Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
You never know who is need of a little extra help. Often, those struggling the most seem to be the hardest workers, kindest people, and have the biggest hearts.
More often, those in need are frequently the last to ask for help - even if they need it the most.
For that reason, and many more, Lynne DeAmelio-Rafferty created a community meal handout. I saw this one sheet and thought it was brilliant, kind, selfless, and helpful.
I decided to get to know the creator of the sheet, and ask to bring her incredible and helpful research to a larger audience. After all, you never know who may need this.
What I got in response was an overwhelming appreciation, as all she wanted was to reach whoever may need to hear about the community meals. In addition, I got to know a local rockstar of a woman and find out why she loves the work she does.
DeAmelio-Rafferty works at Greater Seacoast Community Health on the Mobile Health Team (the Healthcare for the Homeless Team).
"In my work here, I realized that there were no easy, go-to, one-page resources for the Seacoast with meals, and I was encountering so many people who were relying on these types of meals to eat each day," said DeAmelio-Rafferty. "As a result, I decided to research my butt off and try to compile one."
Now living in New Hampshire and 10 years sober, DeAmelio-Rafferty has had a lot of help with her addiction while living in Boston, MA. "I struggled with mental health issues and substance use disorder/trauma, etc.. I worked at many different places while I was kind of a mess, frankly," said DeAmelio-Rafferty.
After going through a 12 step program, and "crap tons of therapy," she was able to put herself through school and obtain a Bachelor's in Psychology and two Master's degrees in Education.
Now she is using that education and her past to help those around the Seacoast.
"I personally in my past had experienced tremendous hardship with car repossession, homelessness, and needing public assistance/food pantry supplemental help," said DeAmelio-Rafferty. "Even as a child I had a true desire to help others and wanted to make a difference... when I was a child, I dreamt about ways to bring blankets to the homeless sleeping in the streets in Boston."
A massive congratulations and thank you to Lynne DeAmelio-Rafferty. You are incredible and so under-appreciated. Your work is going to make a massive difference in many lives in our community.
See the Seacoast community meal days, times, and locations below, and please share this, cause you never know what someone is going through and who needs to see this.
35 Community Meals for New Hampshire and Maine
Thank you to Lynne DeMelio-Rafferty for creating this.
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