We Don't Do This Alone


As we enter a difficult season for our clients, this week’s local events remind us that we don’t serve struggling Marshfield families in isolation. Within the week there were several key events at our partnering nonprofits and organizations.

The Business First Network group produced a joyful fundraiser at Haddad’s Restaurant on our behalf. Our hearts are full of thanks for the volunteers, donors, sponsors, and all of the attendees. (Extra kudos to Mother Nature for adding to the beautiful setting with storm and spectacular sunset.) The funds raised by the Business First Networking group will help many local families through the difficult summer months when school services are not available and parents’ schedules are doubly taxed.

Today, our good friends at the
Marshfield Food Pantry celebrated their recent move to their own home! Many people gathered at their new Library Plaza facility to share in their joy and mission. The new refrigerators and freezers await deliveries of fresh, healthy foods. Nearby the shelves are well stocked with canned, boxed and bagged foods, and other essential items.

We remember well the wonderful feeling when
Sowing Seeds was given our home. Congratulations to the Food Pantry and many thanks to the First Congregational Church of Marshfield which housed the Food Pantry for many years. Thanks also to the former members of the First Baptist Church of Marshfield who gave us a gift–their church building–that has helped change our lives and the lives of the thousands of Marshfield residents we have served and continue to serve.

The
Ventress Library shared in the celebration today with the grand opening of its new programs and conference rooms, and kitchen annex. Sharing in the renovated building are the Marshfield Recreation Department and the Marshfield program Providing Opportunities for Student Transitions (POST) serving to help 18 to 22-year-old special needs students gain vocation and life skills.

The Marshfield Mariner covered the intended use for the space here:
New Chapter Set to Begin for Marshfield’s Library Plaza.

At the start of this week, hundreds of residents joined in the 11th annual Molly Walk held each year on Father’s Day and honoring the life of young Molly Fitzgerald. The family and their friends have contributed to many projects enhancing life in town promoting arts and education. The most tangible sign of their work is the conversion of a downtown plot of land which they converted to the beautiful Dandelion Park, now annually hosting the town Christmas tree lighting and caroling celebration.

Many thanks to all the people who volunteer at these caring organizations. Together we are making a difference in the lives of our neighbors. We are grateful and fortunate to count you among our partners and friends.

*****************


If you’d like join Sowing Seeds or would like to discuss our services please call 781.837.3337. Mail and donations can be sent to PO Box 1001, Marshfield, MA 02050. We do not receive mail at our street address where one of our services, our Clothing Bank, is based. The Clothing Bank is opened on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 12 noon at 974 Plain Street, Marshfield, MA. We hope you will call us if you need a hand, or will stop by if you need clothing. Only in season new and nearly new donations are accepted inside our building. In 2016, our Clothing Bank provided 4,339 local residents (including many children) with school supplies, household goods and personal care items. Since our inception our intake committee has answered more than 9,000 additional calls for help. Let us know if you need help or would like to help us. Thank you.


Giving the Gift of the Outside World


It’s not easy to live and work in Marshfield without a car. One of our busiest services creates matches between people in need of transportation with our transportation volunteers, who provide essential rides for the elderly and chronically ill.


Can you give a neighbor a lift?
Some Sowing Seeds drivers choose to drive our clients locally; some people drive our clients to South Shore locations; others go to Boston. Call us if you're able to help in any capacity. Our director of volunteers will send a short application to you.

Rides are such a blessing to individuals who can't drive due illness, age, the lack of either a vehicle or a current driver’s license. When you give a non-driver a ride you are really giving the gift of the outside world.


If you are going to need a ride please call Sowing Seeds at 781.837.3337 (or 781.83.SEEDS). After you speak with an intake volunteer, a 72-hour notice will be needed for our transportation coordinator to match your request to the availability of a transportation volunteer. Rides are given on weekdays only, and only Monday through Friday count toward our required 72-hour notice.


Thanks to our transportation volunteers for their care and generous gift of time. You give the world to some people.


June at the Clothing Bank


JUNE at our CLOTHING BANK

The Clothing Bank is scheduled to be open on every Thursday and Saturday this June, from 10 am to 12 noon. There are no school holidays, no federal holidays, and hopefully no snow storms.

If you cannot meet us during those hours please call us at 781.837.3337 in you have an essential need or would like to make a donation. We accept in-season clothing in new or nearly new condition. Believe the calendar, not this week’s weather; it really is spring!




Sowing_ClothingBank_copy

A Backup Plan

A Backup Plan for Computers and Life

It appears as if we haven’t posted here in a few years. While posts have been fewer, it hasn’t been as long as it looks. An old computer died with some of our old web files on it. We were lucky. We had a backup plan.

Backup plans are rarely perfect for computers or for life. Many of the people we serve had backup plans once. They invested for a rainy day and then their lives met avalanches: Serious and debilitating medical conditions, family emergencies, workplace changes, unemployment or severe underemployment, caregiving, parenting, the economy, the costs of housing, food, utilities and healthcare…. Those are just some of the unpredictable issues weakening their backup plans or draining their energy and funds. For more than twenty years, when backup plans have failed, Marshfield residents have reached out to Sowing Seeds for guidance and help.

Most people who come to us would rather not have to ask for help. They are used to working hard, providing for themselves and their families. Seventy percent of our clients have kids! When struggles arise they often come in sets. That’s where the wonderful volunteers come into play, helping a local resident navigate stormy waters. First and foremost, our volunteers provide attentive listening and hearts filled with compassion. That’s not to be diminished. It’s in shorter supply than the world seems to need. However, those volunteers are also keenly familiar with the area resources, other Sowing Seeds specialists, and some funding sources. Sowing Seeds would like to be able to do even more for many families, yet our volunteers fill a need when other backup plans don’t exist or don’t work well.

If you’d like to speak with a Sowing Seeds volunteer about our services please call us at 781.837.3337; a volunteer will return your call. If you need clothing or essential household goods, please visit us on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 12 noon at 974 Plain Street (at the corner of Route 139 and School Street). If you’re able to make a contribution, please mail it to Sowing Seeds Ltd., PO Box 1001, Marshfield, MA 02050. We are a 501(c)3 and very grateful for the many members of our community who help us to help others.

Lastly, if you have a computer, hard drive, or even a smartphone, we have one more message for you:


Backup

Spring Cleaning


We’re Still Spring Cleaning!

SS_Spring_Cleaning_from_FB


Spring is in the air! Please consider sharing spring's air of freshness and new life with the struggling families we serve here in Marshfield.

When times are tough it's hard enough to pay for fresh food, housing, clothing, utilities, transportation and health care. Personal goods and fresh cleaning supplies quickly fall off the month's budget.

Please join us in our "Spring Cleaning" campaign by donating new sponges, unopened cleaning supplies (natural or conventional), personal care products, toilet paper or paper toweling to help us help local residents and families feel the freshness and hope of spring.

Many thanks for providing outstanding compassion and support to our neighbors who are struggling.

A special thanks to local Boy Scout, Robert (R.J.) Cunha who posted 50 of these flyers around town. Please share with others in your families, workplaces or organizations. Thanks to you and R.J.!

Sowing Seeds Back-to-School Wish List 2014 – Helping Local Children with a Fresh Start at School


Sowing Seeds Back-to-School Wish List 2014

Each year Sowing Seeds helps more than 100 local children meet their essential 
back-to-school requirements. Among this year’s pressing needs are:

•  Backpacks                                              
•  One inch 3-ring binders (w/ view covers)
• 3-ring notebook dividers                       
•  Single subject notebooks
•  New boxes of 32 crayons                    
•  Loose leaf paper
•  Red pens                                               
•  Dry erase markers
•  Yellow sticky notes                                
•  Folders (pocket folders)
•  Glue sticks & Elmer’s glue                     
•  New pencil boxes
•  Hand sanitizer & disinfecting wipes      
•  Boxes of tissues
•  Flash drives
• Scientific calculators for the middle school (a list of approved models is forthcoming)                         
•  Zip lock bags (gallon sized)
•  Fiskar scissors                                         
•  Pink erasers
•  Fine point black Sharpies                     
•  Loose leaf paper
•  New highlighters                               
•  Crayola or Prang watercolor sets
•  Packages of lined index cards                                    
•  Lunch bags or totes

As always, our children and adults need:
•  Packages of new socks                         
•  Packages of new underwear
 
Gift cards to local merchants help us fulfill customized needs:
•  Marshalls & TJ Maxx                             •  Payless ShoeSource
•  Kohl’s                                                      •  Local supermarkets
•  Local pharmacies                                  •  Gas stations

In recent years Sowing Seeds Ltd. has seen a dramatic rise in the number of Marshfield families requiring our services. Families we help also require assistance over a longer period of time. Our Back-to-School and other Clothing Bank goods are not our only services. Please help us to help Marshfield’s children and famiies if you can.
 
Sowing Seeds also has an additional 60+ volunteers helping outside of our Clothing Bank. Our intake and transportation volunteers address additional essential needs of other children, adults and senior citizens.
 
To learn more please visit www.sowingseedsofhope.net. New volunteers and clients should call 781.837.3337 for more information; a volunteer will return your call. The Clothing Bank is opened on most Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to noon at 974 Plain Street, Marshfield, MA. Our mail is received only at PO Box 1001, Marshfield, MA 02050. We are 100% volunteer run.

You can also view this list (and amendments) on your smartphone by visiting http://tinyurl.com/sowingseedsblog-school2014 or scanning here before you head out to shop: 

qrcode.23924810


Thanks so much for your help in giving our children a chance for their own success!

Sowing Seeds – A Legacy of Compassion

Sowing Seeds – A Legacy of Compassion

We recognize them in the supermarket. They stand over their shopping cart with wallet and phone in hand, trying to determine if they have enough money for their most basic needs. We recognize them at the playground when they bring their kids to explore the mazes. Their kids are wearing the pants they picked up last month at our Clothing Bank. We know their smiles and faces at the Marshfield Senior Center. There they are grateful for a place to share a warm daily meal. They smile at us remembering that we found people to build a handicap ramp for them. It’s good to see them out.

Through our two decades we’ve seen and heard stories of acute and chronic illnesses, loss, family strife, job losses, underemployment, abandonment, depression and disasters. We’ve seen people nearly give up hope, only to see them surge once again with an exemplary resilience and fortitude.

They are all ages, all sizes, from all the neighborhoods in town. No family is immune to struggle. With the help of our very dedicated volunteers, supporters and partnering organizations we’ve been able to help them re-write their stories – their endings.

We now see them also at the checkout line in the supermarket. They are working the register and giving us an appreciative smile when we pass through. We see them at church where they are quick to bring in food or clothing to donate to another struggling family. We see their children or parents at the post office. We see them because our former client has succumbed to a cancer or other illness. Tears of gratitude greet us for the work our volunteers did, for the compassion and love our volunteers shared.

For two decades we’ve given rides, clothing, advice, counsel. We’ve paid for rent, medicine, food, gasoline and other essential goods. Each of our 7,500+ phone calls has been answered with the support of our community behind us.

You’ve given underwear, socks, blankets, pants, shirts and dresses. You’ve provided winter coats and summer sandals. You’ve driven to medical appointments in Boston and other appointments locally. You’ve provided that school aged child a backpack, calculator and supplies to help him or her get another chance at a fresh start each September.

As we enter back-to-school season we thank you for the generous, caring help you’ve given to your neighbors. Many are still in great financial need. Many still have additional personal or family needs. If you’d like help and want to meet with our volunteers please call us at 781.837.3337. If you’d like to volunteer please leave a message at the same number; a volunteer will call you back. Any donations or correspondence should be addressed to Sowing Seeds Ltd., PO Box 1001, Marshfield, MA 02050. Our Clothing Bank is open on Thursday and Saturday mornings, from 10 am to 12 noon. Please stop by if you’re a Marshfield resident and need a hand. For more information visit
www.sowingseedsofhope.net. Thank you all who have helped to alleviate the difficulties of our neighbors.

Road Construction Closes Clothing Bank, 7/10


Due to road construction work our Clothing Bank will not open on Thursday, July 10, 2014. The Clothing Bank will, however, be open this coming Saturday, July 12, from 10 am till 12 noon. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.

