Our Place Drop-In Center receives assistance

Our Place Drop-In Center. Photo provided

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The Bellows Falls Opera House recently hosted their annual “Overflow The Opera House” food and fundraising event to benefit the local Our Place Drop-in Center, the staff braving through the rainy Saturday afternoon to accept donations in front of the Opera House on The Square.

Launched in 1993 and located at 6 Island Street in Bellows Falls, Our Place is a daytime drop-in center that offers help with food and other essential needs in a non-judgmental, safe, caring, and respectful atmosphere. They have provided meals and other essentials to people in Rockingham, Westminster, Walpole, New Hampshire, and the surrounding area. Their services include free meals, a food pantry, social service resources, and grocery delivery to seniors and the disabled.

“We have been doing this event, in conjunction with the Bellows Falls Opera House, for ten years now, and this is my ninth year participating,” Amanda Reed said in a recent interview. Reed is the Our Place Drop-In Center’s operations coordinator.

Because of the rising cost of food, the Our Place staff suggested that cash donations would spread further than donating actual bags of food, simply because they can leverage their connections to buy more food with a cash donation than a person on the street can buy at a grocery store.

With the annual “Overflow The Opera House” event, Our Place accepts donations by selling seats through the Bellows Falls Opera House box office. A $25 “seat purchase” will actually be a donation that will represent a bag of food for a needy family in the area.

Our Place Drop-In Center collects donations for the upcoming winter months. Photo provided

“Every year we always fill up the seats. Chroma Technologies Corp. has been a huge part of making sure the seats are filled, and they have been a part of this event with us for five or six years now. This fundraiser is very important to us because, at times, the food bank is low and this helps us through a couple of months.”

A live remote radio broadcast of the event was hosted by Keene, N.H.’s KOOL FM, 106.7, and employees from local businesses Sonnax and Chrome Technology arrived with large food and cash donations. By the end of the day the skies had cleared, and the “Overflow The Opera House” fundraiser was a huge success, collecting over $7,000 and 1,500 pounds of food. The monetary donation almost doubled last year’s total of $4,400.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ Fish, who has always been there to help us organize this yearly event,” Reed added. “I also want to thank everyone who has supported us on this day, and have helped hundreds of people with food insecurities.”

To learn more, or to make a donation to the Our Place Drop-in Center, please visit www.ourplacevermont.org, or call 802-463-2217. The Drop-in Center hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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