A year of helping our neighbors

  • perkins, nancy

    perkins, nancy

  • perkins, nancy

As the new year begins, it is customary for board members of the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter, known as MATS, to review the previous year’s accomplishments. In 2012, we assisted 33 guests (17 adults and 16 children) representing 12 families who were in residence in one of our fully furnished apartments for an average of 128 days. The shelter building itself now has new siding and upgraded electrical wiring to ensure a warm and safe place for our guests.

Our outreach to the community continued through our monthly newspaper articles, informational presentations at a church gathering and for the Interact Club at ConVal High School (where they also presented us with a donation from their fundraiser). We also participated in the Fresh Chicks Farmers’ Market at the Monadnock Community Hospital; at the end of the market’s day, our guest were recipients of some of the remaining organic and freshly baked goods.

The achievements continue. A board member and our case manager participated in the community needs assessment at MCH, and we updated our web site and created a MATS Facebook page.

We held our Fourth Annual Antiquarian and Used Book Fair in September, during which we offered a silent auction and a kids’ craft table for attendees. Our board members also sponsored a Candlelight Vigil on Dec. 21 to remember those who are homeless on the longest day of the year, including those who died during the year due to the harsh elements. Vigils like ours are held every year all over the United States.

In recognition of the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week in mid-November, we placed donation jars in local stores during November and December to help “offer change to people who are homeless” as we continue our work in their behalf.

At Christmas, our guests were given a joyous holiday, thanks to the Divine Mercy Church, the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and the Kiwanis Club, all of Peterborough, and by an anonymous couple from out-of-state who provided dinners for each family’s Christmas.

When our guests are able to leave the shelter, having found an apartment they can afford, we provide them with whatever furnishings and household items (which have been donated to MATS) they might need as they begin a new life.

Throughout the year, we have four mailings – an annual report of the previous year, two appeals for donations and a fall newsletter. We applied for and received grants. We also mailed the latest information about our organization to 30 area welfare officers. And we recruited a new board member to maintain a full board compliment.

We could not do any of this without the generous help from the citizens in our region. We thank you very much indeed, and wish you a very happy 2013.

Our Wish List: a reliable car, gift cards from CVS, RiteAid, WalMart, Ocean State Job Lots. Please call the MATS office at 924-5033 if you wish to donate items.

Nancy Perkins of Peterborough and Hope Pettegrew of Hancock are former board members but remain committed volunteers for MATS. MATS is a member of The River Center on Concord Street. We are a transitional shelter, not an emergency shelter.

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