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6 - December 23, 2011 | Salem Community Patriot The Work of Christmas Front Porch From My


by Pat Blodgett This week I had the pleasure of meeting Virginia Soule, a very attractive 85-year young volunteer driver for Salem Caregivers who has been with that nonprofit organization since 1995. Her minister asked her to drive a resident to a dialysis appointment 16 years ago, and when that particular duty was finished months later, she enjoyed it so much


Virginia Soule


that she signed on with Salem Caregivers to help with other clients. “I wanted to become more involved. We all need to have that feeling of being able to help someone. Over these many years I have made so many friends, and they are so appreciative.” Virginia embodies the spirit of Christmas, but more importantly, she understands and believes in doing the work of Christmas, about which the late Howard Thurman wrote so eloquently:


When the song of the angels is stilled When the star in the sky is gone When the kings and princes are home When the shepherds are back with their flock The work of Christmas begins: To find the lost


To heal the broken To feed the hungry


To release the prisoner To rebuild the nations


To bring peace among brothers To make music in the heart


There are 100 Caregiver volunteers, 50 of them from Salem, and every one of them is as devoted to the mission as Virginia. The state non-profit Senior Companion and RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) programs both help recruit volunteers. Caregiver volunteer drivers like Virginia Soule give so much more than a ride to a medical appointment. They lend a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen to a problem, a friendly chat to someone who might not have much company. They don’t abandon their clients at the doctor’s office door; they accompany them into the office, help with paperwork if needed, hold the hand of a patient who is nervous or scared, talk them through difficult times, and wait to deliver them safely at home again. Metaphorically they do all of the things mentioned in Howard Thurman’s heartfelt poem. They “make music in the heart” of their clients, and in doing so, they “make music” in their own hearts. If you would like to join as a Salem Caregiver volunteer driver, you are invited to call the Caregiver office at 898-2850 or visit Doris Neibert or Dick O’Shaughnessy in the Caregiver office at 287 Lawrence Road in Salem. Whichever holiday you are celebrating, best wishes to all of you from my front porch to yours.


Kelly Bryant of


Santo Insurance and Don Smith of Best Buy Business


Tuscan Kitchen Hosts Chamber’s Networking Event


Host of the night Jim Rogers, Alexina Carey and Joe Faro


submitted by Michelle Harvell On Wednesday, December 14, Tuscan


Kitchen, located at 67 Main Street in Salem, opened their doors to host the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce’s “December Business After Hours.” It was a very festive night filled with live music provided by Andrew Gravel Duo, great food and networking.


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submitted by Laurie P. Ota The staff at the Center for Life Management held their annual employee food drives again this year. The organization started collecting donations of food items in time for Thanksgiving and continued throughout this holiday season. Thanks to the generous contributions of staff, the Center for Life Management (CLM) was able to provide donations to several area food pantries as well as individual gift bags for any CLM clients who needed a helping hand with food this season. This year the staff also decided to add donations of pet food to the list of collectable items so that the furry and four-legged members of families were not forgotten. “This has become an annual donation drive for the employees here at CLM and something we believe really makes a significant difference for those in need in the community. We have a very dedicated staff that helps people every day through their work here at CLM. This is just another example of how they go above and beyond in helping the community,”


Emond of Jody’s Place


Center for Life Management Employees Extend a Helping Hand


From the left: Lynda Silegy, Executive Assistant; Lisa Madden, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and Joyce Santos, Executive Assistant


says Vic Topo, President and CEO of the non-profit community mental health center based in Derry.


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Pee Wee Basketball Players’ Skills Continue to Grow


submitted by Josh Perrault Year two of Pee Wee Basketball at the Boys & Girls of Salem is in the books. The 80 players divided into eight teams, learned and developed new skills from dribbling and shooting, and more importantly made some new friends while learning about team work. The growth as a group was only matched by the amount of fun they had and their new love for the game. I hope to see all of our players playing in future leagues. Special thanks go out to all the coaches and volunteers that made this program so successful!


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