Portsmouth Elks awarded grant, matching donation to support Families First
PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth NH Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks has been awarded two grants from their Elks National Foundation (ENF) to support Families First’s campaign for a new health facility at Greenleaf Woods in Portsmouth, scheduled to open by the end of the year. The $5,500 donation will be matched by the generosity of Paul and Jessica McKeon, meaning that Families First will receive a total of $11,000 through the Elks grant.
Elks are a community organization, with more than 900,000 members and 2,000 lodges nationwide. Elks provide charitable services to assist in building strength in their communities. The Foundation helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans and meet local needs.
Locally, for the past two years, the Portsmouth Lodge has made charitable contributions totally over $114,000. Some of those recipients included Woman Aid, Walk MS, Gift of Warmth and Chase Home. $18,000 was donated in school scholarships, including students entering the trades. $9,000 supported Portsmouth Little League, Boy Scout Troop 164 and Seacoast Community School. Over $8,000.00 was spent on 44 holiday food baskets & Market Basket gift cards for deserving seniors. $22,000.00 was distributed as 82 ‘welcome home kits’ to Veterans transitioning from homelessness to a new home through their Veteran Partner programs.
Families First Health and Support Center provides medical, dental, behavioral and family-support services to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. In their new facility they will continue to provide these integrated services, as well as adding a pharmacy and a recovery center for people with substance use disorders.
“We are honored and excited to be able to support Families First in their growth as part of our Crisis Support, Health/Hygiene and Building Renovation grant categories to positively affect the less advantaged in the Seacoast NH area and improving the overall health of our residents. When we feel well, we are able to contribute to society,” said Michael Griffin, Portsmouth Lodge Exalted Ruler.
Elks Grant Coordinator, Elyse Gallo said, “We are grateful to Paul and Jessica McKeon for matching our $5,500.00 grant at 100%!”
The basis of the Elks is to instill in its members the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. If you are interested in becoming an Elk or learning more about the organization, check www.Elks.org to find the lodge closest to you.