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Nonprofit Council Shares ‘Exciting News,’ Volunteer Opportunities



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Newtown Nonprofit Council conducted its latest virtual monthly meeting on Monday, February 21. Organizations were invited to share news and upcoming events, as well as learn more about the council’s volunteer hub called, “Get Connected, Newtown!”

The web-based platform was created through Galaxy Digital Get Connected thanks to Jeniam Foundation.

Get Connected, Newtown gives nonprofits the power to post any upcoming or ongoing volunteer needs. It also allows individuals to search and sign up for volunteer opportunities.

Sarah Patafio, reference assistant and volunteer hub project coordinator for C.H. Booth Library, led the meeting and reported current statistics for Get Connected, Newtown.

“Some exciting news is that, at the moment, we have 39 active volunteer needs, seven active events, 93 users, and 28 organizations. This is meaningful, because we’ve had 50 volunteer responses with 37 in 2022. Twenty-seven were in February, so we’ve seen great growth. I’m really excited, because it shows that our proof of concept is working,” Patafio said.

She also posted the Newtown Nonprofit Council’s new 1,000 Acts of Kindness link with everyone, newtownnc.galaxydigital.com/blog/display/?blog_id=19538.

The initiative seeks to promote community service in town throughout 2022 and it will tally results through the Get Connected, Newtown website.

Nonprofit News

Tripp Killin, of Jeniam Foundation, said he has a job opening for a part-time administrative assistant working out of their new office at Edmond Town Hall. It is a paid position to help with a variety of needs that the nonprofit group has.

He sent the job posting in the meeting’s chat: ctphilanthropy.org/jobs/administrative-assistant.

Patafio shared that they can create a page on Get Connected, Newtown for nonprofit job openings to differentiate it from volunteer opportunities.

Dan Holmes, from Pootatuck Watershed Association, let the council know that his group is currently applying for a grant “to assess water quality in our town” and working with Housatonic Valley Association.

He added that he is “looking for ways to garner more connections to the town and spread the word about the important work that we do, as well as get some volunteers for some projects.”

Holmes noted that he is also part of the Earth Day Board in town and that there will be a 2022 Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 23, from 10 am to 4 pm, at Newtown Middle School. They are still looking for organizations and vendors to participate.

John Boccuzzi Sr, of Friends of Newtown Seniors (FONS), said his organization is hosting an Earth Day yard cleanup event on Sunday, April 24.

“The activity will be to put together a group of volunteers and clean up yards where people have requested help, because they can no longer maintain it on their own,” he said.

Boccuzzi mentioned that FONS will have a Shredding Day event sometime in May.

He also inquired about telehealth options, to which members from the Newtown Nonprofit Council gave him a variety of resources.

“That’s what this is all about,” Boccuzzi said about receiving such important support and connections at the meeting.

Representing Newtown Congregational Church at this meeting was Steve Bennett, who said the group will have a yard sale event coming up on June 4.

Katherine Simpson added that local nonprofits are going to be invited to bring items to sell and spread the word about their organization.

Simpson, a member of Newtown Lions Club, announced that the Lions will be helping with a blood drive at Newtown Congregational Church on March 1 at the refreshments table. Other upcoming events include Lose the Litter on April 23 and Orchard Hill Clean Up tentatively set for June 11.

Lastly, Simpson said that the Lions Club has a cherry red 2019 Ford Mustang for its 2022 raffle.

Niki Giordano, of EverWonder Children’s Museum, said that there are a number of upcoming events, including its Flashlight Egg Hunt on April 2, Daytime Egg Hunt on April 3, Family Fun Day on June 11, and that there will be summer camp collaborations with local organizations.

She also praised Patafio, saying, “Sarah, thank you for everything you’ve done with the volunteer hub. It’s working brilliantly for us and thank you for your help with it, too.”

Julie Brunell, of Friends of Edmond Town Hall, said that the group is working on getting details sorted out for sound bath nights in the Alexandria Room, as well as having a wind ensemble quartet event.

On Saturday, April 23, they will be having a special Earth Day screening of Back to the Garden 1969: The Woodstock Experience with a panel discussion.

Heather Strasburger, of Friends of the C.H. Booth Library, noted that this year’s book sale will take place July 8-12 at Reed Intermediate School. They will also be doing a Book Donation Day at a date yet to be determined.

Patafio then shared information sent in by Melissa Houston, of Newtown Historical Society, about upcoming fundraising events at The Matthew Curtiss House. There will be events on Saturday, February 26, from 11 am to 1 pm; Thursday, March 10, from 10 am to noon; and Saturday, March 20, from 1 to 3 pm.

The council members discussed the importance of putting these volunteer opportunities mentioned onto the Get Connected, Newtown site.

Patafio said, “We’ve seen so much growth these past two months because we do have active, engaging posts on the website … the more we post, the more people have something to grab onto and be able to put their time towards.”

To contact Sarah Patafio with questions about the 1,000 Acts of Kindness initiative or the volunteer site, e-mail spatafio@chboothlibrary.org. To create an account on Get Connected, Newtown, visit newtownnc.galaxydigital.com.


Reporter Alissa Silber can be reached at alissa@thebee.com.

Newtown Nonprofit Council conducted its latest virtual monthly meeting on February 21.
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