Those Who Can for Those In Need is a 501-C(3), not-for-profit organization operating in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and serving the Greater Boston and North Shore areas. Explore our website to learn about our mission.
We are supported entirely by volunteers and donations. We have no paid employees.
Hi! My name is Judie VanKooiman.
After losing my husband, Van, to cancer, I went through what I call “bumps” in my life. I was homeless for 9 months living in a shelter. I didn’t know where to turn to for resources. So, 2 1/2 years ago I started a resource cable show called Life Issues on WCAT in Winthrop, MA. Then, just before the 5th anniversary of Van’s passing, I wanted to do something special in his memory. I decided to start Those Who Can for Those In Need as a not for profit organization to provide an annual Resource-Volunteer Fair covering the following issues: ELDERLY, LOSING A LOVED ONE, CHILDREN, LOW INCOME & HOMELESS ISSUES. The volunteer part comes in where a lot of these organizations are looking for volunteers and people are looking for volunteer opportunities.
Our goal is to maintain and grow this yearly event for the Greater Boston Area. With proper funding we also hope to print a resource directory to distribute locally and make available on this website, maintain and grow this website as an informative resource, and hold one major fundraising event per year.
With your help, we can help many people in difficult situations find the resources they need quickly and get back on their feet with dignity.
Please consider a donation by clicking the donate button on this page and follow our mission via Facebook and Twitter!
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU in advance!
In September 2012, with the help and support of her friends and the community, Judie held the first annual Resource and Volunteer Fair at Ingleside Park in Winthrop, Massachusetts. The fair is free, supported by donations, sponsors, and volunteers. Not just informative, the fair is a fun family event with activities (crafts, demonstrations, and more), entertainment, food, and lots of fun. The first fair was very well received and received a lot of positive feedback by the organizations that came and set up tables as well as from the attendees. It proved the need was out there.
In order to build on that success, Judie realized she needed to grow the fair and help more people connect to these valuable support organizations in our communities. Even though she is an energetic, go-getting, do-it-all gal, she realized she needed help is she was going to do this right. Judie started out to build a true 501-C(3) nonprofit organization and a board.
In June of 2013, the Board met for the first time and began the steps necessary to make Judie’s dream a reality. Over that summer they also planned the 2nd Annual Resource & Volunteer Fair to be held after Labor Day. A Facebook page was set up to start sharing information and build a following. You can find us at www.facebook.com/ThoseWhoCanForThoseInNeed
On September 7, 2013, a beautiful day, the fair came together with even more organizations setting up and even more attendees. People met with representatives or the organizations and brought home valuable information for themselves, loved ones, or friends in need. They left feeling lighter than when they arrived. There is a sense of relief and empowerment that comes when people are armed with information and realize they do not have to do it all alone. While they were there, they and their families could take a break from the challenges of life. From the musical entertainment, the petting zoo, the crafts, the balloon artist, hula hoop lessons, police, fire, and emergency vehicles for the kids to play on, and more! The event exceeded expectations. Something was right!
With the fair over, it was time to evaluate and determine financial needs so we could move on with a printed directory, a website, basic administrative operating expenses, and funds for the 2014 fair. A fundraising event was needed. Considering healing, happiness, and hope often come from laughter, Uplift Yourself with Laughter was chose as the theme and name.
On Saturday, April 26th, 2014, after months of planning (and learning), our first annual Uplift Yourself with Laughter fundraiser went off without a hitch! Held at Casa Lucia in Revere, MA, entertainment was provided by the very funny Johnny Pizzi and his fellow comedians Jack Walsh, Bob Gautreau, and Bob Siebel. Disc jockey Joe Gagnon provided music during dinner and after the show. The guests enjoyed a delicious, hot, Italian buffet followed by dessert and coffee. A cash bar was provided for those who wanted alcoholic beverages. We were fortunate to have received many gift donations for raffles and some of the board members created beautiful baskets. The raffles and the event received rave reviews and proved to be a financial success.
In June of 2014, the board celebrated the anniversary of its first meeting poolside, at the home of one of our members. We shared the gratitude and joy of our experience and recognized the wonderful relationships we had developed. We had a lot of fun!
Since we connect people in need, and volunteers, with local support organizations dealing with life issues, and since the name of Judie’s show on WCAT (Winthrop, MA, community cable station) is Life Issues, we decided to update the name of the fair to included that. Adding “life issues” would also clarify the type resources being offered.
On September 6th, 2014, we held the 3rd Annual Life Issues Resource & Volunteer Fair. We were fortunate, again, to have some great entertainment by local musicians (like the young Kyle Davis). This year included a police K-9 demonstration that enthralled the attendees. It was a very hot day and the sun was intense. We decided we would consider temperature, not just rain, to use our alternate indoor location (the Winthrop Senior Center) in the future.
Although we had filed papers with and were recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a legal nonprofit, we hit a milestone when received official 501-C(3) status with the Federal Government (IRS) in October of 2014. We did it!
In January of 2015, first official e-newsletter went out. We are currently planning this year’s Uplift Yourself with Laughter fundraiser to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2014.
Our logo features the man who inspired Judie’s mission, her late husband, Van. In front of Van are open, gently, helping hands from which a butterfly, a symbol of transformation and hope, rises.