As always, our other services are available by phone. Please call us at 781.837.3337 and a volunteer will return your call.

We hope you’re cool!

Clothing Bank: July 3 and July 5


Reminder: Due to the road construction and the Independence Day holiday we will not be opening our Clothing Bank on Thursday, July 3 or Saturday, July 5, 2014. Our other services are still available.

If you need a hand or would like to give a hand please call 781.837.3337. Happy, safe Fourth of July!

Schedule Change This Week

If you haven't been near our end of Rte. 139 lately you might not know that road construction is underway at our corner of Rte. 139 and School Street. For that reason, and to give our volunteers a break near the holiday, our Clothing Bank will be closed this Thursday, July 3 and Saturday, July 5, 2014.

Sowing Seeds offers many services in addition to our Clothing Bank. If you are a Marshfield resident and would like to discuss our services with us please call 781.837.3337 (or 781.83.SEEDS). A volunteer will return your call.

We hope you have a joyful and safe Independence Day holiday. Happy Fourth!

An Irish Riviera Festival Fundraiser from Our Friends

More information follows about the fun Irish Riviera Festival coming this Sunday by the Friends of Sowing Seeds. We are so grateful for our Friends who help to raise awareness and funds for us.

They’ve helped us to help thousands of Marshfield residents.

Thank you all!


FOSS_Irish_Riviera_IMG_3776

Donna Adams, Our Great Friend

A note follows from the President of Sowing Seeds, Mary Doolan, regarding the passing of Donna Adams, a long time Sowing Seeds intake volunteer and board member. Our hearts are very heavy indeed.
       

SS_Fall_2011_Donna_Trinity



From Mary:

            All of us at Sowing Seeds are deeply saddened by the death of Donna Adams on Friday, June 13.

            Donna was an operating room nurse for thirty-two years who, after retirement thirteen years ago, joined the Sowing Seeds Board, representing Trinity Episcopal Church.  At that time Donna also became a vital member of the Intake Committee.  In addition, on her first visit to our Clothing Bank, when Donna encountered men and women who could not speak English, she helped establish an English-as-a-second-language program through the Outreach Committee at Trinity Church.  That group expanded to a broader-based group of tutors and students that continues today.

            Donna personified the mission and ideals of Sowing Seeds.  She enriched the lives of all she met with her spirit, compassion, commitment, courage, and faith.  When you spoke with Donna, her sunny disposition, humility, and humor were always uplifting and inspiring.  

            In an interview for the newsletter in 2007, Donna said, “I personally believe that one of the most important services we offer is the connection we forge with others when their world is falling apart.  Many times a person just needs an empathetic listener who can help problem solve with fresh insight.  We listen, we encourage, we praise their efforts…and we help as much as we can, however we can.”  Donna always helped everyone in need as much as she could, however she could.

            Donna will live forever in the hearts of all of us who were fortunate enough to know her and work with her.  One of our Board members spoke for all of us when she wrote, “Donna, you are the most loving, caring person I have ever met.  The world is a better place for having you in it.  Your light will
never go out.”

            May Donna’s soul rest in peace, and let perpetual light shine upon her.  We send many prayers and sincere condolences to her husband Randy and their large, wonderful family.

            Visiting hours for Donna will be on Wednesday, June 18, from 4 to 8 pm at the MacDonald Funeral Home, 1755 Ocean Street, Marshfield.  A funeral service will be held Thursday, June 19, at 11 am, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 229 Highland Street, Marshfield Hills.    


Mary Doolan, for the Board of Directors, Sowing Seeds Ltd. 

Join Our Friends at the Irish Riviera


We are so fortunate that a wonderfully spirited organization, the Friends of Sowing Seeds, has chosen to host a delightful fundraising event on our behalf. Their next event just around the corner on Sunday, June 22, 2014. We hope to see you there!

IRISH RIVIERA FESTIVAL!
Sunday, June 22, 2014
4:00pm - 9:00pm
Winslow House
Marshfield, MA



This will be a tented event featuring Live Irish Bands: Erin Og, Hughie & Ger, Celtic K's, as well as Bag Pipers & Irish Step Dancers! There will also be an auction and raffles as well as a gallery of authentic Irish artwork, jewelry, and clothing on sale!

Refreshments will be available for purchase.

All proceeds go to benefit Sowing Seeds of Marshfield and the wonderful services that they provide the community.

For tickets please call 617.755.1645 or email:
FriendsofSowingSeeds@verizon.net or you can purchase tickets below.



The Friends of Sowing Seeds can be reached on Facebook and web here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/657156317653290/
http://www.friendsofsowingseeds.org/upcoming-events.html


(Sowing Seeds Ltd. maintains a separate website and social media sites. It’s always best to phone Sowing Seeds directly if you’re looking for assistance or would like to volunteer with us. A volunteer will call you back.)

Thank you for supporting the Friends of Sowing Seeds’ efforts which in turn will help us to help our neighbors!

Promises Kept

Our volunteers come in all sizes and ages. Many embody the same spirit as this sweet woman whose story we found on the web.

What can we do for your today? What would you like to do today?

http://www.viralnova.com/evelyn-license/

Bubbles? Yes, Bubbles!

BUBBLES! Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!

Rarely do we get to ask for the fun things in life. Our neighbors still need help with essential goods - like underwear (especially men's). Yet, when a Mom or Dad visits our Clothing Bank this summer we'd like to have a fun distraction and gift for the children who tag along.

At a meeting today it was thought that BUBBLES and PINWHEELS would be fun. Thanks for thinking of us!

Congratulations and Thank You, Michael Maresco

Once a year town leaders and residents gather to honor one person or couple for outstanding contributions to our community. Tonight, Michael Maresco is receiving Marshfield's Citizen of the Year Award. Michael has done so much wonderful work for the children and adults of our community. It's hard to summarize in a paragraph. (We'll attached a link to the article in the Mariner.) For now it's hardly enough just to say "thank you" - to you, Kathleen and your children - for your incredible ongoing contributions to our town. You've made our world a better place.


The Chamber’s link to Citizen of the Year information:
http://marshfieldchamberofcommerce.com/events/2014-citizen-of-the-year/

From Wicked Local and the Marshfield Mariner:
http://marshfield.wickedlocal.com/article/20140325/News/140327570

Congratulations and thank you, Michael and family!

Maya Angelou


From Maya Angelou,

"The honorary duty of a human being is to love."

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."

"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."

Rest in peace and thank you, Maya Angelou (1928-2014).

Observing Memorial Day

Our Clothing Bank will be *closed* Saturday, May 24, 2014 in observance of Memorial Day weekend's activities. We hope that all of our volunteers and the people we serve have safe travels to family and friends this busy weekend.

We are so grateful for the men and women who defended our beloved country to give us our freedoms. Those who died in service are honored this weekend. Although it's the unofficial start of summer we hope you are also able to visit a parade or honor guard at a cemetery. Our fallen soldiers gave all that they had for us. Be well and enjoy your weekend.

The Clothing Bank should resume its normal hours again on Thursday, May 29. If you are a Marshfield resident in need of a helping hand, or if you'd like to volunteer, please call 781.837.3337. Thank you!

The Wrong Number was Right

I dialed a wrong number today but didn't leave a message. When that person called me back I explained that I had been trying to contact another Sowing Seeds volunteer. "Oh, Sowing Seeds," she exclaimed! She had volunteered with us during our earliest years next to the old former hardware store downtown (Toabes).

She continued by sharing many things that most charitable volunteers know: "Oh, people should only donate nice clothing. Even the kids an adults who fall on hard times shouldn't have to wear raggedy, pill-laden clothing." She went on to say how nice most of the clothing is that we receive. Yet, she noted, that some of it shouldn't have been donated; it should have been thrown away or made into rags. "All people deserve to be treated with dignity," she reminded me.

She was singing my song! The phone call continued.

She told me a couple of personal stories illustrating that *anyone* can fall on hard times and many people do have a period or two of struggle in their lives. She told me about some of hers. It was her perseverance, courage and the help of friends and community that gave her enough of a boost to get over her hurdles. Her struggles strengthened her resolve to assist others. She contends the she could not have overcome her particular obstacles alone, no matter how hard she tried.

After many years in Marshfield she will be moving to live near her adult children soon. My bet is that she will share her usable goods and toss or recycle the rest, knowing that a volunteer would otherwise have to sort it out. It's people like her that have added so much compassion to our volunteer corps. It's people like her that make this a great town in which to work and live.

What a delightful wrong number that was!

Best wishes to her and each of you.

Donating Clothing


A reminder to our generous donors: Clothing contributed to the Clothing Bank at Sowing Seeds is distributed to local families. Our out-of-season clothing and other donations not currently distributable are passed along to other charitable organizations through our outdoors bins.

Any donation to Sowing Seeds should be handed to one of our volunteers during our usual hours (or by appointment for large contributions). The Clothing Bank is usually opened on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 12 noon. Deposits made to our outdoor bins will be distributed by charities other than Sowing Seeds.

Thanks for thinking of us and our neighbors!

Honoring Strength



Listening to the Boston Marathon Bombing survivors right now. Their fortitude and resilience is incredibly inspiring! We love that some of the speakers are also calling for people to get involved with the needs of their neighbors.

Just as our volunteers are "strong" for our clients, our volunteers consistently report that they gain more from volunteering than they ever imagined. We thank the people we serve for becoming exemplars of strength, courage, hope, love and fortitude for us.

To all who step forward requesting and accepting help we say "thank you." May you continued to be blessed with strength, resilience, faith, hope and love.

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Ever wake up on a beautiful morning singing Mr. Rogers' "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood"?

Well, we promise not to sing but we do have a wonderful group of neighbors anxious to greet you at Sowing Seeds today. If you are a Marshfield resident who could use a little boost to your wardrobe come visit our Clothing Bank between 10 am and 12 noon. If you'd like to make a donation of gently used or new in-season clothing or critically needed packages of new underwear (especially boys and men's boxers) you can find us at 974 Plain Street, at the corner of Rte. 139 and School Street.

For all other services and for information about joining our town wide band of volunteers please call 781.837.3337. a volunteer will return your call.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMUGJZrR9Jg


Yes, We're on Facebook

You can find us on Facebook!

Thank you to our friends joining our Facebook page this week. As you know it has become increasingly harder to "spread the word" via Facebook. We appreciate your interest, support, help and voice.

Please remember to call our telephone line if you’d like help or would like to speak with one of our volunteers: 781.837.3337.

We hope you're well!

Angels in Disguise

Every day our volunteers and donors are the kind of angels illustrated in this piece. Our clients also have the same basic and extreme needs as Andrea writes about here. Many thanks to each of you who steps up to help a struggling neighbor. We know of too many hurting neighbors and friends right now. Yes, still. Too many friends are hurting due to unemployment and, more precisely, underemployment.

Thanks to each of you who gives a hand or opens up a job. Either way, you're giving people a chance to help their families. You're a blessing.

May you be well and comfortable.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrea-gardner/to-the-woman-behind-me-in_b_5082769.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

There's No Stopping Us

Our Clothing Bank is open right now! After this winter did you really think a few flakes would stop us?

Come on down at stock up on winter clothing while we still have them in stock. 974 Plain Street. Thursday and Saturday from 10 am to 12 noon.

For all other services please call, 781.837.3337.

The Sheer Joy of Giving


Had a chance meeting with a couple who'd like to help us to help our struggling neighbors. They run a unique service. We're very heartened by their willingness to serve with us. Like most of our volunteers they don't want public recognition for the work they'd do. They'll help out for the sheer joy and satisfaction of helping their neighbors - our neighbors. They'll help out because they know people could use their assistance and they're willing to share their talents with people in need.

We are so grateful to be in a community with so many warm hearted people. Our volunteers put their core beliefs into action—often quietly. How blessed and lucky are we!

Humility



Had a chance meeting with a couple who'd like to help us help our struggling neighbors. They run a unique service. We're very heartened by their willingness to help. Like most of our volunteers they don't want public recognition for the work they'd do. They'll help out for the sheer joy and satisfaction of helping their neighbors - our neighbors. They'll help out because they know people could use their help and they're willing to share their talents with people in need.

