"People Helping People"
The Needham Community Council is a private 501(C)3 non-profit organization which supports people in Needham who have under-met health, educational or social needs, and promotes volunteerism, community and a sense of shared responsibility.

November 2020 Newsletter

Helping both Needham Families and Local Businesses
Open your Holiday Hearts to families of Needham during this Season.  With your support we can help every income-eligible household in Needham receive gifts during the Holidays.  The Holiday Hearts program will provide the families in our program with gift cards to local businesses.   Our families will have the joy of shopping for holiday presents while supporting our community...a WIN/WIN.   No matter how they celebrate, our goal is to bring a smile to all our neighbors.

You may purchase Holiday Hearts at either Learning Express of Michelson's or directly through our website.  Each family in our program has been invited to participate and your donations will increase the value of those gifts.  We will be giving age appropriate gifts certificates 
from Learning Express, Michelson's, TJX Companies and CVS.


Need a Ride to the Polls?
Having trouble getting to the polls or other essential service? You do not need to be income-eligible to benefit from this program.  We are available to help you get where you need to go:

  • Call the office to set up your ride at least 24 hours prior to your appointment
    or polling time. 
  • Rides are offered M-F from 9 am to 3 pm
  • All COVID safety protocol is in place - masks must be worn
  • You must be able to get to and from and in and out of the car independently.

Since having a community Thanksgiving Dinner is not possible this year, we will be delivering fully cooked meals to residents' homes.  If you know of anyone who would appreciate a dinner, please have them call us 781-444-2415. 
This program is open to all!

Special thank you to the Rotary Club of Needham and the Needham Golf Club for their partnership...Golf Club Chefs are cooking and both Rotary and Golf Club members are delivering the meals - we could not do it without your support!

It may be a bit chilly out but it's a safe place to shop!  Our  Thrift Shop normally raises 1/3 of our program costs; during the early days of COVID we were shut down but thanks to the Tent Sale...we are back!  Over $10,000 of donated items have been sold! We thank all the volunteers, shoppers, A Tent for Rent and Needham Bank who have all made this possible. 

Once the weather changes, the tent will be gone but look for a NEW and EXCITING way to shop a the Council Thrift - coming soon!


Numbers in the Food Pantry keep growing as the pandemic continues but the voices of our customers speak louder than any number we could share with you!

"You folks at the Food Pantry are such wonderful people! You provide a welcome and vital service for our community, especially during these trying times of the pandemic. And you all provide this service with such warmth, humanity, and charity. Always so helpful and accommodating. Thank you again for all you do."
                               - Paul
"I'm so appreciative of the food pantry, without their help I don't know how we would get through this pandemic"
 - Maria

“The produce I get from the food pantry is fabulous and they are so generous I can share with my friends and neighbors.”
 - Susan
"Thank you for all you do for us - I feel so bad for people in other MA towns and states that do not have the services that The Needham Community Council provides."
 - James

"I've been unable to leave my home since the pandemic began, having healthy food arrive is such a gift.  Thank you to all the angels that work at the Food Pantry"
   - Barbara

If you are a Food Pantry customer or are interested in becoming one, please go to our website for more information.


Some of our fabulous Teams!
Three teams support the Needham Community Council Food Pantry 
donate at the links below: 

Team Community Council 
Team Congregational Church of Needham 
Team Direct Federal 

Mike Normile is co-leading the Congregational Church Team with Lynn Gotwals.  Their team fundraising efforts have been fantastic; they've met their goal and are still going strong!  

"This is my fifth year participating in the Ride for Food, and this year the need is greater than ever.  The economic pain inflicted by the Corona virus has been anything but equally distributed.  The fortunate among us have been totally unscathed.  Others, particularly those whose job loss has not been cushioned by enhanced benefits, have been crushed.

I am riding and, more importantly, contributing, because I believe that those of us in the former group have an obligation to help those in the latter."

Meet The Tie Dye Gang
members of the
Community Council Team

Read more about their rides and contribute to their fundraising effort.

These two families have found a fun way to be with friends and make a difference!
"During COVID we have not been able to do the normal volunteer activities with our kids.  We were looking for ways to get involved in the Needham community, and came across the Needham Community Council "Ride for Food" event.  This was just what we were looking for - a way to raise money for a wonderful cause, teach our kids about helping others, and using our love for riding together to do so.

