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Letter to the Editor: An Invitation to The Nest

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received January 12, 2024.

Nestled in our beloved Connecticut River Valley lies a place that’s redefining what it means to be a community hub: The Nest Coffee House. Operated with heart and soul by A Little Compassion, Inc. (ALC), this isn’t just a spot to grab your morning brew—it’s a haven where compassion and purpose intertwine, particularly for our neurodiverse friends.

Beyond its inviting doorway and aromatic coffee brews, The Nest stands as a welcoming gathering place for ALL.  Picture cozy corners filled with chatter, laughter and the comforting aroma of freshly brewed coffee and delectable menu offerings.  But the Nest is more than just a coffee shop; it’s a sanctuary that embodies the mission of A Little Compassion Inc.- to create a safe, kind and inclusive community where everyone, regardless of neurodiversity, feels embraced.

Once inside The Nest, there are wondrous finds at the Possibilities Boutique. It’s a gem! Showcasing exquisite creations from local and neurodiverse artisans alongside fair trade wonders from around the globe, it’s shopping with a purpose and a story. A beautiful story told by the latest consigners like Salvage Sistas who create unique, upcycled mittens, to Callie whose unique color-block art containing positive messages beautifully reflects their autism.

At the heart of ALC’s offerings is the New Employment Skills Training (N.E.S.T.) Program (designed for young adults ages 16-30) focusing on empowerment, skill-building, and creating pathways to meaningful employment opportunities. Complementing this initiative is their ever-growing Awareness, Inclusion and Outreach (AI&O) programming, designed to encourage community involvement by promoting education and awareness of ALC’s mission.

AI&O features engaging Coffee & Conversation sessions tailored for parents and caregivers of neurodiverse children, children’s story hour, first responder sensory training, and the prestigious Alexandra M. Dilger award ceremony, rewarding young adults pursuing their autonomy and career dreams.  Lastly is their Gatherings Program. Think of it as the ultimate hangout spot for neurodiverse young adults ages 14-30. From artsy craft nights to epic game showdowns, there’s never a dull moment.

Finally, let’s not overlook the heartwarming signature community events hosted by ALC annually –  The Lantern Light Celebration: Lighting the Way for People of All Abilities in May and Compassion Walk: Paving the Way for People of All Abilities in October. Both of these events encapsulate the essence of community spirit, drawing countless neighbors together in an uplifting celebration of diversity, acceptance, and mutual support.

So, dear community members, as ALC and The Nest continue to flourish and evolve, there’s an open invitation for you to join this transformative journey. Visit The Nest at 162 Main Street in Deep River, to volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.

 

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