We are so grateful to be in a community with so many warm hearted people. Our volunteers put their core beliefs into action—often quietly. How blessed and lucky are we!

Looking for A Rapidweaver Expert


We're looking to update our website. Since we have decided to use the same software as before, I'm wondering if we have any Rapidweaver experts among our friends. I doubt we'll run into trouble. Yet, it would be nice to have someone offer advice if we want to try adding new features.

(Note to outside web developers: We'd like to save you time if you plan to call our line in hopes of selling us a new website. We are a band of volunteers - 100% volunteers. We've chosen to funnel our donations toward our clients' needs rather than many other services. Thanks for thinking of us.)

If you know anyone fluent in Rapidweaver please message this Facebook page or our website. Thanks!

Spring Will Come! Obtain Your Warm Clothing Now.


Offhand, this poster doesn't know how long the Clothing Bank will feature winter clothing. Due to space considerations we pass most of our winter clothing to other charities at the beginning of spring each year.

If you're in need of warm clothing (and let's face it, who isn't these days) consider stopping by the Sowing Seeds Clothing Bank today. We'll be open from 10 am until 12 noon. (Be sure to arrive a bit early. Our volunteers will be locking up at noon.) Great friends in our community have shared wonderful articles of clothing. Stop by to take a look.

Here’s where we are:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sowing+Seeds/@42.1068152,-70.7578896,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xfadc47938337579f?hl=en


You can also find our Google Maps location here: http://tinyurl.com/SowingSeedsHome

The Magical Moon Foundation to Benefit from Good Deeds


Our good friends at Good Deeds (of Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap) will contribute a significant portion of their profits this month to a wonderful local group, The Magical Moon Foundation which nurtures and empowers children with cancer. You can stop by Good Deeds today and almost every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12 noon - 6 pm or on Saturdays from 9-5. You get to shop a great consignment shop and support a great cause each month. We're so grateful for their support last month of us.

Thanks for all who support us, the people we serve and also support other worthy organizations! You make the world a better place!

Thanks for Helping to Keep Your Neighbors Warm


If you're local I bet you are a tad cold this morning! It was so cold in our kitchen that part of my old kettle's handle broke off. Imagine being homeless or without heat in this weather? Brrr!

Our Intake volunteers have responded to more than 7,000 calls, many regarding housing or fuel assistance. Thank you to all our friends and neighbors who have helped us give advice and a helping hand to our neighbors. You're helping many people keep the heat on today.

In Search of Cars for Local Families


Cars. We're looking for cars for several of our pre-screened clients. It's President's Day weekend. If you're in the market for a newer car please consider donating your car to Sowing Seeds. Certain tax considerations still apply.

Many families, single parents and senior citizens have a tough time with transportation. We do not live in a completely walkable town. Your car gift would give safety, time, flexibility and comfort to your neighbor. Thanks for your consideration.

Thanks!

Most Services Opened. Clothing Bank Closed Due to Snow.



This Just in! The Clothing Bank at Sowing Seeds will not open today. The decision was made to protect the safety of our clients and volunteers. Word is that the roads are a lot worse than they first look. Please be careful!

As always, we're just a phone call away. Call our volunteers if you're a Marshfield resident in need of help or if you'd like to help. Thanks!

Lingering Holiday Cheer and Thanks


At a meeting today some of your generous contributions were mentioned. Prior to the Christmas holidays we were showered with goodness from our many friends and supporters. Never have we seen such great needs. We also never have had such a great response from the community. THANK YOU!

This list won't be comprehensive. (Sorry!) Yet, even after the holidays we have received a wealth of goods from Joe Rossi's campaign for 2,000 items. We've also recently received a generous amount of Rachel Ray cookware, clothing from
Furnace Brook Middle School's drive, Hannah M's toddler clothing donation, goods from a Florida consignment shop, clothing collected by Acorn Canning Company, some very welcome cash, a sweet collection of jewelry – beautifully prepared to re-gift, and a few dozen flashlights from Peter Brown of Tiny & Sons Glass — prepping our neighbors to meet the challenges of Mother Nature and the electric company. We also were given several packages of new underwear—an ever present, essential need. Add the great efforts, publicity and generous monetary contribution made by the Good Deeds consignment shop — sister company to Janet LaBerge's Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap — and we've had a wonderful start to our very busy year.

Thank you all for all you do!

Wow, this is only a partial list! Add to that the other goods, funds and services and there's no doubt: We are in a community ablaze with compassion, love and service for your neighbors.

Just since January our volunteers drivers have given local residents ~50 rides to critical appointments. Our intake committee has answered dozens of calls for specific needs — many complex. We've continued to match furniture donors to people needing essential goods.

When you see "we" here it includes you! Each person who takes interest in our volunteers' work helps to bolster our spirit and resolve to help our struggling neighbors. Thank you.

If you know a Marshfield resident who needs a hand, please pass along our phone number: 781.837.3337. If you would like to volunteer with us please call our phone line and leave a message. A volunteer will return your call.

Here's to a good year for you and each of our neighbors. Here's to our great band of volunteers, donors and supporters who brighten the lives and lighten the loads of too many struggling residents in our community. Thank you.

Weather Alert



Weather alert? As of now we plan to open our Clothing Bank tomorrow, Thursday, February 13, 2014, from 10 am to noon. We'll make the final decision in the morning. In the event that we are closed we'll leave a notice here. We'll also contact our good friends compiling storm closings 95.9 WATD FM.

On Saturday, February 15, the Clothing Bank will be closed for the beginning of school vacation week. If you or a neighbor needs any of our services please call: 781.837.3337.

Stay safe. Stay warm!

Giving Back - Paying it Forward


Jane Peterson (left) at the Good Deeds Give Back Party in February. Jane works tirelessly to find bone marrow matches for people with blood cancers. If you'd like to host a swabbing drive or get tested please contact Jane. — with .
Jane Peterson at Good Deeds, Pembroke, MA



Pasted Graphic

Let There be Light(s)

It was *not* a dark and stormy nigh!

A month ago we asked our Facebook friends to consider donating flashlights to Sowing Seeds. We're helping our clients prepare for inclement weather and those famous Marshfield power outages. Several individuals brought flashlights to the Clothing Bank during our open hours on Thursdays and Saturday from 10 to noon. We are very grateful!

Then one day we received a message via Facebook from someone saying he had some flashlights for us. Boy, did he ever! Thanks to Peter Brown of
Tiny & Sons Glass we were comforted during this snowstorm knowing that several of our neighbors had a fresh new light should the power go out. We are fortunate to have so many caring people in our community willing to give a hand where a hand is needed. We are busier than ever. More people are contacting us than ever before.

When families experience underemployment or unemployment they often choose between filling their food carts or paying utility bills. Flashlights and new shoes become luxury items. We thank Peter and each of you who donated a flashlight.

Out of the darkness there comes a great light - and you bear it and share it. Thank you!

The Good Deeds of Others


At Sowing Seeds our spirits are bolstered when a struggling individual or family improves its situation. Our spirits are also lifted when new volunteers, supporters or groups join us in that mission.

We have never been busier. We never have been more grateful for each of you helping us help our neighbors. Thank you! Each minute, gesture, ride, dime, prayer or piece of clothing that you share with us is greatly valued and used for the improvement of your neighbors' lives.

Rarely do we actually get to party with our supporters. Today we will. Janet LaBerge and the good folks of Good Deeds and
Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap will host one of their monthly "Give Back" celebrations where they will present us with a check from proceeds from their January sales. How cool is that!

We are grateful for Janet's vision, work and dedicated staff. We are grateful for each person who made a purchased at the Good Deeds consignment shop on Rte. 139 in Pembroke where they've adopted a "Pay it Forward" mission. We are grateful that will get to celebrate with them in the dark of winter when we are all happy and blessed to share a little more light in this world.

Thanks to all of you helping your neighbors stay a little warmer this winter. Thanks to each of you helping them in their moments of need and struggle. You make a difference.

A Little Happy Music for You



People offer many ways of supporting one another. Here's one cool Dad's way of helping his daughter and many other cancer patients and families.

Our volunteers might not sing to you but they're willing and able to give a hand. If you're a Marshfield resident struggling with your essential needs please call 781.837.3337. A volunteer will return your call. Thanks!

Oh, and
Alastair Moock Music, we'll be rooting for you at the Grammies!

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/01/25/boston-dads-song-for-daughter-with-cancer-gets-grammy-nomination/

Candle Fire Safety

Marshfield was pretty lucky with this storm. With many other storms we've power outages! For that reason we're running a campaign during January in search of FLASHLIGHTS, flashlight bulbs and fresh batteries.

Last year we served more than 500 families in our Clothing Bank. Our Intake Committee, which addresses a broad spectrum of basic needs, has answered more than 7,000 Marshfield calls for help since our inception.

We share hope and light. We hope you and your loved ones use attended candles with joy and care. Never leave a candle unattended. Please don't use them in your bedroom or where children, pets or wind can access them. It only takes a second for a flame to spread.

For that and many more reasons we are in search of FLASHLIGHTS to help local families during power outages.

Thank you.

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/candle.shtm

Closing and Cancellation Announcements

Because of the snow and cold the Sowing Seeds Clothing Bank will also be closed today, Saturday, January 4. If you need non-clothing services please call 781.837.3337. A volunteer will return your call. The Clothing Bank should reopen during normal hours on Thursday, January 9 from 10 am until 12 noon, weather permitting!

For other area cancellations listen to
95.9 WATD FM or check http://959watd.com/stormwatch/
safe_image.php

More Snow?

This just in! The Clothing Bank at Sowing Seeds will not be opened on Saturday, January 4, 2014.

Clothing Bank hours will resume on Thursday, January 9 from 10 am until 12 noon.

If anyone would like to contact Sowing Seeds about our other services please call: 781.837.3337. A volunteer will return your call.

We decided to keep the Clothing Bank closed tomorrow in order to safeguard the welfare of our volunteers and clients. With much snow we are concerned about people parking, walking and driving through our driveway. Please stay alert and safe. Oh, and happy new year to all!

Happy (Snowy) New Year

Happy New Year to all our friends!

With the first big storm of the year upon us we have decided to close the Clothing Bank tomorrow morning, January 2, 2014 for the safety of our volunteers and clients.

We hope 2014 brings you good health, love, prosperity, peace and joy - oh, and fewer snow storms. Stay safe!

Clothing Bank Closed for Holiday Family Time



Throughout this season we hold dear the many people who help us year round and the many people we serve. Today, Saturday, December 28, the Clothing Bank will again be closed in order to give our volunteers more time with family, travels and friends. Our Clothing Bank will reopen on Thursday, January 2, 2014 from 10 am until 12 noon.

Please do not leave your generous donations outside our doors. Also note that goods placed in the collections bins on our property are distributed to another nonprofit. Those bins are situated at Sowing Seeds in order for us to pass along any surplus we may have, including all out-of-season clothing.

THANK YOU for your generous support of our many services. If you need a hand please call us at 781.837.3337 and a volunteer will return your call.

Merry Christmas season and our sincere wishes for a healthy, happy, peaceful new year to you. May the new year greet you with much comfort and joy!

Support from Local Artists


All year long we tend to some of our neighbors' most serious basic needs. All year long we find great support in this caring town. At this time of year we are particularly blessed when people think of us in "the Giving Season." Tonight a group of artists presents an art sale hosted at Haddad's Ocean Cafe. Proceeds from the raffle sale will hope us help others. If you're out and about stop by for an interesting gift for someone on your list.


Haddad’s Ocean Cafe to Host Girls Night Out: An Evening of Wares and Works
291 Ocean Street, Brant Rock, Massachusetts 02020

This Month's Wish List



People often ask what they can contribute in addition to time, funds or services. Our list is long! We are helping a great many local families right now. We've selected a few items to highlight this month. As always, we are very grateful to the generous people in our community who are helping us to serve their struggling neighbors. THANK YOU! Every little bit makes a difference in someone's life.

Need help or able to volunteer? Call us at 781.837.3337. A volunteer will return your call.

