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  • Portsmouth Elks #97 Lodge awards Step Up Parents $6,000 grant

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    PORTSMOUTH—The Portsmouth Elks Lodge # 97 was awarded a $6,000 Beacon/Spotlight grant to support Portsmouth-based Step Up Parents, which provides financial assistance to relative caregivers who have stepped up to raise children of parents with substance use disorder. In a reception held at the Elks Lodge in Portsmouth, Gov. Chris Sununu and Mayor Deaglan McEachern joined Elks members in presenting the grant, developed to shine a light on a community need.

    This year's grant focused on the plight of children who are the victims of the opioid crisis fallout, which has escalated due to the pandemic. 

    "We chose an organization that we feel is trying to directly impact child home insecurity," said Elyse Gallo, Elks Grant Committee Chairperson. "Because so many of the caregivers live on fixed incomes, the added expense of additional family members is often financially devastating. Step Up Parents supports struggling kinship families by paying rents and housing expenses."

    “We are so grateful to have been chosen for the Elks Foundation Beacon Grant and to Gov. Sununu and Mayor McEachern for their attendance and kind words," said Denyse Richter, executive director of Step Up Parents. "We would like to thank Elyse Gallo specifically for nominating our organization and championing our work for kinship caregivers in the Seacoast and all of New Hampshire."

    The Benevolent Protective Order of Elks is a community organization with more than 900,000 members and 2,000 lodges nationwide. The Elks National Foundation helps local Portsmouth Elks Lodge #97 serve the Seacoast community.

    About Step Up Parents
    Founded in 2019 and based in Portsmouth, Step Up Parents offers financial assistance to relative caregivers in New Hampshire who have selflessly stepped up to be surrogate parents to children whose parents struggle with substance use disorder. It is dedicated to honoring the efforts of these caregivers, preserving their dignity, and responding to their families' immediate needs. Step Up Parents believes that even heroes need a hand.