We are so lucky for all the blessings in our lives.   We believe everyone should have basic needs met in life, like having enough daily food.  Raising money and awareness to help end food insecurity has been a gratifying experience for our families.  We look forward to continuing to participate in the Needham Community Council"

Thank you to the Regen and Wilkes families.

Ride for Food fundraising deadline is Tuesday, December 1st.  

Gift of Warmth

Many Needham residents are facing increased financial challenges due to COVID. In additional to reducing food insecurity, our mission is to meet the un-met needs of our community; as winter approaches so does the high cost of utility bills.

The Town of Needham has a support program in place to provide assistance to residents called The Gift of Warmth. This program is available to help with overdue utility bills and/or to help prevent a utility shut off.

One source of support for the Gift of Warmth has always been the Council; b
ecause of the outpouring of support from our community due to COVID, we are able to increase our level of financial assistance. Many of the same residents who utilize the Council Food Pantry are in need of this program.
For more information on this program, call the Needham Public Health Division at 781-455-7940 to speak with a staff member or call the Aging Services Division at 781-855-3629 and speak with one of the Social Workers.

CAP Program News
Though the CAP Program is not currently able to provide live workshops to students in the elementary schools, our staff has been working hard to find other ways to share CAP strategies to keep our families

October was Domestic Violence Awareness month; as domestic violence continues to be on the rise we would like to bring awareness to the important work of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence: for survivors as well as friends, family, or others who are concerned about someone in their life.

Any Needham family can contact REACH for support and information. They have a new, confidential Online Chat option available 5 days a week:
Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 1-5pm, and Tuesday/Thursday from 1-8pm.

Visit the REACH website at: Reach On-line
or call their 24/7 hotline at 800-899-4000

Thrift Store DONATIONS Update

We know it isn't easy to find somewhere to donate clothing and household goods and we also know it isn't easy to get an appointment in our new donation system, But, it is working and we ask you to follow the procedures we have in place...and, if you are signed up for a donation drop off please come on time or cancel your reservation so others can sign up.

  If you go to the online sign up page, and all the slots are full, please check back again soon – we add new slots periodically.   

We would like to accept more donations and add more appointments but we are not able to increase the amount of donations at this time.

The health and safety of you, our staff & volunteers is our top priority; every item that is donated needs to be carefully received and sorted by a volunteer.  We are working hard to keep 
everyone safe through social distancing and limiting the number of volunteers – this means we can not sort as many donations as we have in the past so your patience is appreciated!

1. YOU MUST HAVE AN APPOINTMENT...sign up at the link below

2. All items donated must be CLEAN and SALEABLE. 
    (We have no space for items we can 
not sell)
3. Please review the guidelines at the link below and
4. print the DONATION FORM to bring with you at your appointment. 



DONATING elsewhere:

If you are unable to get an appointment with us and would like to donate your items elsewhere - we maintain a current list of other donation locations on our website:

Medical Equipment Loan Program

We are loaning out what we have in our inventory.  Call us, M-F, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at 781-444-2415, to check on availability and make arrangements for a contact-free pickup.  We will leave the equipment on our front porch for you to pick up at your convenience.

As of now, we are not accepting any returns of loaned equipment.

" I can't thank you enough for your medical loan program.  It was the reason my mother was able to live in her own home as she aged.  We borrowed everything from toilet seats to wheelchairs and it was so helpful!"  
      - Marcia

November Holidays
Our building will be closed
Wednesday, November 11th - Veteran's Day
Thursday, November 26th - Thanksgiving

Your Donations Make a Difference
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Needham Community Council
570 Hillside Avenue, Needham, MA 

Sandra Robinson, Executive Director

Debbie Winnick, Director of Development and PR

Page van Amson, Asst Director of Development and PR

Judy Lambert, Director of Programs & Volunteer Coordinator
Officers & Board of Directors 2020-21
Robert Dermody

Vice President
Lynn Alberding 

Kathleen Berner        

John Frantz

Past President
Margie Margolis

Priscilla Dasse

Diane DerMarderosian

Linda Farley

Lynn Gotwals

PJ Haskell

Jonathan Kappel 

Eilene Kleinman

Andrew McCollum

Alrie McNiff Daniels

Carrie Reddish

Diane Retzky

Mary Richman

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Address postal inquiries to:
Needham Community Council
570 Hillside Avenue
Needham, MA 02494