Food Thought In this Issue... Sue’s Corner Food Assistance Client Support Adult Education Thrift Shop Youth & Family Services Events Volunteer Donor Relations Events Food Drives at Market Basket June 4 & Sept 19 Endicott St, Danvers
Thrift Yard Sale Table at Beverly Homecoming Lobsterfest Wed, Aug 3
Keeping the faith through tough times
A few months ago, a woman named Karen* called looking to learn more about Beverly Bootstraps’ services. She had taken a medical leave of absence from her job, and after three months, her company called her to tell her they could no longer hold her position because she hadn’t been employed there for a full year yet. Karen had worked her entire life, and was having a hard time adjusting to the fact that she could no longer provide for herself. Over the following months, Karen registered for our Food Pantry and had us help her apply for SNAP benefits. She also enrolled in our Cooking Matters class to learn how to cook on a limited budget. She said “even though I’ve been cooking my whole life, the class was a fantastic way to learn about healthy recipes. I lost 35 pounds after that class!” We also helped her with the sometimes daunting application verification process when applying for Fuel Assistance with North Shore Community Action Programs (NSCAP). Due to her specific circumstances, it took extra time to process. At this same time, she was waiting to hear back about receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which she had applied for several months prior. We were able to find out that her application had been randomly selected for an audit. After months of back and forth with no income, she was finally approved for SSDI. After receiving her first Social Security check, she called her landlord who told her he had never heard someone so excited to pay their rent before. She then called her case manager here to say how happy she was to be able to pay her bills and thanked her for all the support and help along the way. Our next task to help Karen regain stability will be to help her find more affordable housing. And she is continuing to use the Food Pantry, to supplement her grocery store trips. Throughout this entire process and through countless obstacles and near dead ends, Karen never lost faith that things would be resolved. She went for months without an income and is a living example that if you keep fighting and doing what it takes, with time, (in her case nearly a year) things can turn around. Thank you for believing in Beverly Bootstraps and supporting us so that we can help our clients in these types of situations every day. *Name changed for privacy.
Sue’s Corner As you read this, Beverly Bootstraps has successfully transitioned into its new space on Park Street and is using this terrific new facility to benefit our clients. We cannot thank the community enough for investing in the organization and our important work. Now that we have accomplished this goal of more appropriate space for our programs, which marks the completion of the work we identified in our 2011 Strategic Plan, we will be drafting a new strategic plan. Among the opportunities for the organization to assess are extensions of our successful programs. We will consider how we might be more available to teens. We will assess how we might be able to provide more financial literacy education to our clients. We will consider the hours of operation of all of our programs to be sure we are accessible to most of the clients who need the assistance. We will also look at the revenue generating side of our business and will seek new ways to increase our income so that we can afford to serve the community in a financially sustainable way. As always, we will look to our collaborating non-profits in the community and will not duplicate effective programming that others are providing. We are committed to not only looking at our own resources when we offer services, but to also considering the overall community resources as well. We know that by working together, we are much more effective at assisting those in need. Please celebrate this new chapter of Beverly Bootstraps with us. This is a special community that is committed to helping those who need it, and that commitment is evident in our new building and the programming that we offer.
More news at Beverly Bootstraps New group volunteer opportunity
New evening hours at the Thrift Shop
We have developed a new volunteer opportunity specifically for groups. Our Thrift Shop often is backlogged with donations and we need help getting this merchandise ready to go out on the floor to be sold. So we have created a position for groups of 5-8 to work in the donation area pricing, hanging and organizing donations on Monday evenings from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
The Thrift Shop is adding evening hours for your shopping and donating convenience. You can now stop by on your way home from work or after dinner until 7pm on Mondays and Thursdays.
The Thrift Shop provides almost a third of Beverly Bootstraps’ revenue, so by supporting the Thrift Shop, you are directly supporting the important programs and services we provide. If you are part of a group from a company, club or even a family with older children, and would like to volunteer your time, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Leslie Colten at 978-927-1561 x 119.
