NH Rebellion players volunteer at 1269 Cafe after weekend game canceled

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Teamwork: Mary Chevalier of 1269 Cafe, fourth from left in pink shirt, flanked by members of NH Rebellion football team who pitched in to help get things done after their weekend game was canceled. Photo/Winter Trabex

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MANCHESTER, NH – New Hampshire Rebellion was supposed to have their final home game of the year against the CNY Hellcats from Utica, New York, this past Saturday at Gill Stadium. However, news of the team’s disbandment gave the team an extra week off, following a bye on May 27. Their last game was on May 20 against the New York Knockout, in which the team suffered defeat by a score of 40-0.

Despite these various difficulties, members of the NH Rebellion came to 456 Union St. at the 1269 Cafe to volunteer their time on a Sunday. They showed up as early as 9:30 a.m. to serve breakfast to some of Manchester’s homeless individuals.

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As the day wore on, they worked in 1269’s food pantry, in a clothing room, and outside doing yard work. A large root had to be removed from a planned construction site in front of the building; members of the NH Rebellion went to work with garden tools and shovels, eventually digging it out from the ground. The tree root, when removed, looked like an enormous parsnip.

Marina Dickey, one of the team’s three captains, held a list up, ready to call on people to use the food pantry.

“I’ve been doing a little bit of everything,” Dickey said. “I did some food pantry organization. They usually have somebody watch the door to make sure they’re not over capacity here. I helped out with the closet a little bit, and then I helped Carol out with the yard work as well. Yesterday’s game was canceled, so we figured we’d donate our time here instead.”

While the team volunteered, a local pastor held a sermon inside 1269 about how people can easily take things on faith, such as a chair not collapsing when it is sat upon. Homeless people sat in chairs inside the cafe, eating baked goods or drinking coffee. Staff rushed about, trying to serve a large number of people.

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Mary Chevalier, who owns and operates the cafe with her husband, Craig, always finds herself busy on Sundays, when the cafe is open the longest and there’s a great deal going on. Sunday June 4 was particularly busy as unseasonably cold rain drove people indoors to seek shelter. As such, the NH Rebellion found themselves most welcome.

“It’s excellent,” Chevalier said. “It’s great to have some strong people come in because we had a food delivery so we had nice rugged people to be able to carry things in with the rest of us. I love that they really just jump in and can see things. People volunteer in the area that they have expertise or an affinity. Somebody sorted my closet because they like clothing and don’t want to hang around people too much.”

Chevalier concluded, “I like them. Friendly people, hard workers, willing to just jump in and do stuff. I think it’s great. I love the opportunity to share with people what’s going on here at 1269.”IMG 20230604 122808 scaled

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About this Author

Winter Trabex

Winter Trabex is a freelance writer from Manchester and regular contributor to Community Voices.