Tag Archives: Friendly House

Worcester news you can use … and a song!🎵

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Fun in Recovery!

But we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life.

~Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

We at Jeremiah’s Inn realize the importance of finding ways to have fun in recovery.

We encourage our residents to get involved in the local recovery community and participate in as many activities as they can.

This spring, Jeremiah’s would like to enter a team in the Worcester Sober Softball League, but we need your help!

There are many costs associated with this, from league fees to team shirts and equipment.

We are looking for sponsors to help us offset some of these costs.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of our team, and would like to donate, please contact me (Melissa) and I can fill you in on how you can help.

Help us show our residents that it is possible, and essential even, to have some fun in recovery!

Warmest Regards,

Melissa Waddell

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photo: Chef Joey

Cooking Up a Career!🍦🍞🍰

Obtain skills to become an entry level prep cook!🍅🍆🌽

For Ages 17 – 24 years

Out of School or in Alternative School

Paid Internship!!🍉🍇

WHEN:

Jan 31st – Mar 7th
Tues, Wed, Thurs
2pm – 5pm

Mar 13th – Mar 17th
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
11am – 3pm

WHERE:

Worcester Youth Center
326 Chandler St.

CONTACT
Demario Andrews
(508)-791-4702

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Gordon P. Hargrove (1)
Gordon Hargrove, executive director of Friendly House, and man with a heart of gold!

Friendly House
36 Wall St.
Open to ALL!

FRIENDLY HOUSE – at a glance!

By Danielle Delgado

When you think of Friendly House, what images come to mind? A small Social Service Agency in Grafton Hill? A place where people can go to get food, or youth to play basketball? Those
are only a few of the many amazing things that happen at Friendly House, located at 36 Wall St. For over 97 years
Friendly House has been a facet in the Grafton Hill Community. Growing from what was literally a small house to
its current ever changing location
still on Wall Street.

2016 was a year of enhancement, helping, productivity and healthy living for
Friendly House.

During 2016, Friendly House served well over 10,000 children, individuals and
families in some capacity.

These services included:

Youth Programs – Afterschool Program,
Teen Leadership, Summer Gym and Swim and Youth Hoops, Family Events & Programs

Social Services – emergency food, immigration support, translations,
utility assistance,coat and clothing distributions

Food Program – summer feeding sites, afterschool program and community feeding sites

Shelters … and 40 scatter site apartments

2016 at a glance includes:

Gymnasium Renovation

On November 1, 2016, we opened up ours door to a completely renovated gymnasium. Over 75,000 was raised to complete this project which included; a new floor, bleachers, wall padding,a dividerand paint.

Our gymnasium hosted numerous events over the course of the year but may commonly known as the site for our:

Annual Christmas Party, Community Halloween Party, Thanksgiving Food Distribution, Annual Coat Distribution, Grafton Street School community events and Summer Gym & Swim Program.

Over 6,000 people passed through our gymnasium this year to enjoy these
activities and events!

Thanksgiving Food Distribution

This year we distributed 921 turkey baskets (187,295 lbs of food) to over 3,400 people – thanks to the hard
work of many people, including WPI’s Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, the Sheriff’s Office, the City of
Worcester, Fallon Health, Worcester County Church of Christ and so many more who donated food/money to benefit the many families we served.

Summer Gym & Swim

Summer 2016 hosted over 250 children age 5-16 from all over Greater Worcester. The summer was high-lighted by themed activities, guest appearances from
Boston Bruin Alumni, Worcester Railers Mascot and book authors and various other special events. Each day
consisted of a new adventure either in our building or at the state parks.

After School & Teen Program

The Afterschool and Teen Programs provided services to over 250 participants each school year. During this time the youth were actively engaged in recreational, leadership, academic and community service programs.
Highlights included theaddition on the F.U.N (Fitness and Understanding Nutrition) Program which was
sponsored by our partnership with the Herbalife Family Foundation.

Additionally we hosted family celebrations and informational sessions.

Set for Success

Over 75 children were given a brand new backpack filled with all the necessary school supplies to start off
their school year with a SUCCESSFUL state of mind!

