LOCAL PIZZERIA SUPPORTS BIRTHDAY PARTIES FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2011

For more information, contact Michele Talwani – (603) 641-1143 ext. 322

Pizza at A Birthday to RememberPHOTO: IT’S NOT A PARTY WITHOUT PIZZA. George Eleftheriou from G & P Pizzeria in Chester, NH, poses at a Families in Transition “A Birthday to Remember” celebration. The pizzas G & P donates ensure that each child leaves their birthday party at Families in Transition with a tummy full of pizza and a head full of memories.

Making birthdays a little bit happier

MANCHESTER, NH – In summer of 2009, Gary Bremner, volunteer at Families in Transition, a Manchester-based nonprofit providing housing and services to the homeless, solicited a one-time donation from G & P Pizzeria in Chester, NH. He was wondering if the local restaurant would donate a couple of pizzas for a group birthday party, “A Birthday to Remember”, for homeless children.

George Eleftheriou, co-owner of G & P, agreed to help out. For the next birthday party, Gary, a regular at G & P, asked George for a second donation. And then another.

“[Gary] thought they might be able to donate pizza once in awhile—it was actually for one party at first,” Peg Bremner, wife of Gary and volunteer at FIT, recalls. “Then, they said they would do ten pizzas for each party.”

Over a year later, George, his cousin and business partner Peter, and G & P Pizzeria are major players in the birthday party program, donating approximately ten pizzas for each celebration, which can include up to 40 children.

Every two months since July 2009, FIT’s “A Birthday to Remember” program has been providing group birthday celebrations for FIT youth participants, many of whose parents have experienced homelessness or been at risk for homelessness. The parties come complete with cake, ice cream, goodie bags, decorations and, of course, pizza.

It wasn’t until a full year after becoming involved that George had the chance to attend one of the birthday celebrations. After seeing the party in action and meeting other members of the community who had come out to support this entirely free, 100% volunteer event, he came back and told his cousin that they should keep donating: “This is a good thing,” he said.

Families in Transition is a nonprofit organization that provides safe, affordable housing and comprehensive social services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, enabling them to gain self-sufficiency and respect. FIT also owns and operates two thrift stores in Manchester and Concord, NH which serve as an economic engine to help pay for services they provide. For more information about FIT and the stores, visit www.fitnh.org or call 603-641-9441. To get involved with the “A Birthday to Remember” program, call 603-935-7900, ext. 1717.

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