Village Newsletter – September 2015

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Happy Fall!

Image result for back to school fallIs it just us, or was this summer just a little bit too crazy? June saw the end of our fiscal year, and when we tallied up our numbers, we almost couldn’t believe it! We sent home-visit volunteers to 42 families, and served 355 families through the Village Closet, giving away nearly $20,000 in baby items!

We were pretty busy behind-the-scenes too. We are now officially a 501(c)3 non-profit! We are so grateful to St John’s Episcopal Church of Ashfield for having been our fiscal sponsor and for believing in us and our mission. This is a huge step for our little group, and we’re so excited to see what doors it opens.

Meg Taylor has stepped down as our Development Director, but we are delighted that she will stay on as a member of our new Board of Directors. We could have never accomplished as much as we did without her expertise and disciplined efforts, and we wish her well as she dives into some amazing new projects.

Finally, we have teamed up with some other amazing organizations in our community, including Berkshire Baby Box, Grace House, and Healthy Families, to bring our services to more families.

What’s coming up for the fall? Read on to find out …

 

From the Village Closet

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Our Village Closet has been so popular, we’ve decided to expand our hours! We are now open every TUESDAY from 10:00am–2:00pm, and TWO Saturdays each month from 11am–1:00pm. (Please note: we will NOT be open on Thursdays)

Our space in the Berkshire Trail Elementary School is FULL of donated baby clothes, strollers, car-seats, carriers, cloth diapers, books, and anything else you can think of that a baby could need. We have seasonal items like winter coats and snow-pants, bathing suits and sun hats, and outfits for every holiday in between! All items are free to anyone in Western Mass (not just in the Hilltowns).

The Village Closet
2 Main Street – Berkshire Trail Elementary School
Cummington, MA

Saturday dates for the Fall: Oct 1 (for our Open House!), Oct 15, Nov 5, Nov 19, Dec 3, & Dec 17

 

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Speaking of our Village Closet, we have been at our new location at the Berkshire Trail Elementary School Building in Cummington for one year … and what a year it’s been! With the more accessible location and bigger space, we’ve been able to give away more items than every before. And with the help of our team of volunteer delivery drivers, we’ve been able to help families from Pittsfield to Springfield access the baby gear they need.

To celebrate all the work we’ve done this past year, we’d like to invite the community to our Village Closet Open House, Saturday October 1 from 11:00am-2:00pm. We’ll have refreshments, a raffle, and all our Closet items will be out on display.

Please join us!

 

Mothers Circle – New Day and Time

IMG_3872congregationmembers_1000Our Mothers Circle has returned from summer break, and will meet FRIDAYS from 10:00-11:30am at St. John’s Corner House in Ashfield. We invite you to take the opportunity to meet other local moms and engage in adult conversation in a mother-friendly space. Children are welcomed and refreshments are provided!

It Takes a Village Mothers Circle
Every Friday, 10:00-11:30am
St. John’s Corner House, 469 Main Street, Ashfield

For more information, please contact Lisa at Lisa@hilltownvillage.org, or call 413-650-3640.

 

New Team Members

All these new endeavors means we needed more talented people on our team!

camila-rojasCamila has joined our Mothers Circle Team as our childcare provider. Camila has experience working in a daycare setting as well as at nursery school.  She loves being around children and the kiddos at Mothers Circle last week took to her immediately! Camila is currently doing an artistic residency at the Double Edge Theater in Ashfield. She and her husband are from Chile and they are working on a movie about female miners in Chile.
liz

We also have a new Mothers Circle facilitator – Liz has been a Mothers Circle attendee, Closet participant and Home-Visit alum. She is a certified therapist and lives with her husband and two children. She knows from experience how important it is for a postpartum mom to have a place to go where others will “get” what she is going through.

annieAnnie is taking on the role as the Village Closet Coordinator. Annie lives in Charlemont with her husband and three children. She was a Home-Visit alum and knows how important it is to have affordable baby supplies. She is passionate about helping families get what they need, be it diapers, clothes, cribs or nursing supplies. No family should have to choose between food and diapers! She is also our resident cloth diaper expert so come to her with questions. She would be happy to help!

staceyfamiy_cropFinally, we are so excited to welcome Stacey as our new Director of Outreach and Community Partnerships and member of the It Takes a Village Leadership Team. Stacey is another Home-Visit alum, and lives in Greenfield with her husband and three children. She believes that the early days of parenting can have a profound impact on families and believes that ITAV provides necessary resources to make this time less isolating and more satisfying for Hilltown families. Stacey has enjoyed working with mothers and families as a doula and has a background in public health. Currently she enjoys working with new and expecting families through Pioneer Valley Our Baby Class. You can reach Stacey at Stacey@hilltownvillage.org.

 

 

As always, we look to our community to help us bring these services to our Hilltown families. Families never pay for their home-visit volunteers, never pay for mothers group, and never pay for a single thing they receive from the Village Closet. Will you help us keep these services free?

Please consider donating today. Why not $16 to get our 2016 fiscal year off to a good start!?

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