First United Methodist Church

Change Makers Video Series

What a turn the world has taken this past year…it has changed us forever in so many ways.

The pandemic has highlighted new challenges and opportunities to be change-makers in taking actions to have a positive impact in our communities.

From volunteering more, stopping food insecurities, changing the lives of humans and animals to just being a kind person…hear these stories of hope.

Have an idea to share with the community…let’s collaborate on it!

Meet Claire Bloom

Claire is the Founder of End 68 Hours of Hunger a public not-for-profit effort to confront the approximately 68 hours of hunger that some school children experience between the free lunch they receive at school on Friday afternoon and the free breakfast they receive at school on Monday morning. This weekend program, established in New Hampshire in 2011, puts nourishing food in the hands of school children to carry them through the weekend.

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Meet Freddy Petrone

I’m so glad you are here. I’d like to share about how I “got bridged” – in more ways than one! In 2018, I experienced sudden vision loss and over the course of three short months became blind. My long daily walks have helped me cope by clearing my mind and restoring some sense of freedom. Often, though, I’m stopped in my tracks before crossing Portsmouth’s Memorial Bridge when it lifts for passing boats. I’ve dubbed this experience “getting bridged,” which has become a metaphor for the unexpected obstacles life throws at us. But the metaphor doesn’t end there…let me take you on my journey of diagnosis of Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, my long-standing drug and alcohol addiction and creating the I Got Bridged non profit.

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Meet Julie Coffey-Burke

Julie is the founder of NicaLove an animal welfare organization serving animals and those who care for them in the most vulnerable communities in Nicaragua. They partner with local animal welfare organizations to rescue and rehabilitate both domestic and working animals. They offer wellness clinics providing health care and sterilizations and connect with local individuals within the community to provide for overlooked needs.

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Meet Mark Lefebvre – “Thanks For Asking”

Mark is Director of Community Engagement at Pinetree Institute of Eliot ME. In his role at Pinetree, Mark is responsible for the development and delivery of services for building community resilience against substance use. Prior to this, Mark served as statewide program director for the NH Works for Recovery program at Southern NH Services. In this role, Mark oversaw outreach and delivery of employment and training services to individuals and families affected by the New Hampshire opioid crisis. Mark serves on the NH Governor’s Commission as a member of both the Prevention and Recovery Task Forces. Mark and his wife Vivian are co-founders of Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Portsmouth. Prior to making a career commitment to the New Hampshire Opioid Crisis, Mark spent 37 years in various roles in the technology sector, the last 22 as a director of sales and marketing at IBM. Mark has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has completed graduate studies in Community Mental Health and Substance Misuse from Southern NH University. Mark and his family reside in Hampton Falls.

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Hey Friends, let's collaborate together!

Have an idea that you think our community would like to hear about?…Let’s Talk.