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GAW receives thoughtful grant for $1,850 from Boston Bruins Foundation

Girls at Work, Inc. were very thankful to be chosen by the Boston Bruins Foundation to receive a grant of $1,850 to help with their mission. By placing real tools in the hands of young girls, our builders become unstoppable and recognize how forceful they are in all they pursue.

The Boston Bruins Foundation is committed to supporting organizations that have a positive impact on the New England community, and are particularly pleased to invest in Girls at Work because their work is so closely aligned with the Foundation’s priorities.

“It is wonderful that an organization like the Boston Bruins Foundation is so connected and committed to the surrounding communities and the work we are all doing to make a stronger tomorrow.” said Elaine Hamel, founder and program director of Girls at Work.

About Girls at Work

Girls at Work, Inc, is a non-profit that teaches at risk, low-income, New Hampshire girls inner strength through woodworking skills utilizing power tools. Many of our girls struggle with feelings of powerlessness. The experience of building for the first time enables girls to overcome fear associated with power tools, leaving them feeling powerful, strong and capable.

Our vision is a world where every girl feels confident and capable.

Support and follow us at, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram.

Media Contact

Heidi Page, Marketing & Administrative Manager

[email protected] or 603-345-0392

The Boston Bruins Foundation is a non-profit that collaborates with charitable organizations that demonstrate a commitment to health and wellness, education and athletics. The Foundation strongly believes that advocating for children and families across these areas will create a strong support system that will ultimately lead to the betterment of our community.

Media Contact

Zack Fitzgerald, Boston Bruins Foundation Manager

[email protected]

Summer Build-Me-Up Campers from Girls at Work in partnership with 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and Girls’ Leadership Camp at Kimball Union Academy donate picnic tables to First Responders

1stResponders-Holding Boards-RGB-SMAs a thank you to our local First Responders for all they do to help our community, Girls at Work summer campers, along with our Girls’ Leadership Camp at Kimball Union Academy, have decided to donate the picnic tables that the girls have made this season.

Girls at Work is an organization that works with many families that are struggling. We understand many of the heart wrenching issues that our community deals with daily. “Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by the need. We want to take a moment and thank those who dedicate their time so passionately to our community,” explains Elaine Hamel the founder and Program Director for Girls at Work. Thursday afternoon Mayor Joyce Craig will be at Girls at Work headquarters as the Manchester Police Department, the Manchester Fire Department, American Medical Response, CarePlus Ambulance service, Catholic Medical Center, and Elliot Hospital will be coming to our camp for the girls to load up their trucks with picnic tables, shake their hands directly, and say, “Thank you for all you do.”

Our Manchester community is taking on many of the stresses that our members are dealing with. We are stronger together, joining and supporting each other, to make Manchester a better city. Our local First Responders are making a difference in our neighborhoods, and Girls At Work wants to remind them that they are appreciated by encouraging them to take a break and sit together around a table handmade by our campers.

WMUR Video of days event


About 21st Century Learning Centers: The Manchester School District’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) afterschool program envisions a community where all students are inspired to reach their full potential academically, socially and personally through the support of the program, families, and the community.

About Girls’ Leadership Camp at Kimball Union Academy: Aligning with GLC’s motto, I am who I am, campers explore big topics that range from communication to collaboration, girl dynamics to middle school, gossip to cliques. Raney explains, “A lot of girls are battling supposed-to-syndrome; they are struggling because society wants them to be something other than who they are… we teach them, if you can look in the mirror at the end the day and say I am who I am with confidence and conviction, then you’re doing okay.”

About Girls at Work, Inc: Girls at Work, Inc, non-profit that teaches at risk, low-income, New Hampshire girls inner strength through woodworking skills utilizing power tools. Many of our girls struggle with feelings of powerlessness. The experience of building for the first time enables girls to overcome fear associated with power tools, leaving them feeling powerful, strong and capable.

For more information, visit or call 603-345-0392. We welcome you to contact us to set up a meeting to tour our facility and witness firsthand the confidence we are building through our program.

GAW Celebrates our Volunteers | Christine Keenan

ChristineKeenan-VolunteerChristine Keenan first heard about Girls at Work when Elaine Hamel (founder and program manager) posted about a women’s build back in November 2014. Christine signed up for the class and learned how to build a garden bench. She took that bench home and danced around it because of how proud she was to have accomplished something she didn’t know she could do. She learned about the mission of Girls at Work and how they support at risk girls and jumped at the idea of getting involved. Over the next couple of years she volunteered helping with classes, building signs, and attended New Hampshire Construction Career days to attract women to the organization.