A Beverly Bootstraps Publication
Food Assistance New format for new Food Pantry The Food Pantry now has a new distribution model. Clients will check in, grab a shopping cart, and travel through the extras, cold and staple areas, picking out the items they need and prefer. They will receive a shopping list with quantities noted for their specific family size. After proceeding to check out, the food will be weighed and logged so we can easily track demand and daily distributions. With food storage located on the same floor just through swinging doors, restocking is a breeze.
photo credit: David Sokol, WickedLocal.com
Donating is easier than ever
New summer food program
Now that we’re in the new building, there are some wonderful changes in the Food Pantry. Donating food will be easier than ever with our new set up. If it’s a bag or two, you can enter through the main entrance and talk to our front desk volunteer. If it’s a large donation, you can pull your vehicle right up to the garage door, get help unloading, and have your donation weighed and logged right there.
Our clients with children 18 or under will be able to get additional food at our Food Pantry this summer, to help ease the burden and cost of providing food to their children while school is out. Some of these families, whose children qualify for the federal government’s free or reduced price breakfast and lunch program during the school year, face major budgeting issues and therefore more food insecurity over the summer. This summer, in addition to breakfast offered at several Beverly Recreation Park Programs, as well as lunch at Beverly High School, we will be offering families with children the opportunity to come to the Food Pantry every week instead of every other. We encourage children to take advantage of all three parts of the program to have full access to a consistent nutritious supply of food at the most challenging time of the year.
Coming Soon - fresh produce!
photo credit: David Sokol, WickedLocal.com
Mobile Market, our traveling free fresh farmers market for Beverly Housing Authority, Apple Village and Turtle Woods/Turtle Creek residents, is set to begin in June. This program, which promotes better health and nutrition by providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, distributed over 52,000 pounds of produce last summer. If you would like to volunteer to help with this program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Leslie Colten at 978-927-1561 x119. BeverlyBootstraps.org | 978-927-1561
Client Support Keeping heads above water Every winter into spring, Beverly Bootstraps assists clients to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit. If they meet income requirements, we start by doing their taxes. If we determine that they are eligible, we then help them file for an EITC refund. This refund can give our clients the chance to catch up on bills right when they need it most. It can make the difference between keeping their heads above water or sinking beneath a sea of unpayable bills. This tax season, we filed 226 tax returns for our clients and 108 of these clients qualified for the EITC refund. This will result in over $484,933 in refunds, of which $177,289 are specifically EITC refunds. Joey*, who is disabled and receives Social Security and also works part-time at a local grocery store, lives with his elderly grandmother who is also disabled.
He had his taxes done at Beverly Bootstraps this year and said he was grateful for the EITC refund because his grandmother had recently been in the hospital and they could really use the extra money right now. Thank you to North Shore Community Access Programs for their collaboration and United Way of Mass Bay for their funding of this project. *Name changed for privacy.
Advocating for Food Assistance Recently, two of our staff members spent time in Washington D.C. at the Food Research and Action Center conference. This annual conference provides three days of training, networking and visits to Capitol Hill to advocate for Food Assistance programs. Participants share information, learn how to strengthen the quality and reach of federal nutrition programs, learn best outreach and program practices from other states and localities, fill in the gaps in food service for millions of low-income children, and identify creative ideas for new and innovative approaches to ending hunger.
Helping to provide even more food to those in need We have expanded our outreach efforts to assist eligible individuals and families to apply for and/or increase their SNAP benefits. This federally based program provides monthly benefits to purchase food. The more resources we can provide for families to have access to healthy, nutritious food, the more resources they will have to allocate toward housing, medical or transportation costs. Susan*, a new client who was referred to us by the Beverly Senior Center, increased her monthly benefits when we recommended she submit out of pocket health insurance and medical expenses. With increased
benefits, Susan now has some additional monthly income to help with other living expenses. To learn more about this program, please contact one of our Case Managers by calling our office at 978-927-1561. *Name changed for privacy.
A Beverly Bootstraps Publication
Adult Education Learning Express Library enhances Adult Ed programming Beverly Bootstraps has a wonderful new tool to improve all of our Adult Education Programs: the Learning Express Library, an acclaimed provider of online platforms for academic skill-building, standardized test preparation and career-oriented digital content. It features interactive online platforms, products and e-books designed to help users achieve their educational and career goals and perfectly complements our programs with its various “centers.” Our students will use it to take practice tests and then be provided with complete answer explanations and prescriptive tutorials that focus on their areas of need.
prep class can take advantage of the High School Equivalency Center which prepares them to get their high school equivalency credential by determining if they’re ready and what areas need more focus, and then building up those skills until they are ready to take the HiSET exam.