Best to you!

Sowing_Seeds_WishList_XMAS2013

We Give Thanks for You

We gather this day to give thanks. Some gather with family or friends. Others feel the absence or loss of loved ones. Many are on duty, in hospitals, at work or at home alone by choice or not. No matter with whom we dine today we gather collectively as a nation to say thanks.

On the web there are debates about the number of countries actually celebrating "Thanksgiving." The title might change but several other countries and groups celebrate special days of thanks: thanks for family, friends, security, education and many freedoms. Thanks for harvest, health and hope. Thanks for the blessings we have already received. Thanks for the people who have shared and fostered those blessings.

At Sowing Seeds we add extra thanks for our volunteers, our leaders, our supporters, our donors, our community and our clients. We learn much from each of you. You've taught us about compassion, empathy, generosity, fortitude, resilience, faith, hope, courage and love. We are blessed to live in a caring community with so many individuals, families and organizations partnering with us to serve the many individuals and families struggling in our own town.

While none of our work would get accomplished without our volunteers' contributions of invaluable time, talent and services, we also wouldn't be able to serve as we do without the generous support of our community. Since we focus our time on our clients' needs we don't overtly fundraise. To that end, a spirited, caring group of extraordinary people banded together to help support us: The
Friends of Sowing Seeds. Although some of the Friends are also Sowing Seeds volunteers many are not direct volunteers. Independently, they've chosen to give their energy and talents to raise funds for us. To those invaluable Friends we also offer heartfelt gratitude for all your efforts resulting in greater awareness and funding for the critical services we offer our neighbors. Thank you.

The requests for Sowing Seeds' services continue to rise. Our good neighbors at the Marshfield Food Pantry have noticed the same alarming trend. We are grateful to each of you who in your own way contributes to the well-being of your family, friends, neighbors and community.

We wish you warm memories of Thanksgivings past, joy, good health and comfort in your present celebration, and fulfilled dreams for your future Thanksgivings. Thanks for sharing a part of your lives with ours.

A Place at the Table



Before this formal Thanksgiving 2013 passes we offer another token of gratitude for the other wonderful Marshfield organization who help us to tend to our neighbors in need. To the
Marshfield Food Pantry, Marshfield Community Christmas, Kiwanis Marshfield, Molly Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, veterans support groups, Friends of Sowing Seeds, South Shore Habitat for Humanity, End Hunger NE, donors, supporters and volunteers from many civic and church organizations, families, schools groups, friends and many other local and regional associations we offer our heartfelt thanks for your dedication in helping so many people - indeed too many people - during these difficult years. Thank you for making a difference in so many lives, young and old.

To our Sowing Seeds volunteers we again say thank you and rest up! We have a busy season ahead of us. We are so grateful for the guidance, services and essential goods you provide your struggling neighbors. We hope you had a special, loving Thanksgiving, knowing that many people are grateful for you.

This Thanksgiving, many people are asking Congress to set a place at the table today for the 50 million Americans who do not have enough to eat.
http://bit.ly/17Wte9Y

Several of those people are in Marshfield and on the South Shore. Thanks to all who volunteer and work to provide essential, basic needs for our neighbors.

Labor Day 2013


In honor of Labor Day celebrations our Clothing Bank will be closed today. If you need help with clothing stop by next Thursday or Saturday, from 10 am to 12 noon. If you need other services please call: 781.837.3337.

Clothing Bank donations can only be accepted during our volunteer hours. Please do not leave clothes outside our door. We will not be able to accept them. Other contributions and mail can be received at: PO Box 1001, Marshfield, MA 02050. We appreciate our community's interest and support in helping our struggling neighbors. This community truly has a heart.

Enjoy your celebrations with family and friends. We'll be celebrating all those who "labor" and all those looking for work.

Travel safely. Please, please, don't text and drive.

Closed in Honor of Labor Day



Our volunteers have been busy all summer helping local residents with transportation, clothing, and a myriad of other basic needs.

Out of respect and gratitude for their generous time and spirit the Clothing Bank will be closed tomorrow, Saturday, August 31, so that our volunteers can enjoy time with family and friends this Labor Day weekend.

Travel safe, everyone! The Clothing Bank will again be open on Thursday, September 5 at 10 a.m.

A little reminder: Please do not leave items outside our door. If they've been left out we cannot accept them. Thanks for understanding. Thanks for your participation is the little local miracle called Sowing Seed

Clothing Bank -- Thursdays and Saturdays


A quick reminder about our Clothing Bank hours.

Our Clothing Bank volunteers will be accepting donations and helping our neighbors at our building today (and almost every Thursday and Saturday) at 974 Plain Street from 10 am to 12 noon. Our other volunteers are available to you if you leave a message at 781.837.3337.

Please note that we can only accept your generous donations of clothing which are handed to one of our volunteers during our open hours.

We hope you're having a great weekend!

Thanks for your kind support!

Back-to-School Wish List


Well, it is Christmas in July! With little left of this July, one of our loyal supporters sent us a private FB message asking about our wish list. Thank you!

It's no secret that we serve a great number of families at Christmas. What's lesser known is that we are just as busy—if not busier—in the summer. In short, it's very tough on many families when school is not in session.

Going back to school is even tougher.

Excerpts from our current wish list includes:

• New backpacks!
We help 100+ Marshfield students get a good start on the school year. We'll list additional, specific school needs next week. Every year we need backpacks.

• Packages of new underwear
• Packages of new socks
Both items are needed for all ages and genders. If we had to choose we'd ask for men's underwear, as we run short on them quite frequently.

Gift cards to local merchants help in many ways. Some of our preferred stores include:

• Marshalls
• TJ Maxx
• Kohl's
• Roche Bros.
• Stop & Shop
• Shaw's
• Payless ShoeSource
• CVS
• Gas stations
• other local stores offering essential services and products

• MATTRESSES!
We are in search of new mattresses! If you are part of an organization that would like to make a major contribution to Sowing Seeds we'd appreciate your support in procuring mattresses for many local families.

This list is only an excerpt of our full ist. There is much greater need in town than meets the eye. Many families are struggling and our intake volunteers are as busy as ever.

If you know someone who needs help please have him or her call us at 781.837.3337. A volunteer will return the caller's call. All non-Clothing Bank services are initiated through the phone.

Our Clothing Bank is open on Thursday and Saturday from 10 am to 12 noon for services and donations. Please try to arrive well before closing. We are 100% volunteer staffed and run.

Sowing Seeds was born in Marshfield in 1993. It's been through the community's generous support that we've been able to answer more than 7,000 calls for help. The donors, supporters, Friends, friends and volunteers are a true blessing to many neighbors in our community.

Thank you!

In Search of a Firm Foundation

The TV show "The Boss" is airing a program about the history and people of Gardner Mattress. For several months new mattresses have topped our Wish List Watching this program makes me want a new Gardner Mattress! However, there's a difference between want and need.

If you or your social, civic or church group would like to help your struggling neighbors we'd love help in raising funds for new mattresses for children and adults in need.

If it's too hot for you to sleep we hope you're at least in a comfy bed. Stay cool!

Marshfield Summerfest


We are so excited to participate in the second annual Marshfield Summerfest! A great group has planned a fun event downtown Marshfield. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow afternoon. Please stop by our table in the Post Office parking lot. We’ll be available to talk about our services and our volunteering opportunities.

This link a Marshfield Mariner article provides more information about the event:
Marshfield Summerfest. Read all about it. It will be a great day!
T
he final event schedule follows below.



998684_489301994483784_1213233165_n

Great Times with Great Friends

Facebook still asks, "What have you been up to?"

Well, in this same week as the one noted in the post below, we were also attendees at a wonderful event hosted by the
Friends of Sowing Seeds.

The Friends of Sowing Seeds volunteers hosted a memorable "Irish Night" at the Daniel Webster Estate in Marshfield. A week of rain didn't dampen anyone's spirit.
The Friends' volunteers, sponsors, entertainers and vendors fueled our energy and coffers for the work still ahead of us.

The evening was perfect, fun and very successful - all in the name of a good cause.

We'd like to thank the Friend of Sowing Seeds, they're sponsors, vendors, and guests for their support. Moreover, we'd like to thank Kristin Dewey and her team for their hours of preparation in creating a lovely, joyful night.

What a beautiful evening it was! Thank you!



Some photos are here:
http://tinyurl.com/Blog-FOSS-Irish

Others are here:
http://tinyurl.com/FOSS-Irish-Photos

Answering Facebook

Facebook asks, "What have you been up to?"

Our volunteers have been busy offering compassion and guidance. They've offered tangible and intangible goods. They've listened with an open heart and mind. They've clad children and adults with new and nearly new clothing, assisted many local residents with essential rides and housing needs. They've served as advocates. mentors and even family. Not everyone has a family. They've partnered with the
Marshfield Food Pantry and other caring organizations to provide essential, basic needs.

What have we been up to? Caring for the struggling individuals and families in our town, providing them a voice and comfort. Providing them direction and a guiding hand.

That's enough for a week.

We're Looking for a Few Good Drivers


Have you ever needed a lift? Really, a lift. A ride or transportation?

Sowing Seeds is looking for a few good drivers. Have a moment? An elderly or chronically ill neighbor would appreciate your help.

On average, Sowing Seeds gives at least one neighbor a lift each day of the year.

We're always in search of other caring people who can give a neighbor a lift - either locally or a bit farther. Not all trips need to be round-trip. You can choose how local your like your trips to be.

Call us at 781.837.3337 and leave a message if you're interested in joining the dozens of local residents who serve as our Transportation Volunteers. Thanks!

Alan Citron - Our Love, Admiration and Gratitude



ALAN CITRON


One of Sowing Seeds’ Founders
and Our First President

Our love and admiration to you



Many Sowing Seeds volunteers experienced the joy of volunteering with Alan Citron. An even greater number of Marshfield residents were the beneficiaries of Alan’s kindness, good works and compassion. It is with profound sorrow that we share Mary Doolan’s thoughts,


We are greatly saddened to hear of the sudden death of Alan Citron on Friday, May 3rd.  Alan, a member of the North Community Church, was one of the founders and the first president of Sowing Seeds.


He was a visionary leader who worked tirelessly in the early years of Sowing Seeds to help create the ministry that flourishes today.  Alan was a progressive, idealistic, faith filled man who inspired all who knew him. He cared passionately for those in need. May Alan rest in peace, and may his wife Gail, daughters Ashley and Amanda, his mother Eileen, and sisters Robin and Marcey find comfort during these difficult days.


Friends and family are invited to attend visiting hours at the Richardson-Gaffey Funeral Home, 382 First Parish Rd, Scituate on Wednesday, May 8th from 4PM to 8PM. A funeral service will be celebrated on Thursday, May 9th in the North Community Church, 72 Old Main St, Marshfield Hills at 1PM. Interment immediately following at Couch Cemetery, Marshfield. Shiva will be observed on Friday, May 10th from 12PM to 8PM at the home of Robin Johnson.


We are honored that Alan's family has named Sowing Seeds to be the recipient of donations in his memory.


Mary Doolan
For the Board of Directors, Sowing Seeds




Rest in peace.







Playing it Safe

As the meteorologists say, “the ocean is raging.” Outside some windows in town the weather doesn’t look so bad yet. Outside other homes, sand, rocks and ocean debris litter the roads. Some roads have already flooded.

We’re playing it safe and not opening the Clothing Bank today. Please travel cautiously today (and everyday).

We plan to open the Clothing Bank on Saturday during our regular hours, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. If you have another need please leave a message for an intake volunteer at 781.837.3337. We’ll get back in touch with you.

Here’s a glimpse of the Clothing Bank from
years ago. We’ve made many changes since then. Stop by to see!

Thanks for your help and trust in our work.




20091003_AboutTheClothing as Smart Object-1

Spring Cleaning

Time for a little spring cleaning! The temperatures are still cool but soon we'll be preparing the Clothing Bank for spring. Because of the graciousness of all of you who donate and support the Clothing Bank we are all set for winter clothes.

No matter the season, we are always in need of packages of new underwear and new socks. Thanks for assisting your neighbors with essential, basic goods. Your kindnesses make a big difference to many local families. Thank you!

