Our Mission & Program Overviews
Needham Community Council Mission
Serving Needham for over 90 years with our network of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”
The Needham Community Council is a private non-profit organization which supports people in Needham who have under-met health, educational or social needs and promotes volunteerism, community and a sense of shared responsibility.
English Language Learning
Free English learning for people who live and work in Needham
Trained ELL volunteers help adult learners at all levels from all over the world. Tutors help students who are new to the US learn English and adjust to the challenges of living in their new culture. Successful tutors are welcoming, patient, flexible and able to work with a variety of different people. In addition, volunteers should be fluent English speakers and familiar with American culture.
Volunteers attend a fall or spring training series that prepares them to work with ELL learners. After completing the training, the tutors are placed with a student whose schedule matches their own. Pairs then meet regularly once a week, focusing on the student’s particular needs.
Accessing healthy foods in Needham
Every month our Food Pantry helps to put food on a the table of over 600 Needham residents. During these past three years, the pandemic has had a direct impact on the residents of Needham who are feeling the affects of food insecurity. As the need for food has increased so has our commitment to not just providing food but offering healthy, fresh food that will give our customers the opportunity to improve their wellbeing through nutritious meals.
With the help of our food partners we provide everything from fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins to cleaning supplies and toiletry items. Our customers shop with us two times a month and benefit from other programs designed specifically for their needs like the Holiday gift program and the Birthday program.
Mindful Community: Talking Mental Health Together
This speaker series is a dedicated response to the mental health crisis among youth in our community and aims to empower the community to discuss mental health openly. Collaborating with partners such as Needham Youth Services, Needham Public Schools, Riverside Community Care, William James College, Becca Schmill Foundation, and others, the Council will host a series of talks around youth mental health. All are welcome, especially those in front of youth, such as parents and guardians, grandparents, teachers, youth coaches, youth leaders, and neighbors.
Medical Equipment Loan Program
Lending medical equipment to Needham residents
Our medical loan program has a wide range of equipment available for loan to the residents of Needham. Whether our customers have a relative visiting, a short- term injury or a longer term need, the equipment is free to use and available on a first come first serve basis. Typical items include crutches, wheelchairs (transport & heavy duty), walkers (4-wheel and standard), kneeler walkers, commodes, toilet risers, bath seats and bed rails. Residents call for availability and pick up at their convenience.
Tech & Tutors
Accessing Technology for All
In response to Covid-19 and the resulting increase in social isolation, the Needham Community Council and the Council on Aging formed a partnership to equip adults in Needham with free electronic tablets and tutor supports to help them learn how to use the device. The goal is to allow recipients to engage in social, recreational, educational activities as well as medical appointments and on-line ordering of essentials like prescriptions and food.
A team of volunteer tutors along with one full-time staff person help recipients feel comfortable using the device. After a thorough interview process to evaluate the new users’ interests, the tablet is personalized with apps and websites that they might find most helpful.
Through a variety of learning opportunities from one-on-one training to group classes, new users are connecting to friends and family and discovering the benefits of access to technology.
Helping residents get to important appointments
With a grant from the BID-Needham and the Metrowest Health Foundation, we are able to provide free rides using Lyft. Many of our older residents do not have access to a smart phone and are not familiar with ride share programs. We can bridge that gap and help these residents get to their important appointments.