For our College and Career Readiness students, the Career Center provides tools for job seekers. It helps them prepare for career exams, explore occupations, and improve their job search and workplace skills. The Adult Learning Center is a wonderful resource for busy adult students and helps them to build math skills, become better readers, and improve their writing, speaking and grammar. And the students in our HiSET
The Adult Education programs will benefit greatly from their new space in the new building. Not only will there be dedicated space for ESOL and HiSET classes, but we also will be adding weekend classes for those who cannot come to class on weekdays. The goal is to remove another barrier for our clients to reach their personal goals.
The Learning Express software will help our Adult Ed students reach their personal goals that much quicker. Thank you to the donor who provided this new tool for success!
Weekend classes coming in 2017
Thrift Shop Can we help you?
Thrift is good for the Earth
Spring cleaning and looking for something to do with all your “extras”? Ordering new furniture and need the old gone? Is a relative downsizing and has too much to fit in their new home? We’ll take it off your hands! Be sure it has no rips, stains, pet or smoke damage. To make arrangements for a pickup, just call 978-9214710. Please call early as it may take several weeks to get on the schedule. Give us a call (a couple of days in advance please) to let us know you’re bringing in a large donation. And please email photos of your furniture to email@example.com so we can pre-screen your donation. We’re happy to help.
Why? We reduce, reuse and recycle! If you want to reduce your unwanted, unused, or extra clothing, accessories, housewares, or furniture, donate it to the Thrift Shop. We make it possible for others to reuse it. Do you like vintage and unique pieces for your home? Or are you a DIYer? We have what you’re looking for. You can recycle or even upcycle most everything you find at the Thrift Shop!
Thrift helps our clients too Diane* is a frequent shopper at the Thrift Shop. Being able to clothe her children, grandchildren and herself at a low cost has helped Diane remain self-sufficient throughout the years. When asked why she has such a connection to the Thrift Shop, she pulled out of her cart a brand new pair of Adidas gym shorts for her grandson priced $3.00 and exclaimed, “These would be $15 in another store!” She added “I can even buy myself a complete outfit and still afford the shoes to match.” She went on to say that the donors who give to the shop help so many people. A donor who gives a gently used winter coat to Beverly Bootstraps helps a child stay warm. *Name changed for privacy.
BeverlyBootstraps.org | 978-927-1561
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Youth & Family Healthy homework habits Celeste* is the mother of third-grader Cleo*, a Homework Club student who joined our program this year. Celeste has three other younger children - two of whom are learning disabled, and the youngest who suffers from autism. Needless to say, academics are a constant challenge and struggle in their household. While Cleo hasn’t been officially diagnosed with learning disabilities, in previous years she has had a great deal of trouble with her schoolwork, and suffered from anxiety and self-esteem issues as a result. In a conversation with Celeste, she shared how all this has begun to change for the better since joining the Homework Club at Beverly Bootstraps. Cleo looks forward to coming to Homework Club every day, and goes home feeling proud about having completed her work. She is making new friends in the program, which is helping rebuild her self-esteem. And knowing that there will always be someone here to help her has taken a lot of her anxiety away. Additionally, the new healthy homework habits that Cleo is developing are having a positive influence at home. Each day that she is not in the program, she returns home after school and immediately sits down at the kitchen table to begin her homework. Her younger brothers see her doing this and seek to join in. The structure that Cleo is creating for herself then gives Celeste a bit of time and freedom in the home to spend time with the other children, or to get a few chores done. So many lasting benefits! *Names changed for privacy.
Back-to-school shopping comes early at Beverly Bootstraps We’re already gearing up for our Back-to-School Bonanza backpack drive. Each year we distribute approximately 700 fully stocked back packs to our clients’ children so they can be prepared for success at school.
If you would like to make a donation of school supplies and/or backpacks, please refer to our website for a list of materials needed. All donations are due at our offices by the end of June.
Events Help restock our Food Pantry shelves Please mark your calendars for our upcoming Food Drives at Market Basket in Danvers on June 4 and September 19 from 9am to 12pm. Thanks to their support and yours, we will be able to re-stock our Food Pantry shelves during the summer – a time when our donations typically dip because people are away on summer vacations, and again in the fall when donors return.