In Season - On this Beautiful Day!

It's a beautiful, sunny winter's morning. Some of our volunteers will be at our Clothing Bank from 10 am to 12 noon distributing clothing and receiving donations.

Are you a Marshfield resident in need of clothing for yourself or a member of your family? The volunteers at the Clothing Bank are kind, caring people. They'll keep all information about you and your family in complete confidence. Please stop by if you're struggling in any way and need some clothing.

A reminder to our donors and supporters. We can only accept in season clothing. We ask that nothing be left outside our door - as we will not be able to accept it for use by Sowing Seeds. The Clothing Bank will also be open on Saturday morning from 10 to 12 noon.

If you have any additional needs, please call us at 781.837.3337. A volunteer will return your call.

Town and Regional Updates

Our Clothing Bank is closed today (along with the Marshfield Public Schools). We hope all of the people we serve, our volunteers and generous donors and supporters are safe and warm again.

Our State Rep. Jim Cantwell has made frequent, informative posts to his Facebook page(s). Please check his notes if you are still in need of power.

On Facebook, Jim Cantwell urged residents to post their utility need “soon as the crews are headed out asap. Also be sure to call the outage to the official dispatch center at NSTAR at 1-800-592-2000. Let everyone know if there is some out of the ordinary impediment for work (tree, pole down, etc., as that requires coordination with other assets). Thanks!"

Normally, our Clothing Bank is open on Thursdays and Saturday from 10 am to 12 noon. Other Sowing Seeds services are available by leaving a message at 781.837.3337. One of our intake volunteers will return your call.

We wish you well.

Many Thanks

A reminder: We are always closed when the Marshfield Schools are closed (unless we post otherwise). The schools will be closed again tomorrow and so will we.

Thanks to the thousands of people locally, regionally and from out-of-state who worked long hours to provide rescue, relief, shelter, the restoration of services, emergency management, weather services, all the outdoor labor in the cold, providers of food, comfort, compassion, advice, media and communications, safety.... Thanks to the businesses which tried to stay open to serve the workers. Thanks to the churches and other institutions that provided cleared parking lots where the utility trucks could congregate and stage their work. Thanks to the leaders who advocated for us. Thanks to the people whose communications allayed our fears.

Thanks most of all to the neighbors who looked in on their neighbors or strangers. We are grateful for our loved ones who called, texted or emailed. We are thankful for our loved ones who shared this with us.

Goodbye, Nemo.

Hopeful to be Powered Up Soon. Closed this Thursday.

Our Clothing Bank will be CLOSED on Thursday, February 14 due to residual issues from the blizzard (Nemo).

We wish you warmth, good health and love.

Thanks for your help. Thanks for your trust in our work.

Please call us if you have a need. One of our volunteers will get back to you. Always dial 9-1-1 for emergencies. Let's hope you don't have one. We hope you weathered the storm well.

The Blizzard Continues to Hamper Marshfield



A reminder: We are always closed when the Marshfield Schools are closed (unless we post otherwise). The school will be closed again tomorrow and so will we.

Thanks to the thousands of people locally, regionally and from out-of-state who worked long hours to to provide rescue, relief, shelter, the restoration of services, emergency management, weather services, all the outdoor labor in the cold, providers of food, comfort, compassion, advice, media and communications, safety.... Thanks to the businesses which tried to stay open to serve the workers. Thanks to the churches and other institutions that provided cleared lots where the utility trucks could congregate and stage their work. Thanks to the leaders who advocated for us. Thanks to the people whose communications allayed our fears.

Thanks most of all to the neighbors who looked in on their neighbors or strangers. We are grateful for our loved ones who called, texted or emailed. We are thankful for our loved ones who shared this with us.

Goodbye, Nemo.

Blizzard Updates

Ah, while visiting friends I was able to post on Facebook! Here’s a re-post from February 11. During storms we can more readily update our Facebook page than our blog: Sowing Seeds on Facebook.

*******************

Jim Cantwell posted this yesterday. Perhaps his informative updates will still help some of you. Hope you have power. If not now, soon!

Thanks to all working so hard on our behalf.

MARSHFIELD UPDATE: Just off the phone with NStar Govt Director. At this time we have over 10,000 homes in Marshfield without power (232,885 people without power in our southeastern part of the state.) The good news: we have crews from all over the state who have converged upon our town to help restore power, adding to the more than forty National Guardsman who were sent to help with emergency evacuations/tree work/shelter work. The bad news: we still have massive damage from the blizzard, with poles split in two and some trees still across roads that render areas inaccessible. The typical order of work: (1) clear transmission lines into town from trees/damage while contemporaneously clearing all roads for emergency personnel to get to folks, (2) have "wires down crews" go street-to-street to assess all damage as roads are cleared (3) get senior housing areas (health needs) energized (4) fix downed wires to homes in a sector before energizing the area (they obviously do not want to energize an area with wires down that can electrocute people). The damage assessments were done today and power is being restored to homes; however, the rain tomorrow and winds of 25-35 MPH are going to complicate restoration efforts. The outside estimate is that we will not have everyone in town with power until Thursday at midnight.


From Matt McDonough, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, "We currently have 35 utility crews working throughout town turning the power back on to Marshfield! For those who do not get their power on tonight, the crews are coming back to town first thing in the morning."

Thank you, Matt, for all your hard work! Marshfield residents are lucky to have so many people working diligently and smartly during the storm. Thanks!

State of Emergency - Updated Resources

This helpful information was just posted on State Representative Jim Cantwell’s Facebook page.


Friends: Marshfield and Scituate are still in official local States of Emergency as we recover from Blizzard Nemo. According to our utility representatives, power has been restored to 62% of Marshfield residents and to 52% of Scituate residents as of 8:30 PM tonight. I understand that none of that data matters if you or a loved one is without power, of course. If you are accessing this post by smart phone or by other means please note that we have an unprecedented number of crews that have converged upon our towns to get power back as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one still does not have power be sure to call in again and report the outage

To report a power outage in Marshfield call NStar at 800-592-2000 The NSTAR Outage map can be seen here: http://outagemap.nstar.com/outage/OutageMap.aspx

To report a power outage in Scituate call National Grid at 800-465-1212. You can also text the word STORM to NGRID (64743) for free updates. The national Grid outage map with updated data is here: https://www1.nationalgridus.com/PowerOutageMap

NOTE: As power comes back on there may be wires that were not previously seen that are off poles or houses that will be electrified. Assume all wires that you see on the ground are live! Call them in immediately to one of the following:

Emergency Number for all towns: 911 Marshfield Emergency Operation Center (781) 837-7100 Scituate Emergency Line (781) 545-5515

As always message me here if I can be of any help, call me at the office 617 722 2140, or email me at james.cantwell@mahouse.gov

Best wishes,
Jim

Marshfield Emergency Operation Center

If anyone is in need of heat, electricity or food the Marshfield Emergency Operation Center can be reached at 781.837.7100. Many people are still being sheltered at Furnace Brook Middle School. Please don't hesitate to ask for help. Members of the National Guard are available to give you a ride to the shelter.

Sign-up for Emergency Updates from the Sheriff's Dept.

You can sign up for emergency phone and email alerts with the Sheriff's Dept.'s "Plymouth Bristol Emergency Alert System."

Follow this link to sign up for telephone text alerts here: <
http://www.pcsdma.org/CodeRED.asp>.

Clothing Bank Closed for Blizzard Nemo


Confirmed. Tomorrow, Saturday, February 8, Sowing Seeds will not open our Clothing Bank. For other services please call us at 781.837.3337 and an intake volunteer will return your call.

If you have an emergency please dial 9-1-1. (Let's hope you don't have one.)

A reminder while we're closed: Please do not leave your seasonal clothing donations outside our door. We will not be able to accept any items outdoors for use by the neighbors we serve.

If you need a hand - clothing, a ride, guidance - Sowing Seeds volunteers are willing and able to help completely confidentially. There's no reason to struggle alone. We live in a very caring community.

Stay safe.

Did you know that The Weather Channel now names winter storms? This one is Nemo. Here are the others for this year:
http://www.weather.com/news/winter-storm-names-20121001. Let’s hope we don’t meet too many of them.


Local Updates re: Emergency Shelters

Voicemail and email from local authorities:

"8:49:35 AM EST - Due to the impending Blizzard and Coastal Flood Threat for Friday night into Saturday, The Marshfield Council on Aging will be opened as an Emergency Shelter beginning Friday at 1PM for Marshfield and Duxbury residents. If you have domestic pets, please bring them with you. For further information on what you should bring to the shelter, please go to
http://www.marshfieldpolice.org/. The Council on Aging is located at 230 Webster Street in Marshfield. You should plan to arrive at the shelter before 2PM.

If you need to get to the shelter at the height of the storm, please call 781-834-6655 and the Marshfield Police will assist you.

Public safety officials caution everyone to be off the roads by 1PM. This is a dangerous and life threatening storm and you should listen to the advice of public safety officials.
Thank you."

Old Man Winter


Happy Storm Watch!

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We hope you, your loved ones, and your neighbors are safe and warm. The Clothing Bank at Sowing Seeds will open tomorrow, Thursday, February 7, 2013.

If the storm predicted for Friday arrives as the meteorologists currently predict then the Clothing Bank will be closed on Saturday. The decision has not been finalized yet.

Under normal circumstances we would be opened
unless the Marshfield Schools are closed or delay opening. In those cases the Clothing Bank does not open.

Since we have regular hours on Saturdays (when the schools are closed) Sowing Seeds cancellations are also aired and posted at WATD (95.9),
http://www.959watd.com/storm-watch.php, WBZ, WCVB, Fox 25, WHDH and WRKO. (I’ll also post it here unless I lose electric power.)

Be safe. Enjoy the view from the safety and comfort of your home. Please let us know if there’s anything you need.

We are grateful for your interest and support.

More Christmas Miracles

A hearty thank you to all the residents of Marshfield who donated goods to Sowing Seeds, the Food Pantry, Community Christmas, the Giving Tree, Kiwanis and other area outreach organizations. A special thank you to the Friends of Sowing Seeds. At this very moment your efforts are bringing big smiles and great joy to kids (and adults) throughout town.

In addition to your multitude of physical gifts our volunteers and supporters give the gifts of time, compassion, attention and kindness all year long. Our Christmas season never ends. We are so grateful for all who participate in the ongoing Christmas story.

At Sowing Seeds we continue to see many families struggling year round through this recession. Fortunately, we also see an outpouring of love and assistance from a very generous community. Thanks for your help. We hope you are having a peaceful Christmas. Joyful, too!

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Our Prayers


Two days ago we learned of unimaginable tragedy in Newtown, CT. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, first responders and all those who will tend to the survivors and community in the days and years to follow. May we have earnest discussions to address the causes of these tragedies. May we never bear witness to such a horror again. God bless the people and community of Newtown.

A Gift that Gives



The
Patriot Ledger ran a great article last summer about the gift card program at the First Congregational Church of Marshfield. It follows here:
www.wickedlocal.com/marshfield/topstories/x1649213155/Gift-cards-buy-hope-in-Marshfield#axzz2KCYNvrT8.

With no surcharges assessed to the purchasers, the buyers of gift cards contribute a portion of their purchases to urgently needed funding for the Short-Term Housing (STH) Fund. The Short Term Housing Fund has been vital in securing critical housing funds for many Marshfield residents. The STH fund has enabled many people the option of remaining in their homes during times of financial crises.

More information about this wonderful program is available on the First Congregational Church’s website, www.1stcongregational.org/programs.html.

With more than 300 retailers participating, the list of applicable purchases is vast. Purchases which you might already be making at supermarkets, restaurants, home improvement stores - even iTunes - could all help your neighbor this winter. All it takes is a call to Mal Gale or the First Congregational Church, 781.834.7664.

Gift cards not only make nice gifts for your friends but area nonprofits appreciate receiving them, as they help to provide basic needs for the people we serve.

Thanks for considering this terrific program.

