"People Helping People"
The Needham Community Council is a private 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.

October 2020 Newsletter


Loads of great coats and fall fashion under the tent!

Open to the Public
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10 am - 4  pm
NOW Open on Fridays 10 am - 2 pm
570 Hillside Avenue, Needham

Mastercard & Visa

Social distancing, masks required

We will be strictly limiting the number of shoppers into the tent at a time.  Please be prepared to wait to enter the tent.  We ask for your patience while we work to keep our shoppers and volunteers safe. 

Thank you to our partners who helped us set up the tent!
We are thrilled to be able to safely continue the tradition of our Annual Fall Coat Sale!  Come visit the Tent to see the newest collection of coats and fall clothing.  Items will be individually priced.


A Fun Evening with Don White
Singer, Songwriter & Comedian

Full Length Zoom Concert & After Party
Thursday, October 1st
7 pm

Enjoy an evening of music and comedy with Don White and support the Council at the same time!   Our very own Sandra Robinson will be there to introduce the Council.   The show is free, there will be a virtual tip jar and a portion of the money donated will be shared with the Homegrown Coffee House.
There is no one-word description for what Don White does. He’s an award-winning singer/songwriter, a comedian, an author, and a storyteller. He’s been bringing audiences to laughter and tears for thirty years, released ten CDs, three live DVDs, and a book, Memoirs of a C Student. For more information about Don’s work, please check out the videos and music here:
This event will be interactive – meaning that Don and the audience will be able to hear laughter and applause as it happens. At the end of the show, there will be an after party with Don and maybe a surprise guest or two!
How to participate:
The show will be streamed live to Facebook and YouTube from zoom
at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 1.
If you want to be in the interactive Zoom concert use this access information.
     Meeting ID: 856 6623 8071
     Password: 793408
To view the show on Facebook Live please go to
To view the show on YouTube, please go to

Thank you to the Homegrown Coffeehouse for including us in this entertaining evening!


Join our team!
As the world has gone digital, so has our English Language Learning.  We are looking for an ELL program manager who can build on our ELL program in a digital platform.  We have over 30 pairs of learners/tutors currently working on Zoom and other teleconference platforms.  We would like to expand and build our program within the new safety guidelines.

To learn more about the job and apply, please go to our website:


No Phone Calls Please

are a huge hit!
Thank you so everyone who participated in our Back to School Gift Card Program.  This year is like no other and in lieu of an actual supplies distribution, we have given gift cards to all our students going back to school.  With your generous help we've distributed over $8250 worth of cards to 77 families with 165 students of all ages
The families are so grateful to have the help during a time when the need is greater than ever.  
"I am so happy that I got this extra help! It allowed me to pursue other subjects by being able to get more materials. I am able to do more writing and I will dedicate my first book to the Needham Community Council.”
                                                  - Noah, Mass Bay Student

Special thank you to the residents of North Hill,  Direct Federal Credit Union, the Needham Women's Club and Caren & Stu Carpenter for their significant support of this program. 


With the generous support of our community and partners, we've been able to keep our Food Pantry shelves stocked and fulfill the food needs of our neighbors.  This past month we distributed over 19,000 lbs of food - we could not do it without everyone! 

Temple Beth Shalom High Holidays Food Drive
The boxes and boxes just keep come from the Amazon Wish List.  Our shelves are filled with everything from olive oil to toilet paper.  Happy New Year and  thank you to the community!

Jeff Dinneen donates a Freezer
Not only does Jeff Dinneen run the Cans for Calcium program to keep fresh milk in our refrigerator every week, he has donated over 1,200 pounds of food this month AND recently donated a brand new FREEZER to the Pantry.  

As our demand for food has sky rocketed and the trips to the Food Bank are less frequent, we needed more space to keep things frozen between the trips and our distribution.  It allows us to provide more meats and frozen foods to our customers.    He truly is an angel amongst us!

Lovin' Spoonfuls rescues Food
Partnerships with organizations like Lovin' Spoonfuls help to stock our Pantry with everything from fresh baked goods to glorious fruits and vegetables.   They work to rescue food and bring it to the people who really need it.  We are so fortunate to be a recipient of their hard work!

And so many more....

We are now OPEN for Thrift Store DONATIONS

All sales in our Thrift Shop help support Council programs and we depend on donations to stock the Shop.   Our new appointment program is working well - please sign up for your next donation below.

We are thrilled to be able to offer a good bargain and support our mission of "people helping people"
We ask that you follow our new policies carefully so we may keep everyone safe - no exceptions!

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. 



Donation Forms and Guidelines are also available on the Sign Up Website. 

Thank you to Anton's Cleaners for donating laundry carts which make our new donation process manageable
and safe for our staff and volunteers. 

Ride for Food
It's not to late to join the team! 

Due to COVID, we're changing it up! We won't have a one-day group bike ride, but all team members are encouraged to engage in an activity of their own choosing - whenever and wherever you, swim, hike, bike, spin, kayak (or do jumping jacks, planks, etc!) on your own time ....just have fun!  The Ride for Food has been extended to end on October 18th, fundraising deadline is Tuesday, December 1st. 

The goal is to raise critical funds and awareness to fight food insecurity.
Our neighbors are dealing with major adversity during these unprecedented times. It is more important than ever that we continue to support each other and raise the necessary funds to provide food & grocery items to families in our community.

Three teams support the Needham Community Council Food Pantry
Join a team and/or donate at the links below:

Team Community Council
Team Congregational Church of Needham
Team Direct Federal

$25 Registration Fee 

 No minimum fund raising this year,  but we ask for your best effort
 Funds raised by all three teams will help support hunger relief in our community. 

We welcome Lynn Gotwals and PJ Haskel to our Board of Directors.  The 
Board represents a broad group of community members with a wide range of professional and community–based experiences and expertise.
They are responsible for ensuring the Council has the resources it needs to meet our mission and they provide leadership and direction to staff and volunteers to carry it out. For the full list of Board members, with descriptive bios, visit our website.

October Holiday
Our building will be closed for Indigenous Peoples Day
Monday, October 12th


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.

CAP News

Thank you to all the CAP Volunteers who attended the Current CAP Volunteer Training sessions in September and for completing our 2020-2021 check-in survey! Preparations for CAP workshops this year are vastly different from prior years and we appreciate your patience, understanding, commitment, time, and effort. We ask for your continued patience as our schools settle into the hybrid learning model.

Lyft Rides to Medical Appointments

Lyft rides are now available on Friday in addition to Mon - Thurs between 9 am - 3 pm.  Riders must be healthy and wearing a mask. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance
Please call the office to request a ride 781-444-2415

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 


John Frantz

Past President
Margie Margolis
Kathleen Berner

Bill Concannon

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