Saturday, January 11, 2014

Many Partners Make for Productive Service

Michelle Sylvester of WIC made healthy treats at the Eagle Street Room recently.


Since we at the Friendship Center started about a year ago to have our visiting friends sign up first at the First Baptist Church of North Adams Eagle Street Room, the number of other programs that have come to help there have been amazing.

The Family Place of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition started visiting our people before this move, and the Food Bank of Western Mass. even did a food demonstration from the vestibule of the former Papyri Books store.

Both organzations have since come down to the Eagle Street Room, most frequently the Family Place. Another Coalition-sponsored program, Mass in Motion, has since come to the Eagle Steet room several times to encourage healthy eating.

The WIC program (see photo above) has had a presence at the Eagle Street Room, as had Bryan House of the Reconnect program aimed at young adults and run by the Berkshire Community Action Council.

One of the services we are most excited about is the presence of nurse Barbara Cariddi (photo below) almost every Wednesday at the Eagle Street Room, for such things as blood pressure checks and flu shots. And not only for our visiting friends but for us volunteers, too. In fact, I got my flu shot there from Barbara this fall.

She talled up here services between Wednesday, Sept. 25, and Wednesday, Nov. 27, and she saw 140 people, with a high number of 31 on Oct. 23.

Most recently, we have had Sherry Dunne from Louison House vist on a recent Wednesday to chat with our guests to see if they or anyone they know is homeless. Sherry is great and was an early attendee when the NBIAI was getting started nearly four years ago now.

Most recently, this past Wednesday, Jan. 8, in fact,, we welcomed Maryam Kamangar, commmunity development manager of Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires Inc. to the Eagle Street Room. She was informing people about Goodwill’s SuitYourSelf program, which helps people get suitable clothing to apply for and keep employment.

Maryam has spoken to me and others, and we feel there are some great opportunites for collaboration between our groups.

All of these collaborations are exciting and are part of what makes all this work a joy.

God Bless



Nurse Barbara Cariddi is available most Wednesdays during our first session at the Eagle Street room. She sees patients in a very accessible but quite private side room.

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