Helpful Local Gift Card Source

Last night three regional nonprofits were interviewed on 95.9 WATD: Sowing Seeds, Father Bill’s/Mainspring and The Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse. During the interview we stated that we’d post a link on the Sowing Seeds blog today in reference to a unique source for purchasing gift cards locally.

In an effort to get you the most updated correct information it might take us another day to gather the complete material.

Marshfield’s First Congregational Church coordinates this wonderful project. Hundreds of gift cards are available for purchase and a small percentage of the gift card cost is returned to the church’s short-term housing fund. The cards are sold at face value; there are no additional fees.

During this season - and year round - gift cards are very useful to Sowing Seeds and the people we serve. Food cards, local clothing stores, drug stores, gas stations and others help us to provide essential services to local struggling families.

Frequently, we partner with the First Congregational Church to address some of the many critical housing needs of Marshfield residents.

We’ll post additional information within a day or two.

Thanks for your interest in Sowing Seeds and your neighbors.

Our Gratitude Continues

Wow! What a week and what a weekend! This week we will be thanking many people, starting with the Friends of Sowing Seeds who held a beautiful event last night. We are so grateful for their support, hard work and fundraising efforts. The night was magical!

We'll also be thanking the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce and their many volunteers for including us as they hosted a fun, family event this afternoon. A special thanks to the people who delivered coats, new socks, packages of new underwear, pajamas, other clothing and financial donations today. We don't exaggerate when we say we have never been busier. Our phone is ringing frequently for our intangible services and our Clothing Bank was as crowded as it's ever been on Saturday. Thanks to all our friends, volunteers and supporters for helping your neighbors in our community.

Next, but certainly not least, we will be thanking the Fitzgeralds, the Molly Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, and their volunteers and supporters for the generous donation they made today at Marshfield's beautiful Dandelion Park's tree lighting ceremony. Marshfield's spirit is vibrant year round. With families and groups like these our town is truly blessed.

Thank you all! For anyone who needs a little Christmas spirit: Please go to Dandelion Park to view the tree. It is breathtakingly exquisite!

More to follow. Thank you!

Marshfield Holiday Festivals

Don't forget about the Festival of Lights - Holiday Festival in the Center TODAY! It's going to be a great time! It all begins at Library Plaza at 2 pm. See the puppet show in the Ventress Library at 2:00 or come outside for a petting zoo with Farmtastic 4H, Model Trains, a train ride, the opportunity to make your own reindeer ornament to hang on your tree, decorate a cookie and more! Local local nonprofits the Marshfield Food Pantry, Sowing Seeds and Community Christmas will be there to accept your goods or kindness. The Molly Fitzgerald Fund will be hosting a beautiful tree lighting at Dandelion Park. We think this will be our best celebration yet! We might even see Old Saint Nick this year! Happy

Join us; it's free Winking

Put on Your Party Hat!


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Have you put on your party hat yet? This weekend Sowing Seeds will be present at two events. Join us!

This first is a spirited benefit for the work we do. The second one is free!

On Saturday evening our friends at The Friends of Sowing Seeds are hosting a wonderful night of music, song, hors d'oeuvres, WBZ's Bill Shields' reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," the release of a special Sally Dean Mello ornament and more. The highly acclaimed Boston Boys Choir will be performing. For more information follow this lead:
http://www.friendsofsowingseeds.org/purchase-tickets.html

On Sunday, representatives from Sowing Seeds will be joining the
Marshfield Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce
for their wonderful Holiday Festival 2012. It takes place at Library Plaza (also near
Road To Responsibility, Inc.) from 2-5 pm. The festive participants will also join in the tree lighting at the Molly Fitzgerald Memorial Fund's Dandelion Park. It's a great event for young kids and easily accessible by elders. For more information see:
http://marshfieldchamberofcommerce.com/ .

We will be accepting donations for our neighbors in need. In particular, we're seeking donations of new packages of socks and new packages of underwear, new or nearly new warm coats and gift cards to local supermarkets, gas stations and stores. Thanks to each of you who helps our neighbors - whether it's through us or another caring organization. You're making a huge difference in people's lives.


The puppet show begins at 2 pm in the Ventress Memorial Library. We hope you are enveloped in the sd new!

Thanksgiving

Although Sowing Seeds offers many services we are probably best known for our most tangible service: our Clothing Bank. Almost every Thursday and Saturday morning from 10 am to 12 noon volunteers serve Marshfield residents with time, compassion and wonderful new or nearly new clothing. On Thanksgiving we were closed. Today we will also honor the holiday and not open, as our volunteers travel to visit family, tackle leftovers or that pile of dishes. The Clothing Bank will reopen on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 10 a.m..

Other Sowing Seeds services remain available by way of a call to our voicemail. Leave us a message and a volunteer will return your call. Please be advised, if you have a serious emergency always dial 9-1-1. Sowing Seeds establishes longer term relationships with the people we help. The police and other agencies can lead you to emergency or urgent services, should the need arise. We hope it doesn’t!

As the needs in our community have increased so has the dedication of our generous volunteers. We are grateful for all the people who help Sowing Seeds serve our Marshfield neighbors. Your compassion has been a lifeline for your neighbors. We are grateful for the people who confide in us, we are grateful for all our friends, sponsors and partners who spread a lot of light and love in this world. Thank you all for the good you do - all year long. You make us who we are. You make lives better.

May you each find a little quiet time this week and realize that many people are giving thanks for you. Thank *you*.

Grateful to Other Caring Marshfield Organizations

Hats off to our friends at the Marshfield Kiwanis, the Marshfield Key Club, and Marshfield Community Christmas who delivered a great many Thanksgiving baskets to local families today. Many people say this is "the Giving Season." With groups like theirs and also the dedicated volunteers at The Marshfield Food Pantry, Sowing Seeds and other organizations, we know that in Marshfield the "Giving Season" is not a season at all. It is year round.

Thanks to so many volunteers and all the people who support their work, fundraisers, other efforts and ours. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Our Friends are Planning Some Magic

Ho ho ho!

Some of us have squawked that stores have play Christmas music in October - rushing in the commercialism. However, it's late November now, and this poster found herself singing Christmas music all day long today. It's time.

The season has arrived for making our plans for the holiday season. Our good friends at The Friends of Sowing Seeds have planned a wonderful event, St. Nicholas Concert, to be held on December 1 at the Cushing Center in Norwell.

The heartwarming evening will include a reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by WBZ's Bill Shields, music by the Boston Boys Choir, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, door prizes, Sally Dean ornaments, raffles and more!

For more information follow the link to the Friends' website below or email . The Friends group is a wonderfully spirited group that, independent of Sowing Seeds, raises funds and goodwill for Sowing Seeds. Because of their hard work we are able to provide much care to our struggling neighbors in Marshfield.

Thanks for supporting them. Thanks for supporting our work.

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

http://www.friendsofsowingseeds.org/upcoming-events.html



We're Looking for Coats


With our community’s children now settled back in school we move our thoughts to our next season:
WINTER!

Our services have been in great demand this fall. It doesn't seem that demand will ease up. Already there's cold air under foot - and all around us. It’s a chill that we hardly experienced last winter.

Our greatest clothing need right now for very warm jackets and coats - especially coats. If you have a clean coat that's in new or nearly new condition please keep us in mind.

In order for us to pass along your generously donated goods to a local family we need to accept your donation *inside* the Clothing Bank. The goods in the outdoors bins don't come to Sowing Seeds. We use those bins if we have a surplus of any type of item, if we receive goods that are out of season, and if we receive something unwearable - stained, ripped, or something that we wouldn't want to give to a loved one to wear. We also don’t accept goods left on the stairs or ramp, not knowing how long they’ve been there.

With your clothing we're not only passing along warmth. Together we are helping our struggling neighbors present themselves better at work, school and in their neighborhoods. Thanks for your continued support of our services. Thanks for tending to your neighbors with care and compassion.




The Tribute to Outstanding Women Awards


Mary Doolan, our president, was honored recently as one of the “movers, shakers, role models, leaders, teachers, mentors and door-openers” for her outstanding leadership at Sowing Seeds. Mary will tell you that in honoring her the YWCA Cambridge celebrated the wonderful work of our volunteers. Yet we all know that our volunteers have been afforded a wonderful opportunity to give to their community as a result of Mary’s vision, faith, leadership and dedication.

On October 18, 2012 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge a packed room of outstanding area leaders joined the YWCA Cambridge in its 20th Tribute to Outstanding Women Awards Dinner. WGBH’s
Callie Crossley emceed and Harvard Law School’s Lani Guinier delivered the keynote speech. The Cambridge YWCA’s Executive Director, Eva Martin Blythe, also spoke.

The nine honorees were:

Jean Burbridge, RN - Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cambridge Health Alliance, Health Care for the Homeless
Mary M. Doolan - Sowing Seeds Ltd., Marshfield, Massachusetts
Maria Jobin-Leeds - Managing Partner, Partnership for Democracy in Education
Risa Mednick - Executive Director, Transition House
Judy Richardson - Civil Rights Movement Leader, SNCC Staff, Documentary Film Producer
Rachael Splaine Rollons, Esq. - General Counsel, MA Dept. of Transportation and MBTA
Kristine Rondeau - Founder Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers
Esther Nichols Splaine - School Nurse, Beekeeper, Entrepreneur
The Rev. Leslie Katherin Sterling - Priest-in-Charge, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church
Gabriella Enwright - Class of 2012, Cambridge Rindge & Latin School - Outstanding Young Woman

Toward the end of the evening the YWCA Cambridge broke with tradition and presented the Ruth Barron Award to an organization rather than an individual. The enthusiastic, surprised recipients were from Many Helping Hands 365.

With the Outstanding Women Awards the YWCA recognizes the “contributions and the accomplishments of women who personify the values the YWCA stands for. Today those values are embodied in [the YWCA’s] mission, ‘the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women.’ “ This year’s award winners were recognized because they “exhibit excellence in their personal, professional and academic lives to the end that the communities that the YWCA Cambridge serves are far better places to live and work.” We are fortunate that the Cambridge YWCA‘s only satellite is in Marshfield.
Marshfield’s Branch Director, Kimberly Nashawaty, also participated in the celebration. The YWCA Cambridge has been serving its community for more than 120 years.

Each of the honorees is making a significant difference in the welfare of people in her community. Congratulations and thanks to each of the award winners! Thanks also to the YWCA of Cambridge and the evening’s sponsors. It was a wonderful, inspiring event.




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Regina Caines, Chair, Tribute Planning Committee (left)
and Jill Kimmel, Chair, Board of Trustees (center)
present Mary M. Doolan with an Outstanding Woman Award




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Family and friends joined Mary for the event.



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Outstanding Women Mary Doolan and Esther Nicholas Splaine enjoyed meeting at the event.



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Eva Martin Blythe, Executive Director of the YWCA Cambridge, Regina Caines, Chair, Tribute Planning Committee,
Callie Crossley, WGBH-FM Public Radio
and The Honorable Denise Simmons, Vice Mayor of the City of Cambridge
pose for a moment after the evening’s festivities


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Elizabeth Doolan (right) enjoys a proud moment with her Mom, Mary Doolan.



Thank you, again!


Thank you, Marshfield, for your generosity in sending Marshfield’s children back to school. You helped to prepare 150 local children (aged kindergarden through college freshmen) for a productive year of learning and growing. Your school supplies, backpacks (more than 90 of them), and wonderful clothing sent these children on their way with their town’s support.

In addition to the Clothing Bank our Intake Committee has been hard at work. Because of your support and care the Intake Committee volunteers have been able to address the multiple needs of the 6,500+ callers representing their families’ concerns to us




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There were many school, church, family and organizational groups that helped prepare these families for school.

For a few consecutive years, this great group of relatives and friends has held lemonade stands, movie night, candy sales, and bottle and can drives to raise a significant amount of funds for us to use for back-to-school items. With you in our world the world has a bright future. Thank you, again!





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At times we receive generous gifts from out-of-town supporters, too.
Sophie, at Dolly’s Nursery School and Summer Camp in Hingham, solicited the help of her schoolmates in collecting a big box of socks. We bet Sophie can read already. How else would she have known that packages of new socks and packages of new underwear are the items we need most frequently? Thank you, Sophie and your schoolmates!


