The 2018 Insider’s Guide to Gifts and Giving

The Zonta Club of Concord recently donated $1,402 to Merrimack Valley Day Care Service thanks to its Market Days book sale. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff

The Zonta Club of Concord recently donated $1,402 to Merrimack Valley Day Care Service thanks to its Market Days book sale. Courtesy

Welcome to the Insider’s 2018 Guide to Gifts and Giving, a collaboration between Granite United Way and the Insider.

There are many service organizations in our general area, and they’re always looking for help. That need intensifies as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, but the need is always there.

The United Way put out a call to as many organizations as they could reach, asking them to share what some of their needs are at this time of year. Some organizations also provided various opportunities for people to volunteer or contribute in ways other than donating items.

The following is a list of the organizations that were able to respond in time for this publication – many organizations were so busy with grant-writing that they were unable to respond in time. For more information on ways you can help out the community this winter, go to


Pope Memorial SPCA

94 Silk Farm Road, Concord

Mission: We are dedicated to caring for abandoned and homeless pets, protecting and advocating for pets in need, and promoting the humane treatment of all animals.

Area served: Merrimack County.

Deadline to receive donations: Dec. 24.

Primary needs: We are in need of enrichment toys and special food which can be purchased with a gift card from Sandy’s Pet Food Center in Concord. We also have a wish list of items that can be found on Amazon.

Other needs: To help our pets stay cheerful this holiday season, we are asking for bully sticks, marrow bones and soft cat toys.

Contact: Shannon Camara,, 856-8759.


Concord Homeless Resource Center

238 N. Main St., Concord

Mission: Provide immediate needs, connect to local resources.

Area served: Concord and surrounding towns.

Deadline to receive donations: Dec. 21.

Adult items needed: (Mostly men’s) winter jackets, sweat pants, long underwear, sweatshirts, lip balm, hand warmers, deodorant, tooth brushes, hair brushes, individually wrapped snacks like granola bars, bottled water.

Gift certificates/vouchers: $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift certificates for new guests that have no camp – it’s open 24 hours and they can stay if they buy a coffee.

Contact: Julie Green,, 290-3375.


Friends Program

202 N. State St., Concord

Mission: For 44 years, the Friends Youth Mentoring Program has screened, trained and supported high-quality volunteers who provide meaningful one-on-one mentorships for boys and girls ages 6 to 17 who are in need; adding strength and putting kids on positive pathways toward success.

Area served: The 27 cities and towns in Merrimack County.

Deadline to receive donations: Dec. 5.

Gift certificates/vouchers: Gift certificates for activities, backpacks and school supplies, food, clothing and shoes, sports equipment, for the Youth Mentoring Program.

Other requests: Support for youth programming in the form of items to fill tote bags for children to use during match meetings with mentors like card games (math, science, language, history, geography, fish, recreational), art supplies, coloring books, colored pencils, skinny markers, sidewalk chalk, I-SPY books, Cats Cradle, embroidery thread, jump ropes, juggling balls, Frisbees, yo-yos, paper airplane kits, origami, modeling clay, baking mixes, Legos, model car kits, percussion instruments, etc.

Contact: Terri Smith,, 228-1193.


New Hampshire Legal Assistance

117 N. State St., Concord

Mission: NHLA’s mission is to fulfill America’s promise of equal justice by providing civil legal aid to New Hampshire’s poor, including education and empowerment, advice, representation and advocacy for systemic change.

Area served: Statewide.

Adopt-a-Family program needs:

  • Dad, male size large
  • Mom, female size 14-16
  • Older daughter, age 13
  • Son, age 12
  • Daughter, age 4

Food drive needs: Any kind of food would be appreciated.

Items for kids: Shoes (boys size 11), socks, pants (size 6T), shirts (S/M), Legos, anything science related, crystals, activity books, notebooks.

Gift certificates: See ages of “Adopt a Family” children above. Walmart fits everyone. The son would probably appreciate a card to GameStop or similar outlet for games. The 4-year-old would love almost anything.

Contact: Cheryl Steinberg,, 206-2210.


Merrimack Valley Day Care Service

19 N. Fruit St., Concord

Mission: We provide child care in a safe and nurturing environment, prioritizing children at risk of abuse/neglect, low-income families and children with special needs.

Area served: We currently have children from Concord, Penacook, Pembroke, Boscawen, Dunbarton, Hooksett, Loudon, Belmont, Canterbury, Bow, Henniker, Center Barnstead, Gilmanton, New Hampton, Webster, Pittsfield and Franklin.

Deadline to receive donations: Dec. 23.

Volunteer opportunities: We would love folks to bring in and read stories of different cultural traditions/holidays to a child, or work on a holiday craft one on one with a child or two. Minimum age 16 unless accompanied by a parent.

Gift certificates needed: Many of our families at Merrimack Valley Day Care are food insecure. Gift certificates to Market Basket, Walmart or other grocery stores would allow them to make the best choices for their own family, either for a holiday dinner or to purchase desperately needed items such as formula or diapers.

Contact: Rachel Kelly,, 224-1632.


Penacook Community Center

P.O. Box 6008, 76 Community Drive, Penacook

Mission: We provide the citizens of Penacook and surrounding towns opportunities for affordable, high-quality programs that support lifelong learning, wellness, independence and personal success for people of all ages.

Area served: Merrimack County.

Deadline to receive donations: Dec. 20.

Gift certificates needed: Our plan is to provide the opportunity for some of our families to buy food, clothing and toys that are age and/or size appropriate for children that are 6 weeks to 12 years old. Knowing that clothing is outgrown fast at this age and each family has a different need for food and toys, we thought gift cards or certificates to Walmart, Target, dollar stores and similar places would be an excellent gift to a family in need.

Contact: Rick Jaques,, 753-9700.


Girls Inc. of New Hampshire

63 Market St., Manchester

Mission: Girls Inc. of New Hampshire inspires all girls to be Strong (through healthy living), Smart (through education), and Bold (through independence), Girls Incorporated of New Hampshire offers research-based informal education programs that encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges. Major programs address math and science education, pregnancy and drug abuse prevention, media literacy, economic literacy, adolescent health, violence prevention, careers and leadership, and sports participation.

Area served: Manchester; Concord; Derry; Nashua; Sutton; Rochester; Portsmouth; Hooksett; Claremont; Newport; Hartford, Vt.; White River, Vt.

Items for kids: Mittens, gloves, hats, coats sizes 6-14.

Gift certificates: A majority of our families come from single-parent households with incomes of below $30,000. Gift cards are helpful because it allows families to purchase what they need. Stores include Walmart, Sam’s Club, Market Basket and Hannaford.

Contact: Malissa Spiegel,, 606-1705.

Author: Insider Staff

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