Manchester, NH – Building On Hope, a New Hampshire-based volunteer organization that has
completed $800,000 in community-funded renovations for area nonprofits in the past six years, has
selected six finalists who will vie for the opportunity to become the organizations’ next makeover
project in Spring 2016.
In December, the organization issued a call for applications to all New Hampshire nonprofits and
received dozens of letters expressing the impact Building On Hope could make if selected.
Today, Building on Hope will make site visits, evaluate conditions and hear pitches from the following
nonprofits who will all be considered for a uniquely New Hampshire version of “Extreme Makeover.”
The candidates include:
- Child and Family Services of Concord – is a private non-profit that works to advance the wellbeing
of children and families through an array of social services. They are seeking renovation of
a duplex home on 14-16 Perley Street in Concord’s south end that has been home to 81
homeless youth in the past 14 years, helping them to rebuild their young lives and take their
place as active and productive members of the community.
- Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester – delivers state of the art mental health
treatment that promotes personal and community wellness. They are seeking renovations to
their 16 room, single occupancy home for men and women with severe and persistent mental
illness located at 323 Manchester Street that has been home to nearly 200 individuals since
- Manchester Police Athletic League – MPAL’s mission is to provide mentoring, academic
support, athletic and structured fitness programs to Manchester’s youth, with a majority of
participants being from minority and underserved populations. They are requesting support
renovating the Michael Briggs Community Center at 409 Beech Street in the center city are of
Manchester – a 16,000 s/f, 105 year hold structure where youth come daily to participate in a
wide range of activities.
- Merrimack Valley Day Care of Concord – serves 300 children each year, ages 6 to 14 years at 5
centers in the Concord area. They ensure that children from low income families or children
with special needs deserve the same high quality educational experiences as their peers. They
are seeking renovation of their Fruit Street location to ensure future success as a child care
facility – specifically, updates ranging from new boilers to roof replacement and ADA
- Greater Nashua Mental Health Center – a private non-profit agency working to strengthen
individuals, families, and the community with comprehensive mental health services for 9 towns
surrounding Nashua, as well as Nashua itself. The majority of clients are low income and come
from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are seeking renovation of The Child and Adolescent
Department located at 15 Prospect Street in downtown Nashua – a 19th century building that
has fallen into disrepair.
- Family Promise of Greater Nashua at Anne-Marie House – supports the needs of families
experiencing homelessness as they work to achieve sustainable income, housing, and
transportation. Their 17,000 square foot dormitory with 26 bedrooms, two large bathrooms, a
large kitchen and dining room, a parlor, a laundry room, a full finished basement, staff offices
and a chapel has not been renovated since 1983.
“The structures and facilities of service groups are more than just buildings. They are like homes where
lives are changed and hearts are mended or strengthened,” said Building On Hope co-chair Karen Van
Der Beken. “By enhancing those locations we help these vital organizations in their work and bring
renewed hope to their efforts. The benefits are far-ranging, helping not only the people being served by
the non-profit, but also empowering and inspiring workers, volunteers of the groups and the
communities around them.”
When asked how a potential selection could help the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester,
president and CEO Bill Rider said, “This is the kind of project and collaboration that would allow us to
breathe new life and opportunities into a great living space, inspire and educate the workers, the
volunteers and the community, while having an empowering effect on the immediate neighborhood.”
Following the visits, Building On Hope will review formal applications and make a selection. The winning
nonprofit will be selected by late April.
Every two years, Building On Hope takes on a new challenge, rallying volunteers, gathering resources
and focusing attention on a projected selected for its potential to create enduring positive change for
the immediate community and the state as a whole.
In May, nearly 200 Building On Hope volunteers and dozens of companies collaborated in a $300,000
effort to transform Opportunity Networks’ facility in Amherst, NH, an organization that serves over 100
adults ranging in age from 20 to 60 who live with acquired and developmental disabilities. With little
more than basic updating and maintenance in the past 30 years, the 6,000 square foot, 11 Caldwell
Drive location in Amherst was is in desperate need of repair. A total of 12 rooms were transformed to
promote healthy and independent living skills, employment and learning, to pursuit of interests, and
general needs. Volunteers aided in the creation of a movement room, a tech theater, creative center,
administrative offices, function and conference rooms, kitchen, cafeteria, and more.
In 2012 Building On Hope volunteers worked around the clock to bring new life into the 27 year-old Girls
Inc. Manchester Girls Center building that had previously been a church. Each day approximately 100 atrisk
girls attend the Manchester Girls Center to benefit from a program that handles challenging issues
facing girls each day, ranging from personal safety, economic literacy, and media messages to health
concerns. Renovations of the old building consisted of numerous interior and exterior improvements
including: a new roof and windows; landscaping and playground area; heating and cooling upgrades;
updated bathrooms, new library and play areas; creation of office space; and a new kitchen. Total labor
and material donations exceeded $250,000.
In 2010 Building On Hope completed its inaugural $250,000 renovation and dedication of The Krol
House, a 1930’s home in Manchester used by Easter Seals NH as a residential home for boys with special
needs. When Build on Hope finished making the necessary renovations, the White House exterior was
stripped and resided and had new windows installed. The interior had fresh paint, new furniture for all
of the rooms and bedrooms, and new baseboard heating and a high efficiency boiler. The grounds were
updated with a handicap accessible ramp at the entrance and fence on the North end of the property,
and new asphalt and a basketball hoop so the boys could play. Building on Hope was the recipient of a
$5,000 grant and wide recognition from The Pepsi Refresh Project, which awarded millions of dollars in
grants to individuals, groups and other organizations for getting “inspired” ideas off the ground.