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Back-to-School


It doesn’t seem that long ago that we heard the songs from a yellow school bus chanting, “no more teachers, no more books....” Summer’s come, gone and the Marshfield children have grown another few inches. Last year’s notebooks are not only tattered, they’re forgotten somewhere. It’s time for a fresh start. Even many adults continue to feel that we begin anew in September.

For several years, generous members of the Marshfield community have supported our efforts in providing our Marshfield children with another great opportunity to embrace the new school year. We’ve already received many donations of school supplies this summer.

Our list this year includes: notebooks

scissors

glue

markers

colored pencils

folders

pencil cases

book covers

nylon lunch bags

and, of course, BACKPACKS!

If you have received a list of specialized goods needed for your child please send us a message so that we can include any out-of-the-ordnary or specific goods required for your child. (Scientific calculators come to mind. Often specific models are required.)

Thank you, Marshfield, for helping 400+ local families year round with school clothing and supplies at our Clothing Bank. Thank you for also helping many additional individuals and families through our many other services. Together we are making a difference.

Our Journeys Continue


Because we honor the confidentiality and privacy of the people we serve it can be a little difficult to tell their stores and our shared successes. Yet it’s those very people and their stories that continue to inspire us. We are grateful for all the people who allow us to enter into their life’s journeys as they enter ours as well.

Cleanliness is...


Cleanliness is -- next to Godliness?

Cleanliness is -- welcoming?

Cleanliness is -- our obsession!

We often ask for goods on behalf of our clients. We rarely ask for goods for the organization itself. So when a volunteer stepped up and donated a new vacuum were we kind of giddy. Here Ann was taking the vacuum out for one of its first test drives. If you haven’t seen the Clothing Bank yet be sure to stop in when we’re open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 12 noon. Thanks to the care of our dedicated volunteers it is very welcoming and boutique-like.

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An Evening with our Friends


We’re fortunate to have a wonderful group of spirited supporters in the Friends of Sowing Seeds. This independent group once again produced a beautiful evening of support, encouragement and fundraising for our efforts.

In this photo some Friends and special guests gathered on the stairs of the historic Daniel Webster Estate in Marshfield for their 2nd Annual Spring Social. In their online announcement for the event the Friends said the evening would be geared towards thanking the community and other supporters for helping Sowing Seeds. We say, “thank you, Friends!”

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Thank you, Friends of Sowing Seeds!






Our Leadership Recognized Once Again


We are grateful members of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN), a wonderful organization seeking to strengthen both individual nonprofit organizations and the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts. The resources, benefits and camaraderie are well worth the cost.

Each year the Mass Nonprofit Network hosts Nonprofit Awareness Day at the State House on Beacon Hill. Information about this year’s June 11 celebration is here:
Massachusetts Nonprofit Awareness Day 2012.
WIth more than 50,000 nonprofit organizations registered in Massachusetts, MNN has a pretty broad sector to serve. Last year MNN solicited nominations for eight awards in seven categories. About 130 completed nominations were submitted. Our president and one of the founders of Sowing Seeds, Mary Doolan, was selected as one of the finalists for an Excellence Award. With both humility and pride we joined many other nonprofits last June at the State House for the speeches, awards and celebration.


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Yet Mary’s selection as finalist was just the tip of the iceberg. She was selected for the Excellence in Leadership Award and it was very well deserved!

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Mary’s perseverance, insight, tireless work and evolving vision earned her this well-deserved recognition. At the time our local newspaper, Mary Jane Hanron of the
Marshfield Mariner, wrote a beautiful piece about Sowing Seeds: A Ministry of Compassion.

In a fairly recent press release MNN quoted Mary again, as MNN was seeking nominations for this year’s awards:
Honoring Nonprofits in Your Community: 2012 Nonprofit Excellence Awards Nominations Invited The full text** of MNN’s press release follows below.

In this release Mary answered a question about the effect the award had on Sowing Seeds,
“the statewide recognition and local publicity we received as a result of MNN’s Excellence Awards led to increased giving at a time when requests for help have doubled and most cases are more complex. Equal in importance, our volunteers and existing supporters shared in the tremendous encouragement that the statewide award provided. The MNN Leadership Excellence Award continues to feed our spirits and encourage us in our work.”

Thank you, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network for helping us to help others! This award continues to make a tremendous difference in our work and in our spirits.


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** 
BOSTON-
The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN), the statewide organization that works to strengthen the nonprofit sector in the Commonwealth and raise its profile, has opened nominations for the fourth annual Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The awards recognize the work of exceptional nonprofits and nonprofit leaders in communities across the state.

“Nonprofits touch every part of our lives,” said
Rick Jakious, Chief Executive Officer of MNN. “This is an opportunity to recognize the nonprofits that make a unique contribution in your community.”

The Nonprofit Excellence Awards will be presented at MNN’s Nonprofit Awareness Day celebration at the State House on June 11. Signed into law by Massachusetts Governor
Deval Patrick in 2007, Nonprofit Awareness Day, an annual holiday raising awareness of the sector and celebrating its work, is the first state holiday of its kind.

“The Award was a huge surprise and a great honor for our all-volunteer organization,” said
Mary Doolan, President of Sowing Seeds in Marshfield, MA, and the recipient of the 2012 Leadership Excellence Award.

“The statewide recognition and local publicity we received as a result of MNN’s Excellence Awards led to increased giving at a time when requests for help have doubled and most cases are more complex. Equal in importance, our volunteers and existing supporters shared in the tremendous encouragement that the statewide award provided. The MNN Leadership Excellence Award continues to feed our spirits and encourage us in our work.”

Nonprofit Awareness Day was created to underscore the significance of the sector: Nonprofits currently provide 455,900 jobs in the Commonwealth and employ 16.7 percent of the Massachusetts workforce, according to a 2012
study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.

“Nonprofits are critical to our economy, providing jobs and boosting tourism,” said Jakious. “They protect our cultural, historical, and environmental treasures and enrich our daily lives. The sector includes institutions of higher learning and world-class cultural landmarks that define Massachusetts in many ways, as well as organizations that provide critical services to our most underprivileged residents.”

The awards were conceived as a way to acknowledge leading organizations, and to create new opportunities for them to tell their stories and to reach out to residents of the state.
Nominations for the 2012 Excellence Awards may be made in seven categories:

  • Advocacy
  • Board Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Communications
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Young Nonprofit Professional

The deadline for nominations is March 28. Full descriptions of the awards and nomination forms are available on the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network website: http://bit.ly/2012MNNExcellenceAwards
 
About the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network was launched in 2007 to strengthen communities by serving nonprofit organizations in the Commonwealth. The organization raises the sector’s visibility, engages members in public policy initiatives, and builds capacity for individual organizations. MNN currently includes almost 500 members representing nonprofits in every part of Massachusetts, from the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands.


MNN’s Media Contact:
Adrienne Langlois, Communications Manager
Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
617-330-1188 x285,
alanglois@massnonprofitnet.org

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At Sowing Seeds we are grateful for the advocacy, resources and congeniality of our MNN peers. Many nonprofit organizations are worthy of high honors and praise in our state. We are grateful for the work of so many other organizations, some who help us do our work, and others undertaking important tasks and services which help improve the lives of Massachusetts’ residents. Thank you all.

This blog’s Sowing Seeds’ photos ©2012 Connie Drapeau Kennedy, www.thewelcomegallery.com

Well Wishes and Many Thanks


It's often difficult to say goodbye to a great volunteer and very good friend to many people in an organization. It is even harder and less fathomable when that person's influence will be with you on a daily basis for many years to come.

This week we offer our good wishes to a great friend to Sowing Seeds.

Friend? Oops, we actually mean "friends."

Trisha and Steve B. contributed their time, gifts and talents to Sowing Seeds. More specifically Trisha headed our busy Clothing Bank and served actively on our board of directors. She succeeded other wonderful heads of the Clothing Bank. Prior to Trisha, and also with extra help from her husband, Kim had overseen the creation of a boutique-like atmosphere at our Clothing Bank and a very organized roster of volunteers. These two dedicated leaders will long be remembered for their lasting contributions to our current Clothing Bank.

They are not alone. Through the years hundreds of our volunteers have served local residents at our Clothing Bank. A resident in need of work or school clothing enters our building with heavy shoulders yet leaves with an outfit or two and highly elevated spirits. The Clothing Bank volunteers touch the hearts of the people we serve. However, the Clothing Bank itself couldn't function without great leadership and the contributions of many donors and generous neighbors.

Carol was the first head of the Clothing Bank. She served us in times of extreme transition, as we grew and moved from our infancy to our current location. Stops included an old bank abutting a local hardware store and our wonderful present location given to us by the former First Baptist Church of Marshfield. For a short period we were somewhat nomadic, awaiting a new home. With great dedication and perseverance Carol provided the Clothing Bank's services out of the back of her SUV - even during winter months! We've come a long way. Oh, baby, we have! We are so grateful for the terrific leaders and volunteers that laid the groundwork for our current services.

What we've learned the last few years is that if you have a room that needs a pick-me-up find Trisha. If you need to organize four score plus volunteers find Trisha. During her tenure she gave a fresh eye to every detail within the Clothing Bank, often soliciting the help of her husband to craft her vision into a reality. They built shelves, moved the immovable, and, most of all, shared their compassion and spirit with their co-volunteers and the people we serve. Of course, a little southern charm and hospitality melted hearts, too.

With many happy memories we bid adieu to Trisha and Steve this week. We will see you in person again someday. We will see evidence of your talents and spirits each time we enter our Sowing Seeds building. Thank you both and your family for truly giving of yourselves and making a difference in the lives of a great many people. We'll miss you. Thank you for gifts of lasting value.


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Sowing Seeds, Building Roads


You might not think a groundbreaking ceremony for a road widening would concern Sowing Seeds volunteers quite this much. Yet when the groundbreaking ceremony is diagonally across the street from our building (housing our Clothing Bank and meeting room) it gets our attention. Couple that with a recent press release quoting both Governor Deval Patrick and Sowing Seeds' President, Mary Doolan, and we're listening a lot closer.

On March 29, Gov. Deval Patrick joined representatives of the Marshfileld Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Marshfield, The South Shore Chamber and State Representative Jim Cantwell to break ground on the Route 139 widening project. More text from the governor's website about the project follows below*. The link is here:
Governor Patrick, MassDOT Join State, Local Officials for Groundbreaking of Route 139 Widening Project

Just across the street from Green Automotive, the gracious hosts of the groundbreaking event, several Sowing Seeds volunteers were completing a morning of service to dozens of our Clothing Bank clients. Governor Patrick and Mary Doolan had recently been cited together in a press release regarding Massachusetts nonprofit organizations. It was a perfect opportunity to show the governor some of the best volunteer work provided by our citizenry. Had time permitted Gov. Patrick may have stopped by for a quick visit to our building and volunteers. The rainy weather extended the amount of time spent at the ceremony and the governor was tightly scheduled. Instead, our volunteers were invited to meet briefly with Governor Patrick at Green Automotive.



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Many Sowing Seeds volunteers were not only delighted to meet with the governor, we’re actually grateful that the road widening project will begin soon. Drive down Route 139 at 4:30 in the afternoon and attempt to make a left hand turn. You’ll know why.

Mary Jane Hanron’s story for the
Marshfield Mariner follows:
Route 139 Roadwork Gets Underway in Marshfield


The Patriot Ledger’s story,
Governor Says Marshfield is Becoming a ‘Regional Hub’

and video are here, including a clip of how the governor joking he was “ambushed” by town, Chamber and business leaders in Marshfield:

Governor Patrick at Marshfield Groundbreaking

In the long run the road change will be good for residents, organizations and businesses in Marshfield.


