The Quota club of Greater Portsmouth includes members from seacoast towns in New Hampshire and southern Maine. Not far away are the world-renowned medical facilities of Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Center, often a child’s last hope for healing from disease.
Many families with sick children in one of the medical centers find themselves staying at the nearby Ronald McDonald House or the Devon Nicole House, two caring hospitality facilities that give families a “home away from home” near a hospital. In recent years, the Greater Portsmouth club has supported both homes…and their involvement has burgeoned into a district-wide support network.
The club began with a Penny Pot to collect pennies at each meeting. At the end of the first year, the pockets and purses full of pennies totaled $20. Over that summer, a member discovered that $35 would pay for a family of four to stay at Ronald McDonald House for one night. “The idea, born one year before, now had a profound purpose!” said Linda Hebert, club president. “Our Penny Pot grew even quicker. Many meetings found members quietly rolling pennies as the program went on.”
When the story reached District 29 members, other clubs joined in using Penny Pots and sent the proceeds to the Greater Portsmouth club…in the form of checks, not weighty pennies!
Today, club members remain focused on their purpose to help families by supporting the Devon Nicole House, which houses 14 families whose children are receiving cardiac care, organ donations, or other life-saving treatment at Children’s Hospital in Boston.
“The pennies have taught us that in a near-effortless way we can contribute to the greater community and that our giving is contagious!” adds Linda.
The Greater Portsmouth Quota club makes a difference one life at a time, one penny at a time.