According to our files, the Amherst Survival Center started in Jane Holappa’s basement in 1976 with a clothing exchange and a hot meal. As a former Board President, Jan Eidelson, described in the Center’s capital campaign brochure, both Jane and her successor, Vangie Wescott, developed an organization whose philosophy lives on, 40 years later.
Jan wrote, “Jane’s vision and Vangie’s creation were rooted in the belief that no one in our community should have to struggle in isolation for daily survival. They understood that invisibility is perhaps the greatest pain inflicted by poverty. They also saw that many in our community, including those in need, wanted to help one another. With these insights, the Amherst Survival Center was established as a place where people can give and receive, and where every individual is treated with dignity.”
Forty years later, we’re entering our fifth year in a new building constructed by the community, continuing to embrace this philosophy in our daily programs, aspiring to provide a welcoming, safe and inclusive space for everyone, anyone.
In 2016, the Amherst Survival Center celebrates 40 years of supporting our neighbors. Since 1976, the Center has provided a welcoming space for the exchange of food, clothes, skills, knowledge, and friendship.
With the full assistance of Amherst Media, the following brief (5-minute) anniversary video was produced to give you a sense of the Amherst Survival Center’s mission and philosophy.
We’ve created special anniversary playlists on Spotify. Hear the music that was playing when the Center was founded! If you create a playlist for our anniversary, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll update this page with more info as the year goes on, but for now, here’s the schedule of upcoming events celebrating Amherst Survival Center’s 40th anniversary for the last six months of 2016!
Host an anniversary neighborhood or workplace food drive: are you interested in hosting a food drive to celebrate the Center’s 40th? Information on doing a food drive is here.
Saturday, September 17,
Community Appreciation Breakfast: 9AM-11Am (free) at the Center! A delicious breakfast menu, opportunity to take tours of the Center, face painting and special entertainment for kids! All are welcome.
Wednesday, September 21, Bertucci’s Dining for Dollars: eat out at Bertucci’s from 11am to 10pm, bring a flyer (download the special certificate here), and 15% of your check is donated to the Amherst Survival Center.
October 5, #ArtContinues Wine & Painting Night, 6:30pm-9pm
An enjoyable evening and a special fundraising event supporting the Amherst Survival Center, with veteran local art teacher Teri Magner, offering everyone of every ability the chance to paint a masterpiece (Paul Cezanne’s Pears on a Chair!) This event is at Bread & Butter in North Amherst. Tickets for this evening are $40 with a portion of each ticket to be donated to the Amherst Survival Center. Eat. Drink. Paint. Limited seats, sign up here.
Wednesday, October 26, 6:30pm-8:30pm: FIGHTING HUNGER IN OUR KITCHENS AND IN OUR CONGRESS: A Community Conversation with Leanne Brown, author of Good & Cheap, Congressman Jim McGovern & Monte Belmonte Location: the Amherst Survival Center (free, although donations of canned food and personal care items are welcome)
Thursday, October 27, 4pm-6pm: Healthy Cooking Class with Leanne Brown and Joan Eckhart from Whole Foods Market, Hadley, MA & Book Signing. Fee: $10 for the cooking class. Proceeds from the cooking class donated to the Amherst Survival Center. Sign Up by clicking here.
Friday, November 11: 40th Anniversary Dinner Dance
A fun evening of delicious food, socializing and dancing to the music of the Floyd Patterson Band. Blue Heron Restaurant, Sunderland, 6pm-10pm. Tickets are on sale now. Space is very limited, so reserve your tickets today. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, November 23, Community Thanksgiving Meal at the Immanuel Lutheran Church. All are welcome. (free)
OUR GRATITUDE TO OUR 40TH ANNIVERSARY PREMIER SPONSORS!