The Dover Neighbors Fund, founded two years ago to provide temporary financial assistance to Dover residents, has made its first grant.
“We want to be very careful to maintain the confidentiality of our work, but I can tell you that the circumstances surrounding the opportunity for us to make our first grant are precisely why the Fund was started” offered Fund President Eric Morse. “We were contacted by a long time Dover resident who had lost their spouse recently to cancer. The surviving spouse is a cancer survivor whose cancer has returned. The family has been through a rough stretch with their children helping to the best of their ability, but the medical expenses are significant on top of normal living expenses draining most of their financial resources. With improved health, the surviving spouse hopes to return to work. It has been a privilege to represent the Fund and our donors in providing a helping hand to a neighbor. It’s actually quite overwhelming.”
The grantee, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote the following. “Eric was very understanding and quite helpful with our problem and totally understanding that a situation such as ours can occur in Dover. The Dover Neighbors Fund was a blessing and the gift helped relieve some of the stress that we were going through. Thank you to all.”
Fund Vice President and local realtor Mary Crane stated “Even in lovely Dover we are not immune to unplanned illness, job loss, divorce, and other unanticipated disruptive matters which can understandably have a dramatic impact on one’s quality of life. Dover’s Council on Aging and our churches do a very fine job of aiding those in need. The Dover Neighbors Fund hopes to continue and build upon that tradition.”
The Dover Neighbors Fund had planned to host its first ever Donor Appreciation Reception on March 26, 2020 from 5:00PM-7:00PM at AstraLuna Distillery, 120 North Meadows Street in Medfield. The distillery is owned by Fund Vice Presidents and local attorneys Jonathan Fryer and Vin O’Brien. However due to the current health situation, the event has been cancelled. For more information about how to support the Fund and its work in the community, please visit www.doverneighborsfund.com.
Due to the current health concerns of the community, the Dover Neighbors Fund Donor Appreciation Event scheduled for March 26, 2020 has been cancelled.
The Dover Neighbors Fund (DNF) will host its first ever Donor Appreciation Reception on March 26, 2020 from 5:00PM-7:00PM at AstraLuna Distillery, 120 North Meadows Street in Medfield. The Distillery (www.astraluna.com) is owned by Dover Neighbors Fund Trustees and local attorneys Jonathan Fryer and Vin O’Brien. “As passionate craft beverage producers of award winning unique rums, vodkas, gins, and more we are excited to welcome DNF donors and friends to Astraluna for the Fund’s first ever event” offered Fryer.
Founded in 2019, the Dover Neighbors Fund is committed to assisting Dover residents who are in need of short term financial or other assistance. DNF Trustee and local realtor Mary Crane is well aware of the need in a town best known for its excellent schools and rural equestrian lifestyle; “Even in lovely Dover we are not immune to unplanned illness, job loss, divorce, and other unanticipated disruptive matters which can understandably have a dramatic impact on one’s quality of life.”
According to Trustee Vin O’Brien, “The Fund has grown nicely from virtually nothing, but we have a long road ahead if our resources are to truly match the need. The churches in town do a very fine job, as does the Council on Aging assisting those requiring a helping hand, but the need is even greater than all of our combined resources. When one looks at similar resources in contiguous towns, because those organizations started years ago they are significantly larger than we are in Dover. Our hope is that we can grow the number of Dover families donating in addition to growing the Fund’s balance in the coming years.”
“The purpose of this event is to express our sincere thanks to those who have supported us thus far. One of our objectives is to eclipse the 100 family participation mark in 2020, so we are encouraging our donors to bring a friend who may not know about the Fund. The event will be very low-key starting early for those who may be at home and ending at 7:00 for folks stopping by on their way home from work. Donors have been asked to RSVP to DNF02030@gmail.com. Non-donors can reach us by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on the 26th” added Trustee Eric Morse.
The Dover Neighbors Fund, Inc. is an IRS approved 501©(3) tax deductible Massachusetts non-profit corporation
January 17, 2020
The Dover Neighbors Fund had an extraordinary 2019. During those twelve months, we saw the number of donors increase 55%. And thankfully our annual donations increased from $12,825 in 2018 to $37,675 in 2019 due, in large part, to the largesse of a family who offered us a match challenge which we were able to achieve. The sponsors of the match have asked to remain anonymous, but we are enormously grateful to them for their leadership in supporting us. Additionally, it was with great appreciation that we received a nice note and donations from a group of Dover families who have been friends in town for over 50 years. And we wish to thank donors who supported us anonymously.
Our expenses in 2019 remain minimal consisting of payment for a new banner to display outside of Town Hall, in addition to payment for our annual solicitation mailing. In spite of the encouraging year we have had, the Fund’s trustees believe that we can and must do more as the need exceeds our limited resources. We believe that there is potential for significantly more participation in town to support the Fund. The challenge is of course being able to get the attention of prospective donors and convincing them that what we are building is worthy of their financial support.
Looking ahead to 2020, it will be my first year in semi-retirement, as I have left Needham Bank which should afford me more time to devote to the Fund. The Trustees are discussing some type of social event in 2020 which we would position as our annual fundraiser. More information on that is forthcoming. We wish to do a better job reaching out to the businesses in town which do not currently support us, as well as encouraging matching corporate gifts from employers offering that to their employees. Lastly, we are also exploring charitable foundations which do not support us yet, but which do support other Town activities.
In closing, thanks to those of you who lobby for our support with your friends and neighbors and thank you to the Town for allowing us to appear on Dover’s website and displaying our banner each year. Thanks as well to the leadership of the churches in town who have offered us their support. There are many impressive not-for-profits in our wonderful town. We admire each of them and aspire to continue their good work in our mission. As always, on behalf of the Trustees, sincere thanks to everyone who helped us in 2019. Please contact us with your questions or suggestions. And please accept our best wishes for an inspiring new year.
Eric R. Morse