeded, and moved boxes for Discovery Portsmouth, a venue for historical, cultural and artistic shows associated with the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

  • Giving Cycle 2009-2010

    Day of Caring
    The Day of Caring, sponsored by United Way of the Greater Seacoast, has become a Giving Circle tradition. In 2010, over thirty members worked in teams to:
    • clean windows at the Children's Museum in Dover, NH;
    • paint the common room at Wentworth Connections, a day program for seniors;
    • organize goods donated to the Wonderland Thrift Store in Exeter, NH.

    Arts in Reach
    Arts in Reach (AIR), a 2009 semi-finalist organization, provides confidence-building opportunities for at-risk adolescent girls through the creative and performing arts. Giving Circle members organized a drive to collect art supplies and healthy snacks. We donated $400 worth of creative materials and gift cards to support the young women of AIR. A team of Giving Circle members also created props for an AIR performance.

    Children of Incarcerated Parents (CHPS)
    Giving Circle members organized a holiday drive to provide gifts for the children of incarcerated parents (CHIPS).

    A Safe Place
    A Safe Place provides shelter for victims of domestic violence in Rockingham and Strafford Counties. Giving Circle members donated over $1400 in gift cards for residents during the holidays, enabling the women to shop for personal needs and gifts for their children.

    Seacoast Family Promise (formerly Seacoast Interfaith Hospitality Network)
    This organization provides food and shelter for homeless families. Several area churches rotate the responsibility of hosting and organizing volunteers to provide meals for the families. Giving Circle members cooked several meals and organized activities for the children.

    Cross Roads House
    Cross Roads House offers food, shelter, and a proven program that helps homeless individuals and families on the Seacoast achieve their goal of independent and sustainable housing. Giving Circle Members helped the staff of Cross Roads move into their state of the art facility by making beds, cleaning and stocking kitchens with microwaves, coffee makers and other supplies to support the individuals and families living at the shelter.

  • Giving Cycle 2008-2009

    No Idling Campaign
    The Giving Circle launched a public awareness campaign to reduce unnecessary vehicle idling titled "Turn the Key. Be Idle Free." Inspired by Airwatch Northwest, a portal to air quality management agencies in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. These agencies monitor air quality in their regions and manage programs to protect and improve air quality so Northwesterners can breathe clean, healthy air, members reached out to local schools to educate parents, students, and the administrations about the environmental and health risks of unnecessary idling. To date, over a dozen schools are participating in this campaign.

    New Outlook Teen Center
    New Outlook is an after-school and summer adventure program providing middle and high school youth with high-quality recreational, educational and prevention programming. Through the United Way's Day of Caring, our members participated in cleaning out and organizing this teen center's basement and art supplies closet. (??should we flush out the other Day of Caring recipients in past cycles?)

    Portsmouth Sustainability Fair
    The goals of the Portsmouth Sustainability Fair in 2009 were learning and action. Visitors learned about ways to make their community more environmentally sustainable, whether by reducing waste, supporting local businesses or reducing dependence on fossil fuels and synthetics.

    In support of the Giving Circle's No Idling campaign, "Turn the Key, Be Idle Free," members spent the day at the Portsmouth Sustainability Fair educating residents on the impact of vehicle idling on the environment and children's health.

    Earth Day
    In month/year members worked with Timberland employees and their 'Reclaiming Parkland' Earth Day project to reclaim parkland by cleaning debris and cutting back brush at the Seacoast Science Center.

    Supporting our Troops
    The Manchester Veteran's Affairs Medical Center mission is to honor America's Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being. Giving Circle members worked with this VA office to collect items such as moist wipes, hard candy, and hand sanitizers and to be shipped to our troops overseas.

    Holiday Drive
    Members were inspired to support two different organizations during the 2008/2009 holiday season: The Housing Partnership, a non-profit affordable housing developer and provider of housing related services and Fair Tide, a local organization that provides short-term affordable housing in a safe dignified setting for people who are homeless. Each organization provided us with a wish list from families in need.

    We were able to gift every family member with at least one of their wish list items. This effort supported 13 families living in temporary housing.

    Cross Road House
    Cross Roads House offers food, shelter, and a proven program that helps homeless individuals and families on the Seacoast achieve their goal of independent and sustainable housing. In this volunteer project, members cooked and served dinners for residents of the shelter.

    Seacoast Family Promise (formerly Seacoast Interfaith Hospitality Network)
    Seacoast Family Promise provides food, shelter and social services for homeless families. This is accomplished through the collaboration of several churches that alternate hosting up to 14 guests at a time. Giving Circle members cooked and served several breakfasts and dinners for these families. After dinner, members spent time playing games and reading to the children.

  • Giving Cycle 2007-2008

    Seacoast Family Food Pantry
    The Seacoast Family Food Pantry provides year round supplemental food pantry services, striving to fulfill the needs of low-income individuals with food, personal care products and education for healthy living.

    To support the constant need to replenish supplies at the pantry, Giving Circle members and their families collected and delivered bins of non-perishable food items to help stock the shelves.

    Jenness State Beach Clean Up
    Teaming up with the Blue Ocean Society, a local organization focusing on marine conservation, Giving Circle members and their families cleaned up trash and debris that littered the coastline of Rye, NH.

    Families First Family Support and Health Center
    Families First is a local non profit organization focusing on "one-stop-shopping" for a broad range of health care and family services for all.

    Giving Circle members gathered to host a meal and assist with a craft at the center's Family Fun Night. This program helps families that are "in-between homes" by offering a home cooked meal to the participants followed by a craft and some time for kids to play and parents to connect with one another.

    Cross Roads House
    Cross Roads House offers food, shelter, and a proven program that helps homeless individuals and families on the Seacoast achieve their goal of independent and sustainable housing. In this volunteer project, members cooked and served dinners for residents of the shelter.

    Seacoast Family Promise (formerly Seacoast Interfaith Hospitality Network)
    Giving Circle members cooked and served several breakfasts and dinners for these families. After dinner, members spent time playing games and reading to the children.

Seacoast Women's Giving Circle Recent Projects

"You live in a community but you don't always know what the salient issues are. This way you learn about it and then you do something about it. It's so simple but it's so meaningful."
- Erika Taylor
Member, Seacoast Women's Giving Circle