With Help from Our Friends

by Kelsey Sanborn

Last Friday I spent part of my day organizing backpacks for our Transitional Housing kids who were getting ready to go back to Backpacks COMPRESSED for WEBschool and I ended up spending the last 30 minutes of the day overwhelmed and tearing up in my office.  Why was I crying at 4:30 on a Friday before a weekend with beautiful Fall-Like weather, you ask?  Well, it was because of the generosity of our community.   Let me explain before you start thinking I’m crazy.

I started at the Front Door Agency as a Case Manager on August 14 after two years with the Fuel Assistance Department of Rockingham Community Action in Derry.  This is the first time  I’ve been part of an organization that closely supports women and children and I don’t think I realized how much that actually means.  My job as a Case Manager requires me to meet with all my clients, get to know them and their kids, help with necessary paperwork, be stern when necessary, and be a support system that they might not otherwise have.

I don’t mind all these responsibilities, because the women in our program work just as hard to take care of their kids first and themselves second.  School supplies are a priority for them when August rolls around, but all the expenses add up: backpacks, lunch boxes, paper, pencils, markers, crayons, glue, scissors, tape, pens, rulers, sandwich bags for snacks — the list goes on. Going back to school can cost a lot of money for one child; let alone when mothers need to get supplies for multiple children and supplies for their own college courses.  That is where the community of Nashua comes in.

This year the Front Door Agency received generous donations from the Nashua Soup Kitchen, Banana Republic, Skillsoft, and the Nashua Public Library that included everything we would possibly need to help our families be “back-to-school ready.”   As I was putting the bags together for each of the kids, I found myself tearing up.  Not to sound cliché, but I felt like I was stuffing each bag full of love and best wishes for success in the coming school year.

I am thankful that people in our community are so generous.  When the kids received their backpacks last week, their faces lit up. They had everything they needed for a successful school year and on top of that,  we have a whole closet full of extra supplies once they run out.  It doesn’t matter if you work for a company that has a collection drive, are part of an organization that hosts an annual back to school night, or are a private citizen who gave — you should know that donations of every size are always appreciated and given to people who need them.  So thank you, Nashua, from the bottom of my heart.  I look forward to working with you and seeing what else we can accomplish together!