These supplies were donated through various school supply drives, headed by community supporters and partners. In addition supplies were purchased with
funds donated to the Set for Success Program

Social Services

Social Services assisted 7,787 people/families with food from our Food Pantries, gave 599 people baby food, assisted 1,763 people with Immigration applications, completed 598 document translations, distributed Farmer’s Market Coupons to 1,200 low income elderly.

… Friendly House has enjoyed 97 years
of helping to build up the Grafton Hill community and our city, Worcester! We look forward to enhancing all aspects of our agency in 2017! Thank you to all who helped make each step possible!

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TO BE TREATED RIGHT

By Terry Reid

The Friendly House annual Christmas party – always in style!

This year’s Annual Holiday Program for our neighborhood families celebrated, in addition to the Spirit of the Season, two other events: our 50th such Christmas Party and the first major event in our newly renovated gymnasium.

The program was attended by more than 1,100 people who enjoyed performances by the Friendly House Afterschool Program, Friendly House Teens, a clown act, the Imperial Lion Dance Team, Herbalife Dancers, Irish Step Dancers, Santa, WAIT, Ritmos Academy, In Da Zone (IDZ) and Novian.

– Gordon Hargrove, Executive Director
Friendly House

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Dorrie – always in style! … ‘Tis the season for helping the less fortunate – people and animals!

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Dorrie says dropping off clean, warm clothing and blankets at the Mustard Seed soup kitchen on Piedmont Street is the giving thing to do this Christmas!🐺🐶🐕🐺🎄🎄🎄🎁

By Dorrie Maynard

Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, Meilleurs Voeux, Felices Fiestas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza, and any others that I may have missed!

As we all go on about with our busy preparations for the festivities this season with family and friends, please take some time to remember and acknowledge those who don’t have people to spend the holidays with. There are many out there who don’t even have a safe and warm place to sleep at night.

I know there is a fine line between enabling and helping, but just for this season we can all try to not judge others until we have walked in their shoes or know their battles. Some are out there because they are drinking and/or drugging and choose to continue to do so, and others are out there because of circumstances that they may have contributed to or had no assistance to handle.

A place like the Mustard Seed on Piedmont street is a great place to start giving back to your community! You can drop off gently used, clean, warm clothing, groceries, toiletries, sleeping bags, blankets, pairs of socks, or even offer to prepare and serve a meal to the sometimes more than 100 hungry people who visit daily.

The Mustard Seed is open Monday through Friday, 4 pm – 6 pm.

Other local places to consider: Abby’s House, the Veteran’s Shelter, St. John’s Feeding program, your local senior center, the Boy’s & Girls Club of Worcester, the Friendly House, the Salvation Army, just to name a few.

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Children at the Friendly House Annual Christmas Party, held this past Sunday at FH, 36 Wall St., met Santa, got a holiday gift, had fun and were treated to entertainment because of the efforts and love of volunteers – and FH Executive Director Gordon Hargrove! Donations of gently used (or new!), warm, clean clothing and blankets are always needed this time of year at the Friendly House!

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I don’t like to give money to pan handlers, but I do try to always have some granola bars in my car to hand
out. There was one man on a corner I recognized from working at a local food pantry, and I offered him a bar.

He said, “No thanks. I don’t have any teeth.” And then he smiled at me.

I didn’t have have anything else to give him, but he was gracious when I offered something.

I also try to have on hand: a pair of gloves, mittens, hat, scarf this time of year to give out to folks on street corners. I know it might be their attempt to look cold, thus making people
feel more sorry for them, but at least I feel better knowing they have something warm as I drive off.

If you are more into helping animals, as some are, for various reasons, another suggestion is to give to your local animal rescue league/society. They are always in need of used, clean blankets and towels, rolls of paper towels, bleach, cat litter, pet food, etc. You can always call ahead or look on line at their wish lists to find out what they truly are in need of, as things change daily, depending upon what they have or have run out of.

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Help animals who may need food, shelter or a forever home!

I always believe it is best to donate to small local rescues, as they help animals in your area. I don’t like to donateto the places that you see ads for on TV as they are paying for those ads, and those “free” t-shirts or bags
that they are willing to send you for your donation aren’t “free” either.