When prompted about her continued involvement with GAW she said, “How could I possibly say no, when you know it just takes a bit of time to help and have a positive impact on a young girl? I have had similar experiences growing up as some of these girls and I know the importance of how this program helps them.” Christine can see the difference that the organization has on these young girls. She says, “It gives these girls a new way of looking at their world in a positive way because they are put in a position to see positive role models and then they can imagine opportunities for themselves.”

Christine values so many memories and experiences with her time at GAW. She really values the connections that she has made with people from various backgrounds and hearing their stories as well as the mission of the organization. In her time volunteering in the workshop she really enjoys “seeing how it has unfolded and seeing the difference between the first two hours and then watching the girls as they walk out a little bit taller.” Above all Christine loves sharing the moments with girls and women when they accomplish their project because she can see their faces light up with pride.

Christine has personally benefited from the programs values throughout her time at GAW. “I’ve gained confidence to build other things and pursue other personal goals that I put on the back burner, such as doing art. Now I have secured a spot featuring my art at Oglethorpe Fine Arts & Crafts in collaboration with Artisans by the Bay in Meredith starting in May.” She is thankful for all the wonderful people she has met through the organization as well. You might meet this amazing volunteer when you take a Women’s Power Build class coming up this year.

For anyone who is interested in volunteering with GAW Christine offers her advice. “Stop thinking about it and just do it! You have nothing to lose and you will gain much more than you would have ever imagined by being apart of it.”

Seaport Warm-Up Fundraiser

Seaport Warm Up Official-FBMentally Escape the Seaport Chill for a Good Cause
Thursday, April 5
4 pm – 6:30 pm
at the SUPER COOL Reebok HQ: 25 Drydock Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Stanley Black and Decker Women’s Network, Reebok and Nutre Meal Plans have partnered up to give you a momentary escape from the cold weather and support a great cause! The Winter Warm Up is a fundraising event benefiting Dress for Success and Girls at Work!

Come join your Seaport colleagues for a time of

100% of Donations Benefit Girls at Work and Dress for Success 

Jog: $10-$29.99 | Admission, 2 Raffle Tickets, 1 Drink Ticket, 30% off Reebok Merch

Run: $30-49.99 | Admission, 5 Raffle Tickets, 1 Meal Ticket, 2 Drink Tickets, 30% off Reebok Merch

Sprint: $50. or more | Admission, 7 Raffle Tickets, 1 Meal Ticket, Open Bar, 30% off Reebok Merch, and Special Thank You Gift

Can’t Attend- Please Make a Donation to Support this event.

Click HERE for tickets or to donate. Thank you.

Seaport Warm Up Official

Girls at Work participants

Unlocking the potential of girls

Bench built by Girls at Work

One of the wonderful organizations that we work with is Circle Program in Plymouth. In the Circle Program, girls from low-income families learn skills, courage and confidence to handle life’s challenges. The program combines adult and peer support via year-round mentoring and summer camp programs.

A Circle Program mentor recently donated a load of 200-year-old siding that was removed from her barn, which was built in 1790. The wood donation appeared to have very little potential – very much like the girls we work with, many of whom feel they have no potential.

Despite the rain, we picked up all of the lumber before heading north for the build. We have never before had the luxury of building with 200-year-old barn board. This wonderful Girls at Work participantsdonation provided a rare opportunity to discover just how beautiful weathered wood is – and how carefully it must be handled.

When our young builders first saw the lumber, their reaction was priceless. We explained that each board was filled with potential, and that the potential had yet to be uncovered. It was just incredible to see how the girls were inspired to bring out the beauty in each piece of lumber and how they handled it with such care. That is the approach that should be taken not only with 200-year-old weathered barn board, but with every young girl in each of our communities, regardless of where they are from. They are all so filled with inherent beauty and potential; it’s our job to bring that out for not only the world to see, but for them to see in themselves.

