Sunday, December 14, 2008
Classes are held at both sites on a weekly basis and are small to allow for individualized instruction. Many people have learned to use a computer for the first time during the classes and some have gone on to purchase their own computers once they've gotten more comfortable with the technology. While most are interested in learning to use email and to "surf the net", others have recently been seeking a peek at the stock market, or have had instant message conversations with grandchildren. Others play games on-line. One woman stopped by recently to learn how to use Skype so she could talk with friends and relatives in Russia and India! The possibilities are endless.
The trend began several years ago when the Summit Estates knitting group heard about a group that donates hand-knit hats and scarves to children awaiting adoption in Russia. Since that time Knitting for Angels has expanded their reach and now the knitting group's donations are sent worldwide to children who need them. While they continue to knit up many hats to give to Knitting for Angles, over the summer they participated in a project to donate hand-knit dolls for chidlren. More recently they've been making donations to local shelters and churches as well.
The spirit of giving recently gave rise to a hugely successful food drive spearheaded by the Thursday afternoon discussion group at the complex which took place last week. It took nearly three hours to sort through the food donated by the residents, which will go to feed people who frequent three local food pantries. Though it was heavy, tedious work at times, there were a lot of laughs and group shoulder massages to help everyone get through the afternoon! We've already received a thank you from one of the food pantries, so in need of food as the number of people turning to them rises on an almost daily basis.
Dear Summit Group
Thank you so much for your collection and donation to the JfSNS food pantry. We function solely on donations and it is because of the generosity of groups like yours, who go the extra mile so our program can continue to exist and operate. Again on behalf of all of the families we help and you have helped I thank you.
Food Pantry Coordinator
Jewish Family Service
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The biggest news is that The Front Porch has been funded once again by the Commonwealth of MA for another year, thanks to the tireless advocacy efforts of our local legislators: Representatives Steven M. Walsh and Lori Ehrlich and Senator Thomas M. McGee. All three joined us recently to celebrate the hanging of the completed Neighborhood Quilt and the completion of The Front Porch's first year. Everyone was treated to a wonderful slideshow of highlights of the year, created by our departing Americorps/VISTA volunteer Keith Graul, and afternoon tea. Our new Americorps/VISTA volunteer will be starting next week.
The garden has continued growing and the beans, in particular, are reaching for the sky!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I would like to share with you a couple of the squares and explanations that were given about those squares...
"I am 'Queen Mother' of the Tower Girls Red Hat Society that came to be on my return to Lynn 2 years ago, to care for my mother. It is representative of having brought up my children on my own, now grown, making this 'my time.' As we learn in life, it is a cycle, you are cared for by your parents when you are a child, you grow and become independent. You have your own children to whom you devote your life, they grow, and for a few years you are on your own doing 'Your thing.' Then the tables turn and you care for your parents. All of this done in joy."
"My square shows the countries I've lived in and are part of who I am and my pride. I was born in Israel, of Italian descendance. Lived in Italy, now a citizen of the U.S.A. The citizenship was earned in PA - The hershey kisses, Fla. The Palm Trees, and Mass. - the ducklings.
To symbolize me, there is a big golden chef's hat, because I love being a cooking instructor. In my heart the most important thing is - Food (in english), Amore (love) to family and friends in Italian, and Aba (father) in hebrew."
Soon the whole quilt will be on view so everyone can see it! Thanks again to the Jewish Women's Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the North Shore who made this possible.
Monday, June 30, 2008
We started out the day warming up with Cindy's rousing introduction to Zumba Gold. Who said exercise had to be boring?!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The day began with the introductions of several visitors. Francesca, Jon Firger, the CEO of Jewish Family Service of the North Shore and Michael Bloom of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Boston stopped in for a while, as did newly elected Massachuetts State Representative Lori Erlich. Though only in office for a very short 11 weeks so far, she has done so much already to advocate for continued funding of the program. We're grateful to her for her advocacy as well as for spending some time with us.
Our Kaiserschmarrn recipe:
3 tablespoons raisins
250ml whole milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons butter
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the milk, yolks, white sugar. Gradually whisk in the flour to make a smooth batter. Stir in the raisins. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in the batter. In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Pour the batter into the skillet and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until the pancake has set and the bottom is golden brown. Turn over the pancake and cook 3 minutes, or until this side is also golden brown. Using a spatula or two forks, tear the pancake into bite-size pieces. Add 1 tabelspoon of butter and use a spatula to gently toss the pieces for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with plum or apple puree.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Keith and I arrived early to put the bed together before everyone else got there. Thankfully, Steven, a local carpenter, had cut the lumber up before we arrived. He also loaned us his power drill that was a bit more powerful than the one I had brought along, which helped to speed the work along. Gradually, out of that pile of wood, a garden bed emerged!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
After receiving our supply list this week we got to work--tracking down fill, lumber and organic soil and compost. The person I reached at the first place I called to try to get some fill, to help with the drainage of the garden bed, chuckled when I told him how much we needed--he said that they supply fill for building roads, not small veggie beds, so the search continued. And then--success. The stones will be delivered tomorrow. Hopefully our mathematical calculations were correct and we'll have enough fill for the project.
What with our schedules over the next few days, we decided to head out into the pouring rain today to pick up--24 bags of organic soil and compost. Once you're wet, more rain doesn't matter. 24 bags went into the cars...and 24 bags came out of the cars a few miles down the road--50 pounds each, we were told... but all of that will go into feeding those wonderful veggies and flowers.
We've prepared a list of vegetables in English, Russian and Hebrew so while working on the garden everyone can learn a few words of another language too. Hopefully we'll have a better day weatherwise on our building day!!!
Tomorrow--it's off to the lumber yard and then back to our site to check out the delivery of that ton of stones...
This garden project is made possible through the generosity of the Commonwealth of MA, Congregation Ahabat Sholom, The Food Project and Lynn Lumber.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Yesterday we had with us not one but two women who are experienced quilters and one of them brought a wonderful photograph of herself and a group of women who had all created a beautiful quilt years ago--very inspiring! There is such a long, rich history of people, usually women, working together on creative projects such as this, while getting to know eachother and sharing life's ups and downs.
We started off with a discussion of things that we like about this community: flowers, trees, the streets, friends who one woman has known for many years and how it reminds one woman of her home before her move here, Saint Petersburg in Russia. We also learned that most of us have come to the area from other places.
We created another mandala showing images of things we had discussed earlier. With streets awash in cherry blossoms because of the strong winds we've had and blooming flowers everywhere, there were many spring colors in the mandala today.
When we meet again in two weeks we'll start in on the quilt! Overall, there was a lot of excitement about this process today. We also exchanged some words in English and Russian.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Experienced quilter Clara Wainwright led our initial session on Monday. She came to us bearing colorful fabrics and the vision to see how they could be turned into faces and much more. We started off by creating self-portraits, some of which are seen here.