DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

October 25, 2012

Chester pair honored for work with children in need


Derry News

---- — MANCHESTER – Recently, five Families in Transition, a Manchester and Concord-based homeless services provider, volunteers were recognized at Volunteer NH’s Spirit of New Hampshire Awards event.

Four of the volunteers received the “Group Spirit of NH Award” in recognition of their involvement in the Families in Transition “A Birthday to Remember” program. One volunteer was recognized for her efforts at OutFITters Thrift Store in Manchester.

“A Birthday to Remember” is a group bimonthly birthday party program for children with birthdays in the inclusive two months who are participants of Families in Transition.

The program was born in 2009, as former Stop N’ Shop baker Peg Bremner of Chester and Mimi Silverman of Bedford discussed their concern for homeless families who could not afford a birthday party or even a cake for their children.

More than three years later, the volunteers continue to support the program with full commitment.

They, along with their spouses Gary Bremner and Lewis Silverman, coordinate and provide birthday boys and girls and their families with a specially themed and memorable celebration. All four volunteers work closely with FIT staff on fundraising and planning for the parties.

Each party provides a birthday cake, pizza, birthday presents, a homemade piñata, educational and fun activities, and goodie bags for each sibling.

FIT volunteer Jan Chapman of Milford was recognized for her outstanding three years of service at the OutFITters Thrift Store in Manchester. Everything sold in the store is donated and arrives to each store in bags and boxes, so everything needs to be looked at and sorted.

In her volunteer role, Chapman plays an instrumental role in sorting, cleaning, pricing, merchandising, and general assisting to ensure the projects on the sales floor are organized and look nice for customers.

“We are so proud and delighted that five of our committed volunteers were recognized at last night’s event,” said Pamela Punsky, manager of volunteers and the FIT VISTA program. “These individuals could not be more deserving of the awarded honors.”

Families in Transition is a nonprofit organization that provides safe, affordable housing and comprehensive social services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, enabling them to gain self-sufficiency and respect.

FIT also owns and operates two thrift stores in Manchester and Concord, as well as a newly established commercial cleaning company, FIT Cleaning Solutions, all of which serve as economic engines to help pay for services that FIT provides.

For more information about FIT, the stores, the commercial cleaning company, and how to volunteer and get involved, visit fitnh.org or call 641-9441.