Giving Back: How we connect with our community.

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Giving back: What is Building on Hope?

Building on Hope

Building on Hope started out as a conversation between two friends. In the midst of the 2008 recession, it was clear that non-profits were struggling to keep their doors open and provide necessary services to the people that needed them most. They asked the question: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were possible to organize a group of community-minded individuals that could affect real change in their community?” Their answer was to gather others, join together, and help where it was needed most.

From the first project at Easter Seals, to subsequent projects at Girls’ Inc. Manchester, Opportunity Networks and MPAL, that group of volunteers has grown and evolved into a sophisticated network of generous and talented professionals from all industries and locations across New Hampshire. Each one giving what they can to amount to a game-changing gift to a local organization.

This is how we give back.

We joined Building on Hope three projects ago, and selected some of the hardest, yet most rewarding rooms to design.  First, a snoezelen room.  Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environments are relaxing spaces that help reduce agitation and anxiety. They can also engage and delight the user, stimulate reactions and encourage communication.  This was created for an outstanding organization, Opportunity Networks. Opportunity Networks is committed to providing genuine vocational opportunities and activities that promote life-enhancing skills for adults with developmental and acquired disabilitie. This opportunity was exhausting, yet completely fulfilling.  It was an amazing experience.  One week, one goal.

 

Every two years, a new recipient.

In 2016, Manchester Police Athletic League (MPAL) received the honor of being rehabbed by our organization.  This was an almost $2 Million renovation, our largest so far.  MPAL, was housed in an old theater downtown Manchester, NH. It also served as a gym, community center and safe place for kids in the area.  In fact, according to John Levasseur, the MPAL coordinator:

What is the mission of MPAL?
To work with at-risk youth in the city, being able to give them programs to keep them off the street. Keep them busy, and to have a positive interaction with police. It’s more to break the barriers between cops and kids as well. … Most interactions sometimes with police officers, it’s usually not a pleasant one on the streets.
Not one’s to say no, we decided to take on the renovation of a 5000 sq.ft gym/boxing ring in the basement of MPAL.  To say it was quite an undertaking, would be a complete understatement.

But, the greater the risk, the greater the reward.

Here’s what we did:

The Reveal:

2018: What’s the next project?

Well, this year we are renovating the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire.  Another amazing organization that is in desperate need of a renovation and help.  CCCNH is an emergency shelter for women, children (and their pets!) escaping domestic violence.

Sadly, the demand for shelter is high, and CCCNH was forced to turn away more than 180 women and 159 children in 2016 due to capacity limitations. Already unable to house the maximum number of residents due to administrative offices consuming bed space, the three-story, four-bedroom, 13-bed building has had few improvements since CCCNH purchased it, and is not designed in a way that allows for maximum use of the space. First floor renovations will provide an open-concept area between the kitchen and living room, which will increase eating space for residents, create a food pantry with family storage units and allow mothers to keep an eye on their children while preparing meals in the kitchen.

Currently…

The common areas are used for survivors to meet with lawyers, police officers, and other services, which means children either attend the meetings or sit alone in their rooms. Part of a second floor renovation will include an area dedicated exclusively for children to play, be creative, and have their own space. One of the largest improvements will be handicap accessibility, with the installation of exterior and interior lifts.

Once the renovation is complete, there will be 20-24 beds available, making CCCNH the largest domestic violence shelter in New Hampshire. In addition, BOH’s renovations will allow CCCNH to consider accepting small pets that are a valued part of a survivors support system, as nearly 85% of women stay in their homes for fear that their small pets will be harmed.  Here’s Paula Wall, the director, speaking about our project.

What about us?

We are in charge of renovating the Playroom for the kids that stay at the shelter.  Our goals are to make it functional, organized and most of all provide ample storage.  We will have more about our design concept on Monday.  It’s a fun Mood board Monday where we will ask for your help!  We can’t wait to help this organization in a small way in order to help make the process smoother for families transitioning.  If you’re interested in making a donation to the organization, click here

Otherwise, you can help us out by contributing to our room on Monday.

 

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