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brattleborovermontMy good friend (and hugely talented author) Sara J. Henry put me in touch with the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro, Vermont. I met up with Robert Nassau, the Board President and he walked me through the organization’s goals–keeping kids fed, helping with school work, providing a safe environment, building community, and many other things. It’s so important that the kids who will lead this world into future are given the necessary resources to tackle the challenges.

Robert introduced me to the club’s Executive Director, Beth Baldwin, whose dedication to the kids at the club is self-evident and contagious.

We gathered with the kids to discuss the importance of reading, how books can shape our view of the world and the people in it, and then everybody got a gift certificate to visit the local bookstore. The plan is for everybody to read their books and then have a pizza party to discuss what they’ve read.

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The plan was to distribute more of the bags Steff and I put together in Maine, but the weather was bad, and my familiarity with New Hampshire geography is sketchy. I was, however, able to find contact info for Hundred Nights Homeless Shelter, an organization helping those in need.

From their website –

Hundred Nights, Inc. is a community organization with two components. Our mission is to provide a cold weather shelter which offers clean beds in a safe and warm space from 7pm to 7am during the winter months to our neighbors in need. Concurrently we operate the Open Doors Resource Center which provides a welcoming space for people to gather for sustenance of body and spirit on a year-round basis.

I dropped off backpacks with Hundred Nights and look forward to going back to Keene in the future to learn more about the community and Hundred Nights.

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portlandmaine
The plan to volunteer in all 50 states during 2014 began in Portland, Maine as I joined up with my good friend Steff Deschenes to distribute backpacks to the homeless. We stuffed the backpacks with food, water, socks, hats, toiletries, a toy, medical items and a few other things for those in need.

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