We need you!
Our Mobile Market program provides a great way to give back to the community. We are looking for volunteers to help set up, break down, and help clients at this free fresh farmers market. For more information on this and our many other volunteer opportunities, please call Volunteer Coordinator Leslie Colten at 978-927-1561 x 119.
We’ll be back at Homecoming this summer The Thrift Shop table was sorely missed at last summer’s Homecoming Lobsterfest at Lynch Park. So we’re bringing it back this summer. Come shop for some great thrift shop finds in a beautiful outdoor setting on Wednesday, August 3!
A Beverly Bootstraps Publication
Volunteer Volunteers are essential The third week of April was National Volunteer Week, and to celebrate we held our annual volunteer appreciation event. Volunteers were invited to a breakfast open house at our new building to be thanked and recognized for all the work they do for us. The theme was “You’re an Essential Piece of the Puzzle” to let our loyal volunteers know how crucial their time is in enabling us to complete our mission of helping those in need. Did you know we have over 200 active volunteers helping at Beverly Bootstraps? From answering phones, to teaching classes, to stocking pantry shelves, these dedicated volunteers are absolutely essential to the success of this organization. Over the course of a year, our volunteers donate over 15,000 hours of their time. That’s the equivalent of over 7 full time employees’ hours for a year. And as the saying goes “Many hands make light work.”
Donor Relations Boots and Banjos a huge success On April 8, we held our first gala fundraiser and it was a huge success! Over 300 guests attended and kicked up their heels to our Boots and Banjos theme. The event was held at the Pingree School in South Hamilton. The brand new gymnasium was transformed into a country hoe down with fences, saddles and a covered wagon. The evening started with a cocktail hour where guests, dressed in their finest cowboy boots, mingled, perused the raffle and auction items and enjoyed delicious passed hors d’oeuvres. Then a sit down dinner by Fireside Catering was served. A live auction followed where guests photo credit: bid on vacation Sharon’s Studio of Gloucester packages, sports tickets and catered parties. The evening concluded with a boot-stomping good time to the music of the Chasing Blue Band. Thank you to our sponsors and donors for making the event possible, as well as all of our guests for supporting our very important cause. Thanks to you, we raised over $100,000 to fund our services and programs. BeverlyBootstraps.org | 978-927-1561
Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this event possible: Silver Spur Level Anonymous Fireside Catering
Lone Star Level
Anthony & Dodge, PC, Certified Public Accountants Coastal Capital Group J Barrett and Company Wrangler Level Brian Orr Pediatrics Carpenter & MacNeille CSL Americas Essex County OB/GYN McLane Middleton North Shore Bank Pediatric Associates Salem Five Bank
HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE ATTEND AN EVENT Food Drives at Market Basket — June 4 and September 19, 139 Endicott St, Danvers. Thrift Yard Sale Table at Beverly Homecoming Lobsterfest —Wednesday, August 3 Starting at 12:00pm For current events, like us on Facebook.
We are always looking for volunteers to join our team. Consider helping us in the following areas: • Thrift Shop • Front Desk • Food Pantry • Adult Education Classes • After-School Homework Clubs
DONATE THRIFT SHOP
We are in need of nice gift items, current quality books, jewelry and accessories for our Yard Sale table at Lynch Park during Homecoming in August.
Cereal, canned veggies, canned fruit, mac & cheese, rice (1 lb bags), canned spaghetti sauce
For large donations, call 978-921-4710 to schedule a pickup.
Thank you for your continued support!
FOOD PANTRY M, W, Th, F 10:00am - 12:15pm T, W 5:00pm - 6:45pm 10:00m - 11:00am THRIFT SHOP 198 Rantoul Street, Beverly M, Th 9:30am - 7:00pm T, W, F 9:30am - 5:00pm Sat 9:30am - 4:00pm PHONE: 978-921-4710 PHONE: 978-927-1561 FAX: 978-927-1553 BeverlyBootstraps.org (for Food Pantry and Donations only)
OFFICE & SERVICES 35 Park Street Beverly, MA 01915 M - Th 8:30a - 7:00pm Fri 8:30am - 4:00pm 1st and 3rd Sat 9:30am - 11:00am
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NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 88 BEVERLY, MA 01915
Spring/Summer 2016 Newsletter