Something else that people can do this holiday season and throughout the year: Volunteer!!! Pick a passion! Get involved in your community! It may take some time to find the perfect place where you feel like you belong, but there are plenty of places out there
that are in need of regular volunteers.

So with all this said, I would like to wish everyone a very warm, safe, happy and healthy holiday season. All the best in the coming New Year! In this very difficult world that we live in, try to have a little compassion in your heart and empathy for others. Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards All!

Friendly House families have a great Thanksgiving, thanks to WPI fraternity!!!

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The Friendly House on Wall Street – a busy, giving place during the holidays!  photos: Elio Daci

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The students give out food packages at the Friendly House … Go, WPI, go!!!!!

Story submitted by Elio Daci

It’s Thanksgiving Day! Most families look forward to spending time with their family over a warm, delicious Thanksgiving meal. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many of our neighbors. Between heating costs, paying bills and other expenses, many people do not have the luxury of providing a holiday meal to their families.

There is a common misconception of what
those who are unable to feed their families look like. The vast majority of the people who seek help feeding their families are not people who you see on the street corner. Many who need help feeding their families are our neighbors who work multiple jobs simply to make ends meet – the men and women who have to make tough decisions every day, such as whether to pay for heating or food.

These are the people who work hard, but cannot provide a full Thanksgiving meal to their families.

Luckily, we live in a community that is dedicated to helping alleviate this pressure for our neighbors. Over the past month, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, has worked with the Worcester County Sheriff’s office and the Friendly House of Worcester to make sure families who are struggling have a Thanksgiving meal. Our just completed food drive is part of an ongoing partnership that dates back 21 years! Over the course of this partnership, more than 2.3 million pounds of food have been collected for the Friendly House!

“Although most of us are only in Worcester for four years for college, we definitely become a part of the community,” says Elio Daci, the External Vice President of Lambda Chi Alpha at WPI. “We all want to make sure we leave this city a better place than we found it, and this is just one way we do that.”

A large portion of donations for the food drive actually comes from the fraternity’s major bag drop event. More than 10,000 bags are distributed to homes across Worcester and Shrewsbury, asking for residents to fill them with non-perishable food items. The following week, all of the donations are picked up.

“It is very rewarding to see all the
donations on people’s door steps, especially after you’ve spent so much time distributing the bags,”said Aaron Pepin, a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha. The fraternity prides itself on its ability to give back to Worcester, and this tradition will continue as long as the need exists. The work these young men do in the community is perfectly captured by Elio Daci: “We might not be changing the world, but we are definitely making a difference for a lot of families, and that is what it’s all about. That’s what makes it all worth it.”

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A few of the “brothers” carry the Thanksgiving groceries for a young mom.

WPI fraternity’s Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Friendly House! Go, WPI, go!!!

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Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity brothers

Each year, Worcester’s Friendly House, along with the Worcester Sheriff’s
Department, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and other local sponsors, work together to collect food for a Thanksgiving meal program.

Our mission is to give local families a chance to spend their Thanksgiving holiday not worrying about putting food on the table.

Last year, our food drive was able to collect about 183,000 pounds of food!

This year the group is looking to raise the bar to 300,000 pounds. All of the donations will be distributed by
Friendly House to local families
in time for the holiday season.

In addition to serving food to families in need, Worcester’s Friendly House also
hosts a variety of after school programs for local youth at their facility and continues their work year round to support our Worcester community.

This is everyone’s chance to pitch in on the effort. Collection bags will be distributed to homes through most Worcester neighborhoods on Sunday, November 6, with a collection returning on Sunday the 13th.

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This is an opportunity to
make monetary or non-perishable food donations.

In addition, donations can be
made from November 16 to Nov. 18 at the Price Chopper at 564 Southwest Cutoff.

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Please take full opportunity to help us work to fight hunger in our Worcester community this holiday season!

Thank you!

Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity

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And …

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And …

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A view from Grafton Hill

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The Mayor’s Walk began at Friendly House. FH Director Gordon Hargrove (center) begins the early evening tour! pic submitted

By Gordon Davis

Joe Petty, the mayor of Worcester, walked the Wall Street neighborhood yesterday with city officials, District 2 City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson and neighborhood folks. He visited the Friendly House, Westerman’s, Grafton Street School and more. One of the stops on his walk was the empty lot that used to be the El Morocco Restaurant. The lot sits on high ground with a terrific view of the Worcester skyline.

A housing project of 90 units of 1, 2, 3 bedroom apartments is being planned for the now empty lot. All of the units will be market rate. There will be no affordable housing units. The developer stated that he could not build any affordable housing units under the state program.

Longtime director of Friendly House, Gordon Hargrove, felt that some of the units will eventually become affordable units.

Mr. Hargrove is working closely with the developer to ensure some additional benefit to the neighborhood. He indicated that the project would include upgrades to the Shale Street School playground.

The Mayor and developer showed a schematic of the building layout. However, the developer saidthe final project would look different than what was on the schematic. He did not have a copy of the revisions.

Like Mr. Hargrove, the Mayor felt that the housing units would help the neighborhood and the city.

The streets in the neighborhood are narrow, as most of the streets on the East Side were built well over 100 years ago. There might be some concerns about traffic and parking. For planners one and one-half cars per unit is considered standard.

Another concern expressed was how many children would live in the project and where they would go to school. An employee at Grafton Street School, only two blocks away, said the school was at capacity.

She also said Grafton Street School is the oldest functioning school building in the Worcester School District. There are some renovations going on at the school today, including a new boiler, windows and an elevator for people with physical handicaps.

During the walk City Manager Edward Augustus asked a DPW employee how often the storm drains were cleaned on this street, as he pointed to a clogged drain. The DPW worker said his department cleans the drains.

The walk ended on an interesting note – at Westerman’s, a vendor in Worcester that provides props for local movies. Included in props was the Teddy Bear from the movies “Ted” and Ted2”!

Mayor Joe Petty in our in-city neighborhoods – always in style! … and … a cool recipe Italiano!!!

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From the Mayor’s Office!!!!:

TODAY!

5 p.m. – starting at the Friendly House!

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty will be leading a Mayor’s Walk around the Wall Street portion of the Grafton Hill neighborhood this evening …

… from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

We will be starting at Friendly House (36 Wall St.), then moving on to the former El Morocco site, and finally stopping at Westerman’s (50 Suffolk St.).

The Mayor will be joined by fellow elected officials, members of the administration, service providers and neighborhood group representatives.

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And…

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Don’t forget! Tomorrow! REC Beaver Brook Farmers Market – across the street from Foley Stadium!

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Veggies at ICT head honcho Rosalie’s shack:

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She’s growing a 5-foot-tall tomato plant but ZERO tomato buds! What the?????

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A friend gave R this corn yesterday – straight from the farmer’s farm! Thank you, friend!

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P.S. Here’s a great Italiano recipe from PETA.ORG!

Put the brakes on animal cruelty/American factory farms!
EAT LESS MEAT!!!!

Giambotta – Southern Italian Vegetable Stew!

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Also spelled Ciambotta, this is a traditional dish hailing from Southern Italy!

It’s comfort food at its finest — and simplest!

1 Tbsp. oil or water…Saute in frying pan:

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Add to big pot filled with 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth and 1 (28-oz.) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes:

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced

2 medium zucchini or summer squash, diced

Spice it up with:

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (10 to 12 leaves) chopped basil

Cook in pot to taste…enjoy!

Copyright 2015 Compassionate Cooks, LLC. Reprinted and adapted from The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Healthfully and Living Compassionately by permission of the author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Worcester’s Friendly House needs volunteers and toys for their kids Christmas party!

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Teeny party goers at last year’s Friendly House Christmas party!

Friendly House will be hosting its Annual Christmas Party

Sunday, December 20

from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The party hosts well over 800 children and families!

Great entertainment!

A band!

Dance performances!

A clown and Santa!

Snacks!

Toys for all the children!  
 
We are still in need of:

–      New, unwrapped toys for children 10 to 12 years old

–      Volunteers 10 am – 5 pm (can work in shifts)
 

Thank you!

Friendly House
36 Wall St.