Neighbors Helping Neighbors is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide assistance to Westminster residents faced with tragedy and financial difficulties due to circumstances beyond their control.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors has helped more than 175 families from 1987 through the end of 2018 and has provided more than $475,000 to help them get through difficult times.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors was established in 1987 in response to a specific situation. Pete Giammalvo, a 27 year old Westminster resident, was seriously injured in a diving accident. Friends, family, co-workers and town residents organized a fundraising event that was held at the Westminster VFW.
The success of this first event, in terms of both raising money and bringing the community together to help a family in need, inspired people to continue helping families in crisis. Neighbors Helping Neighbors formally came into existence after this first event, resulting in a tax exempt benefit fund called the Westminster Benefit Fund, Inc.
The mission remained the same for four years—-holding fundraising events for a particular Westminster family in need. In year five the mission of Neighbors Helping Neighbors evolved. Thankfully, there was no particular tragedy requiring help to one specific family, however, there were several families in crisis that fundraising and community support could help.
The first Neighbors Helping Neighbors event was a very public fundraiser to help Pete Giammalvo, but when the Westminster Benefit Fund branched out to help more families, it became obvious that there was a need for privacy. The mission evolved to behind the scenes helping of families in need. Confidentiality became extremely important for Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
This emphasis on confidentiality changed the organization—the organization’s leaders had to be trusted to do the right thing, since the results weren’t publicized, and fundraising had to become more formalized and creative without a particular high profile tragedy for Westminster to rally around.
We have been told that it’s a tribute to the community that the annual NHN event has continued to grow, raising more and more money to help people in need in Westminster each year.
For more than 30 years NHN has helped people faced with financial difficulties caused by accidents, fires, life challenging illness and disabilities or other reasons beyond their control.
How do we help people? We can be flexible on how we help. We have provided equipment for handicapped children and adults, assistance with rental and mortgage payments, assistance for utility payments such as heat, electricity and water; assistance for food, medicine, transportation and much more.
We believe that Neighbors Helping Neighbors embodies what makes Westminster a great town in which to live—although some towns might hold special events in response to a local tragedy, Westminster stands out as a town that has an annual event that raises money specifically to help its residents when they’re in a tough spot.
And to top it all off, the annual NHN Town Benefit Day is a really fun event for people of all ages—there’s great food, games for the kids, Kids Flea Market, Farmers’ Market, live entertainment and more!
This year’s Town Benefit Day will be held as usual on Academy Hill on the second Sunday in August—-August 8, 2021.
The Westminster Benefit Fund relies completely on the support of local businesses, families, organizations and groups. We do not receive any federal, state or municipal funding.
WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!