Peterborough Welcome Team resumes providing baskets to newcomers

  • A welcome basket, assembled by the Peterborough Welcome Team for a new town resident. —Staff photo by Stacy Hannings

  • A welcome basket, assembled by the Peterborough Welcome Team for a new town resident. —Staff photo by Stacy Hannings

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/10/2022 9:24:44 AM

The Peterborough Welcome Team is back in business after many months of not being able to offer its services due to the pandemic and a loss of a home base.

The team gathers materials and assembles baskets for new members of the community, containing small items from local businesses, coupons, information about the town and other items. In delivering them, one of the most-important components is conversation with these new residents, according to one of the team’s founders, Sandy Bibace.

“Our main thing is delivering baskets to people, and getting to know them a little, being helpful,” she said. That element of their work was put on hold due to the pandemic, in addition to another activity they do, which is hosting twice-yearly meet-and-greets for new residents.

“They were really successful,” Bibace said. “Everybody just loved them.”

The team attempted to host a virtual version of a meet-and-greet, but found it wasn’t enough.

“It just wasn’t the same,” Bibace said. “It wasn’t well-attended, and even for those who showed up, it wasn’t all that satisfying.”

In addition, the place where the team stored its materials for the baskets was lost. The team kept materials in the Peterborough Town Library, but when the library renovation began, the team lost their space.

“We no longer had a home,” Bibace said.

Determined not to let the team fade away, Bibace and other members went to a meeting of the Economic Development Authority, within which the welcome team operates. After they reported their situation, EDA member Andy Peterson offered up a portion of the Sotheby’s Real Estate building for the team to operate.

“That has been an absolute lifesaver,” Bibace said. “We were able to move everything in there, and we’re able to assemble our baskets there, and it’s just been great.”

Now, the team’s work is back nearly full swing. Bibace said they are making regular contact with businesses and vendors for basket materials, and have begun delivering baskets again. They even wanted to hold another meet-and-greet in the fall, this one in person, but decided to hold off on account of pandemic caseloads rising. 

But, Bibace said they’re hoping to get a meet-and-greet going once the weather gets warmer and they can host it outdoors. 

“People love these welcome baskets,” she said. “People really enjoy them, and we’re just so grateful to the local vendors who contribute stuff.”

And now with a proper space to work, she added, the welcome team is hopefully back at work for good. 

More vendors and businesses are welcome to join and participate in the welcome baskets, and those who want to get involved with the team are also more than welcome, Bibace said. Both groups should reach out to peterboroughwelcome@gmail.com to participate. 

Anybody who has moved to town within the last year can request a welcome basket by going to peterboroughworks.com/welcome and clicking on the “request a visit” link, by filling out the form at bit.ly/WelcomeVisit or by completing a visit request card at the library, the town Recreation Center, the Community Center or the town offices. A volunteer from the Welcome Team will get in touch to arrange a convenient time to visit and deliver the basket.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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