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* From the website of the Office of the Governor:

MARSHFIELD – Thursday, March 29, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined Representative James Cantwell, town officials and members of the Marshfield and South Shore Chambers of Commerce to break ground on the Route 139 widening project.  
Currently, the one mile stretch of Route 139 between School Street and Furnace Street narrows to one travel lane in each direction. The $4.1 million project now under way will widen the roadway to two lanes in each direction. Additionally, a traffic signal will be installed at a newly configured intersection of Route 139 and Enterprise Drive. 
“This project will alleviate congestion in Marshfield and provide businesses with new opportunities to grow and to thrive,” said Governor Patrick. “Our Administration is committed to infrastructure improvements just like this one, to catalyze private development and boost job growth for the region.”   
“This infrastructure project is one that addresses a long-standing traffic issue, meets regional economic development needs and is sustaining several dozen construction jobs,” said Richard Davey, Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. “As the construction season begins to ramp up, we look forward to even more projects that meet these same goals.”
Aside from widening the roadway, this project seeks to allow for improved turning movements and will also include sidewalks on both sides of the roadway. Project completion is scheduled for summer 2014.
“I have supported the widening of Route 139 since my first day in the Legislature and I am very happy to see that the project will finally become a reality,” said Senator Robert Hedlund. “I believe the project will stimulate sustainable growth in a manner consistent with the community’s planning principles." 
“I applaud the Patrick-Murray Administration for making this project a priority,” said Representative Cantwell. “For a relatively small transportation investment, the benefits of this project for Marshfield are tremendous. Once complete this project is estimated to result in 900 new permanent jobs being located in a commerce park that has historically been challenged by transportation access. In addition, the Route 139 project will lead to dramatic improvement to traffic flow, benefitting the town’s collective quality of life and enhancing public safety for the region.”
“The South Shore Chamber is excited about this project. This is one of several projects the Administration has backed to build a stronger regional economy,” said Peter Forman, President and CEO of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. “This project, while short at only about one mile, has a significant regional impact because it opens up commercial land in the Route 3 corridor in the South Shore.” 
“Expanding this major artery in Marshfield will truly serve to free up the life blood of economic development for the town and the region,” said Chris White, President of the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce. “We’re grateful for the efforts of Governor Patrick and Representative Cantwell for making this happen."
“This is the area where the traffic bottleneck has become a significant traffic issue, either for cars turning into and out of Enterprise Park or to local businesses along Route 139,” said Marshfield Selectman Matt McDonough. “We’re looking forward to the expansion of this roadway and we’re hoping to encourage even more businesses to invest in Marshfield.”  

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This blog’s Sowing Seeds’ photos ©2012 Connie Drapeau Kennedy, www.thewelcomegallery.com

Open!


Despite the forecasts we've skirted winter's worst once again.

The Clothing Bank will open today from 10 a.m. till 12 noon.

If you'd like information about our other services, or volunteering, please call us or find us:

on Facebook:
Sowing Seeds (in Marshfield, Massachusetts) on Facebook,
on Twitter:
@SowingSeeds_MA,
and on LinkedIn at:
Sowing Seeds (Marshfield, Massachusetts).


Thanks. Be safe on these wintery roads.

cCDKennedy_SowingSeedsClothingBank2010

Giving a Neighbor the World


One of our goals is to match and get people to the help they need. The Sowing Seeds transportation volunteers provide rides to the elderly and chronically ill.

Can you give a neighbor a lift?

Some of our drivers choose to give local rides, some drive to South Shore locations, and others go to Boston. Call us if you're able to help.

If you think you'll need a ride please check in with a Sowing Seeds intake volunteer at 781.837.3337 (or 781.83.SEEDS). After you've spoken with an intake volunteer a 72 hour notice will be needed for our transportation co-ordinator to match your request with a volunteer.

Rides are such a blessing to individuals who can't drive due illness, age, the lack of a vehicle or license. When you give a non-driver a ride you are really giving the gift of the outside world.

Thanks to our transportation volunteers!



You can also root on our volunteers at
Sowing Seeds (in Marshfield, Massachusetts) on Facebook,
on Twitter
@SowingSeeds_MA,
and on LinkedIn at
Sowing Seeds (Marshfield, Massachusetts).

Our most recent newsletter is available through the "In Print" tab:
Winter 2011-12 Newsletter.

Taking Sides


Sowing Seeds volunteers come from different faiths in town. Our
most recent newsletter focused on our ecumenical history, highlighting some of the board members from several churches in Marshfield. Politically we are also quite diverse. Both the people we serve and our volunteers come from many walks in life, several neighborhoods and an array of work and life experiences. Usually, we don't take sides.

Through the years our Clothing Bank has received many sports related hats, sweatshirts and t-shirts. We've seen Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots, Celtics and even a Yankee t-shirt or two. If it's in great condition, and an adult or child might wear it, we'll readily share it.

However - yes, however - if you've stopped by the Clothing Bank lately you may have seen a Patriots t-shirt or hat. One Saturday a sweet person stopped by with a shopping bag near our closing. It contained six or seven packages of new underwear, some other goodies and a brand new pair of Patriots slippers. (Thank you!) What a smile they brought to a child's face!

Although I recall seeing even Yankees t-shirts, and I'm not a regular Clothing Bank volunteer. Yet I can't recall receiving anything that says "Giants" on it recently. Graciously, people recently donated many several Patriots items lately. Therefore, we proudly root:  Go Patriots!


View all of our blog postings by clicking this link.


You can also root on our guests and volunteers at
Sowing Seeds (in Marshfield, Massachusetts) on Facebook,
on Twitter
@SowingSeeds_MA,
and on LinkedIn at
Sowing Seeds (Marshfield, Massachusetts).

Weather Related Closing, Saturday, 1/21/2012


Brrr_02_cCDKennedy781-837-6021
Without a doubt winter has arrived in Marshfield.

For the welfare of our volunteers and the people we serve we will not be opening our Clothing Bank this Saturday, January 21. Weather permitting, the Clothing Bank plans to open for its normal Thursday hours, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. If you'd like to speak with Sowing Seeds regarding other issues, please call us; a volunteer will return your call. If you have a critical or life-threatening issue, always call 9-1-1.

Be safe in the snowstorm.

Brrr_02_cCDKennedy781-837-6021-2

During many storms this website's volunteer often loses electric power and can’t update this blog. You can also check for updates on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sowing-Seeds-in-Marshfield-Massachusetts/151491713718 which, thanks to the magic of smartphones, is more readily updated when the power's out.

On the bright side, the weather could be so much worse.




View all blog postings by clicking this link.

Welcome to 2012, a New Year.

Joy, peace, comfort and good health to you this year.

New Year's Eve Morning


NewYearsClock_17851_cCDKennedy

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The Clothing Bank is closed today. Your hearts were open this year, all year.

****************


Thank you, our friends in 2011.

Thank you volunteers, partners, donors and the neighbors we serve, for your immeasurable kindnesses. Although it was a very rough year economically, we were privileged to take part in a symphony of compassion where many neighbors played different parts in a score of goodness.

We say "thank you" on behalf of the thousands of Marshfield residents you helped this year - a heartfelt "thank you" for helping however help was needed:

  • Providing essential rides, clothing, guidance, budgeting.
  • Sharing furniture, a referral, advice, professional services, a trade service, time.
  • Listening with an open heart.
  • Making phone calls to referral services and utility companies on behalf of our neighbors.
  • Providing us with school supplies.
  • Returning calls to each of "us" who needed a hand.
  • You helped "us" - a town full of caring people - sleep better at night, knowing that you, our Sowing Seeds volunteers, were there to catch families falling between the cracks.
Cracks widened due to unemployment, underemployment, rising food and essential living costs, and the significant reduction in other private, state and federal safety nets. You helped keep many of us in our homes. You were and are our family. At times you were our only family. Your intake committee and other volunteers listened with compassion and gave us hope. To a struggling family those proverbial cracks were quite real and you helped fill them.

Oh, and you gave our children Christmas, joy, and brand new underwear! Thank you!

With this season we hope that everyone in our Sowing Seeds family has shared, created or recalled some happy memories. Thank you for the part you played in the well being of our community this year.

Many a tear is shed during the singing of "Auld Lang Syne." Many a question has been asked attempting to interpret the original intent of the words.

Jumping to the middle* we find:

All grief and sorrow takes the flight,
and speedily is gone;
The bright resemblance of thy face,
so fills this heart of mine;


Thanks for sharing your brightness in 2011. May your 2012 be filled with light, happiness, good health and a great community of love, comfort and joy.

****************

Happy, Healthy, Joyful New Year all our friends and Friends!

****************


One take on Auld Lang Syne's history:
Washington Post article

From "It's a Wonderful Life":
Auld Lang Syne

Take out your Kleenex and turn on your Victrola:
Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians

Keep the Kleenex out:
Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin

Generations keep it alive:
Mariah Carey

and again:
Red Hot Chili Peppers

and, more Kleenex, sung last year in memoriam:
Susan Boyle

and here's your chance to sing along:
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus
(Click "Show More" for their lyrics.)


Peace and Joy to You and All the Earth!

* Wikipedia: Auld_Lang_Syne

Tom Kramer Tribute on the Air Right Now

Just found out that there's a beautiful tribute to our old friend, Tom Kramer, on the radio right now. Tune in to 95.9 WATD FM.

If you missed Tom's tribute it will re-air at noon today.

WATD's Steve Dodrill also provided us a link to
Tom Kramer: A Life Well-Lived. Thanks, Steve. Thanks, WATD!

Thanks so much! Life isn't the same without him. Fortunately, life is much better for many individuals and families because of him.

Thanks, Tom.

Our Spirited Volunteers


Anyone lucky enough to attend a great summer camp knows that the best outcomes of those golden summer days isn't just an archery pin or canoeing certificate but the friendship and spirit that endure through many decades. At some camps "campspirit" is even a cherished camper's award.

SowingSeedsSpiritTrophy_17786_cCDKennedy

At Sowing Seeds all of our volunteers earn spirit awards. Well beyond the carefree days of youth they continue to give of themselves, each week or month throughout the year.

It's not even New Year's Eve, yet most radio stations have returned to regular programming. We're not hearing as many carols proclaiming "the stars are brightly shining" and calling for "peace on earth." In a couple of weeks we'll be chatting about our heating bills, the frozen car batteries and those ice dams in our gutters. Still many of our volunteers will check phone messages, our Facebook page or the radio (WATD) to hear if Sowing Seeds will open during inclement weather. They certainly would earn "campspirit" honors, "Christmas spirit" awards. Christmas spirit abides within our volunteers all year long and they put that spirit into action.

Christmas spirit doesn't begin or end with a date on a calendar; neither do our most critical needs. With our toughest months ahead our volunteers know that they make a difference addressing our neighbors' most basic needs: clothing, housing, resources, transportation, guidance, compassion and hope. Though winter's needs garner much public attention, our volunteers and supporters know that unemployment knows no season. Underemployment doesn't pay utility bills or provide basic transportation no matter the outdoor temperature. Even the snow-free days of summer present many challenges: routines are broken, school lunches and services aren't accessible, and two income families juggle day care needs. Right now no season is easy for many local families - far too many families.

We have faith that our volunteers will quietly continue to tend to our neighbors until "all is calm, all is bright." We have faith that generous supporters will donate goods, services, time and expertise to help a struggling neighbor or friend. We've watched heaven and nature sing with joy at miracles worked through the generosity of the people in our community. We've seen lives transformed, health and hope restored. We are so grateful to each of you who is part of this year long Christmas miracle, a year long incarnation of goodness - right here in Marshfield.

As with all nonprofit organizations we are extremely grateful for the goods and funds we receive during the holiday season. They undoubtedly sustain our existence. We are equally as grateful for each person who calls our phone line and leaves a message requesting a volunteer application. Without you there would be no Sowing Seeds.

If you'd like more information about donating your services, goods, time or treasure please call us at 781.837.3337 (or 781.83.Seeds). We regularly post information on Facebook at
www.tinyurl.com/sowingseedsofhope. On LinkedIn we are at: www.tinyurl.com/sowingseedsmarshfield. Other inquiries can be addressed at: Sowing Seeds, Ltd., PO Box 1001, Marshfield, MA 02050.

Most importantly, if you're from Marshfield and need help, please give us a call and a volunteer will call you back. You'd be giving someone the gift and privilege of extending a helping hand and open heart to you. You are why we exist.

Joy to the world! May your days be merry and bright!