St. Joseph Hospital Fund Raiser

In 2012, St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua is generously partnering with a non-profit organization each month.

Nashua Children’s Home is the recipient for August 2012.  For the entire month of August every “Like” on the St. Joseph Hospital Facebook page will prompt a $1.00 donation to the Nashua Children’s Home.  It couldn’t be easier to give!

Please take a moment to click on the link below to go the the St. Joseph Hospital Facebook page.  Please also share this with your FB friends, it’s a great reason to “Like”.

St. Joseph Hospital

2012 Newsletter

Please click the link below to read a PDF copy of the 2012 Newsletter.

Winter 2012 Newsletter

The 12th Annual Club National Golf Tourney

The 12th Annual Club National Golf Tourney was held on Thursday, June 30th at Souhegan Woods in Amherst. Golfers once again enjoyed 18 holes, hot dogs for breakfast, and a steak barbecue lunch. Sunny skies prevailed for the twelfth consecutive year as well.

The Pine Street club has generated $180,000 in charitable contributions for the Independent & Transitional Living Programs since the inception of the Tourney in 2000.

Club National members present check to Executive Director David Villiotti

“If you want something done, ask a hockey player.”

ALL DAY POWER PLAY FINISHERS: 24 hours of hockey and going strong. The Nashua Children’s Home thanks these tireless hockey players for participating in our biggest annual fund raiser. Sponsored by St. Joseph Hospital, the event took place on one of the hottest days in July. Brandon, who lives in our Transitional Living Home, participated for the second year in a row, making us proud.

Orphanage Memories

Having served as home for scores of children for over a century, we sometimes receive communications from alumni that are particularly compelling. Following is the text of one such e-mail received earlier this Spring:

You don’t know me but – I used to live at the orphanage on 125 Amherst St. Of course it was called the Protestant Home for Children back then.


My name is Fred J. Blake, a.k.a. Frederick E. N. Gilchrist. I entered the home on Feb 2, 1965 and left on Aug 19th, 1969. My sister Dora was there as well.

I remember we had 12 boys on one side and 12 girls on the other in the upstairs dormitories. I remember my first day and I was given the bottom bunk and two card board boxes to put my stuff in. I was very scared but had to act brave in the eyes of my sister. I remember we always lined up according to age when ever we did things and we always had chores that lasted for 30 days before moving on to the next chore. Fridays was fish day. I always ate with one arm curled around my plate in order to protect my food from being stolen from the other boys. I remember our study hall room on one side downstairs and the play room with the storage bins (we called them tilts). Mine was the very first one as you enter the room. All the light switches were push button. I remember the phone was all black and rotary. It was very heavy and also hidden from all of us. I only got to see it one time. I remember helping Mr. Cogdon build the new merry-go-round…it looked like a flying saucer.

All of us couldn’t wait for the summer to come. This was a special time when many of the teachers from the Nashua school would come to the home and we would learn so much for the next 8 weeks. Each week we learned something new and by the end of the week we were traveling on a bus to visit the place we had learned about. We couldn’t wait until the last week because it was the time of our lives. We got to go down to Anthony’s Pier 4 for lunch and in the morning to a historical place – but the best part was the Boston Red Sox game.

I’m sorry to have bothered you. I am sitting in the Marriott Hotel room in Vienna, Austria and I’m about to retire from 31 years of Federal Service to our Government and was thinking about my life and all of the wonderful things that have happened to me to get me where I am today. If it hadn’t been for those wonderful teachers and my last Foster Home of James and Judy Blake, I don’t know what would have come of me.

Sometimes I wish that I could go back in time and revisit all of the people along the way that had such a profound impact on me. Unfortunately they have all passed away.

I took a look at the Nashua Children’s Home website and was hoping that your webmaster might have had a section of pictures from years gone by so that all the children past and present could look through them and remember when.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention… I am a U.S. Diplomatic Courier working for the Department of State for Madam Hillary Clinton. She is just the latest in a long string of Secretaries of State I have had the pleasure to have worked with. I have met hundreds of dignitaries from around the world.

So, you can tell all of your students that at least one kid made it out in this sometimes cruel world. I am truly a walking success story.

Thanks for your time.


Fred J. Blake

U.S. Diplomatic Courier

American Consulate Frankfurt, Germany

Photos: TOP An adult Fred Blake

BOTTOM Fred (circled on right) and his sister Dora (circled on left) attending a holiday party for the home sometime in the late 1960’s.