As we head to the Circle Program each summer, all of the young girls with whom we worked this week have built with us before. It’s a delight to work with our young, “seasoned’ builders! When working with experienced builders, we provide a brief demonstration and then allow them to refresh the building skills they mastered the summer before. We provide some instruction and after a day of building together, the girls work on their own with no instruction. We are adamant that all power saws are used with one instructor and one builder to each, but all other tools are available for use to everyone. One of our young builders was pretty convinced that there was no way they could build without more instruction on Day Two. We reminded her that if she believed she could do something she set her mind to, then the opposite was also true.

Our young builders blew our expectations out of the water. The little builder who shared her self-doubt (although many were probably feeling the same thing, at first) was bursting at the seams with confidence when she signed the table she helped build. The other girls showed just as much confidence. Programs that take girls far beyond their comfort zones can yield amazing levels of self-esteem.

If you are interested in bidding on one of these one-of-a-kind masterpieces, attend the Circle Program fundraiser in October. Or, if you would like a “custom” masterpiece, stay tuned: We will display a sample in a gallery to be opened soon in downtown Manchester!

Girls at Work, Inc. logo

Girls at Work, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers our services to organizations that work with girls from group homes, low-income families, with incarcerated parents or parents in rehab. (While our focus is at-risk girls we don’t turn anyone away.)  We also work to build partnerships with youth organizations that focus on girls at risk. We rely on funding and sponsorships to help subsidize the cost of our program. Please consider donating to our cause!

Girls at Work, Inc.

EmPOWERing the girls at Zebra Crossings


Girls at Work, Inc.

An example of one of the many amazing partners we get to work with at Girls at Work, Inc. is Zebra Crossings, a program that provides enrichment programs for children with chronic health conditions. Girls at Work, Inc. partners with many social service agencies throughout New England to work with girls and empower them through building. Overcoming their fear of power tools and building something with their own hands leaves girls feeling powerful, strong and capable.Girls at Work, Inc. construction

We travel to sites in our truck, which is equipped with everything the girls will need to build for a day – or several days. All we require is an overhead structure to keep us dry, a power source, and girls who are ready to tap into their own inner power.

Zebra Crossings is a place where kids with chronic health conditions can learn what they are capable of achieving and how to live life to the fullest. It’s amazing to see some of what these girls struggle with, from partial paralysis to seizures. But don’t think for a second that illness prevents them from being determined to master each power tool!

Recently Zebra Crossings participants were introduced to the game of “carpetball.” Carpetball is a game that uses billiard balls and a special table with a big pocket at each end. Players throw the Girls at Work, Inc. project completedballs and try to be the first to knock all of their opponents’ balls into the opposite pocket. The game was a big hit and the girls asked if they could build their own version of a carpetball table this summer.

Put together safety glasses, lumber, screws, tape measures, cordless drills, palm sanders, speed squares, a mitre saw, and a bunch of young girls with focus, determination and lots of teamwork, and the end result is a wonderful new carpetball game. An even better outcome is a group of girls who feel powerful, skilled, smart and strong. When the parents arrived to pick up their little builders later that day, they were thrilled to see the new game – many even asked if they could rent it this summer! Hearing positive and encouraging comments from parents only fueled the fire of empowerment for these girls.

Girls at Work, Inc. logo

Girls at Work, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers our services to organizations that work with girls from group homes, low-income families, with incarcerated parents or parents in rehab. (While our focus is at-risk girls we don’t turn anyone away.)  We also work to build partnerships with youth organizations that focus on girls at risk. We rely on funding and sponsorships to help subsidize the cost of our program. Please consider donating to our cause!

young builders
young builders

School Vacation Workshops!

young builders

If you’re interested in giving your daughter a boost of self esteem during school vacation this April, sign her (and her little friends) up for one of our workshops!

A group of (up to) ten girls will spend two hours in the shop learning how to safely use power tools to build these sweet shaker peg boards ($250.00 per group). The added bonus is that they’ll discover their ‘internal power tools’ of strength and courage through this experience!

Contact us now to sign up – email: [email protected] or call (603) 345-0392. Hope to see you soon!

Crowded audience at MusicFest 2012

A MusicFest thank you from Elaine

crowded audience at MusicFest 2012

“A heartfelt thank you to so many that made MusicFest 2012 possible. From the volunteers, our little builders, the musicians, our committee and board, our sponsors, our incredible supporters and so many new faces. So humbled to know we packed the house with people that are on board with helping girls at risk to feel better about themselves. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

–  Elaine Hamel, founder, Girls at Work, Inc