Mark S. Rowland Exemplary Service Citation

The 12th Annual Mark S. Rowland Exemplary Service Citation, conferred for “extraordinary efforts by a staff member in advancing the mission of Nashua Children’s Home, “was recently awarded to Bob Keating. Mr. Keating has supervised the clinicians of Nashua Children’s Home since 1989, and captures the essence of the memory of Mark Rowland in his work at Nashua Children’s Home. Mr. Keating is picture left, accepting the award, along with his wife, Hillary, his son, Morgan, and his daughter-in-law, Jenn.

Nashua Children’s Home Harriers

With the onset of Spring, running has caught the attention of the boys and girls of Nashua Children’s Home. Led by some of our staff that are still blessed with a spring in their step, the youth take off on a two-mile jaunt down Amherst Street every Monday and Wednesday. The goal of some of the runners is participation in a 5K race, several of which are held during this time of year.


Mark was placed at Nashua Children’s Home in 2005, less than two months before his 16th birthday. He was from Concord, wanted to return to Concord, and frankly, was a bit rambunctious for much of his placement at Nashua Children’s Home. He maintained a relationship with his mother, but reunifying with her was, and continues to be, unrealistic.

Most often, 16-year-olds transition to our Independent Living Home (IL) after a period of exceedingly positive behavior, which we use as an indication that they can manage a setting with less intensive supervision and more responsibility. While it’s not necessarily a “reward” to move to the IL setting, we do use it as a bit of a carrot for our youth. Mark, with his verbosity getting in the way, was never quite able to meet this threshold. At long last, we simply made the decision that Mark needed the IL setting, predicted that he would do well in this setting, and moved him. He excelled in the IL program, maintaining employment, doing well in school, and generally behaving himself.

When Mark turned 18 during his senior year at Nashua North, when he essentially had “aged-out” of the child-protective system, and was free to return to Concord to play his own way, he instead petitioned the Concord District Court to continue his placement at Nashua Children’s Home. Mark graduated in 2008, and then took up tenancy in our Transitional Living Home, while taking classes at Nashua Community College.

Like so many of us, the source of some of Mark’s problems, his “big mouth” (for lack of a better description) was also his greatest strength. Last August, Mark enrolled in the New England School of Communications in Bangor, Maine, and is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. One of his projects was to produce a Public Service Announcement for Nashua Children’s Home

Now, home for the summer, Mark was in need of housing and a job, both tight markets in this area. We were able to offer Mark housing once again in our Transitional Living Program and have hired him on to assist our maintenance staff this summer

When the need for aging-out youth to have “permanency” is trumpeted, the continuing role played by Nashua Children’s Home is often downplayed. “Youth need someone,” the experts argue, “whom they can call if they have a flat tire at 2am.” Simply put, Mark would call the staff of Nashua Children’s Home, and would be appropriately confident that those counselors, with whom he continues to maintain relationships, would be there to help.


Bruno, a young man of about 22 (or 24…we were never really sure of his age) came in to see me recently. Bruno was 15 years old when first placed at Nashua Children’s Home. His family had emigrated from Brazil, but his step-father rejected Bruno as his skin was “too dark” and he and Bruno’s mother moved back to Brazil, leaving Bruno to fend for himself in Nashua. He spoke very little English, had the support of a married sister, but lived where he could, and worked long hours at Market Basket to support himself, most of his earning going to a landlord who essentially took all of his money.

Bruno at first objected to his placement at Nashua Children’s Home as we would not allow him to work upwards of 40 hours per week. He had his troubles here, both within the program, at school, and in the community. Some run-ins with law enforcement jeopardized his immigration status and there was concern voiced around whether we should maintain our commitment to Bruno. His English improved, he played football at Nashua High, and eventually earned his high school diploma.

Bruno took up tenancy in our Transitional Living Program, generally did well there, and eventually moved out to his own apartment.

When he came in today, he had a number of baseball caps that he said he wanted to donate (predominantly Yankees hats; I pretended to throw them out the window). He then told me that he had been promoted at work, showed me his company picture-ID, and said, “I want to give you this as well,” and proceeded to take a wad of bills from his pocket, the first one being a $100 bill, and handed the wad to me. He said, “I told God that I wanted to give back, and I was going to give this to the church….but I’m giving it to you.” I peeled of a half-dozen hundred dollar bills, followed by a few of smaller denominations. All told, Bruno donated $654 to Nashua Children’s Home today; he gave back.

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