greater An Annual Journal of Greater Boston Catholic Charities Programs and Services
Discover Catholic Charities
Greater Boston A New Home on
Knows No Age
Thoughts from Our Director
Greater News Our favorite moments of the year
As a proud supporter of our local communities
Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C. commends the remarkable accomplishments of and wishes continued success to the
CATHOLIC CHARITIES of GREATER BOSTON Michael C. Gilleran Board Chair, Catholic Charities of Greater Boston and Counsel, Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C.
www.apslaw.com 175 Federal Street Boston, MA 617-482-0600
One Citizens Plaza Providence, RI 401-274-7200
P.O. Box 536 Bristol, NH 603-744-1021
Creating Environments for the Way People Work. Visit our 21,000 square-foot headquarters in the Boston Design Center. With over 100 employees on site, weâ€™re serving clients in the Boston area as well as nationwide.
Private Office n Open Plan Solutions n Seating n Accessories n Filing and Storage n Educational
Floor to Ceiling Walls n Lobies, Training areas Health Care n Classics
One Design Center Place, Suite 734 Boston, MA 02210
Boston Worcester Portland Providence Manchester Burlington In Woburn, call (781) 937-9002 and ask for James Curran.
Weâ€™re focused on serving our clients. By combining exceptional products and services, we create furnishing solutions that make life a little easier for your employees.
Visit us on the web at www.cop-inc.com
Building a Just and Compassionate Society
Catholic Charities assists more than 200,000 individuals in Eastern Massachusetts each year. Our partnerships, grants, supporters, and sponsors help us to provide these individuals with basic needs, including food, fuel, utilities, and rental assistance. greater | www.ccab.org | 4
Rooted in the Dignity of All People.
Discover the care Our comprehensive service model includes parenting education, job skills, family wellness, and other parent support services, as well as education and care addressing each childâ€™s physical, intellectual, and social development, health and nutrition, linguistic and cultural needs.
Itâ€™s because of the volunteers in the communities we serve that we are able to provide our services with dignity and compassion for all of our clients.
Discover the values Even our youngest volunteers know the importance of giving back and helping to make their communities strong.
Discover the Support Our goal is to provide the skills necessary for academic success, while also increasing self-esteem and enhancing the perception of teens as a positive force in the community.
Discover the friendships Our summer youth programs are designed around building life skills, including teamwork, leadership, self-discipline, self-esteem, sportsmanship, and good health.
Discover the future
Caption: Onulla commy niat erit augait landignissed ecte vendrem nim iusto dolut ulluptat at ad erostrud tem irit praestio consequam, summolore mincidunt lute exero conullan heniscidunt dipisci ncidui eu facinit Acing et accummy nulputat. Ut lorercipis adipsustrud enibh exeros eu feugiat doleniam, sequis nullaor sit praesendit amet, vulputet, conummy nosto odolor in vel ing eriureet vulluptat. Duisit.
Catholic Charities provides a variety of programs and services for children and families in order to strengthen and preserve families and provide children with the opportunities they deserve.
Discover the programs As an anti-poverty agency, Catholic Charities responds to the needs of the poor and working poor in our communities.
Discover the SPIRIT
Our programs are designed to break down barriers, promote positive interactions, and increase cross cultural and cross neighborhood understanding. The Boston Catholic Youth Connection prays together for peace in the neighborhoods.
Discover the Faith For more than 100 years, Catholic Charities has continued its mission of building a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people.
Greater Leaders On behalf of everyone at Catholic Charities, welcome to the Greater Boston Christmas Gala! It is a sincere pleasure to have you join us as we celebrate Christmas and the promise that Christ’s birth brought to the world. It feels as if there could be no better time to be reminded of that promise, and to celebrate it with great joy—and perhaps a little dancing! Your generosity in being here tonight, and in supporting this event, is heartwarming and emblematic of the season. We serve more than 10,000 people a month through the Greater Boston program, and provide more than 14,000 pounds of food alone.
We are surviving as an agency, but thousands more people need our help than did a year ago. We believe it will get worse for our clients before it gets better.
We care for children in our childcare center. We help people learn English, and help young families learn how to parent successfully and build a promising future for themselves and their children. We tutor, mentor, and provide for teens after school whose other options are gangs or social isolation. And the Greater Boston staff strives— Catholic and non-Catholic alike—to fulfill God’s promise to the poor and marginalized every day. We could not do any of that without you and your support. These are difficult times. We are surviving as an agency, but thousands more people need our help than did a year ago. We believe it will get worse for our clients before it gets better. Thank you for walking with us. Please continue to do so in the days and months ahead. But for tonight, enjoy. I may be writing this note in advance, but I can say with sincerity that you look smashing, and I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas with you on this special night. With my warmest Christmas wishes to you and your families,
Tiziana C. Dearing
President, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston
mEET OUR ADVISORY BOARD Chair: Michael Gilleran Richard D. Armstrong Jr Karen Baker John P. Billingsley James D. Blue II greater | www.ccab.org | 24
Susan H. Butler Thomas J. Clark Honorable Kathleen E. Coffey Vincent Costantini Joseph L. Doherty, Jr. Steven P. Duffy
John J. Griffin Jr Neal J. Harte John D. Hughes Robert B. Hutchinson, Jr Honorable Francis J. Larkin Mary F. Larkin
Greater Leaders Today, I wear a suit to the office. Tonight, I wear a tuxedo to the Catholic Charities Christmas Dinner. But when my father was a little boy he
and his sisters had food to eat, clothes to wear, and a warm place to sleep, due to the kindness of strangers. Until very recently, when we heard of such desperate neediness, it often took place long ago, or far away. The neediness in our own families happened a generation or two ago, and was almost the stuff of legend. The neediness of others was in some town or city or state not our own, and was something that happened to others and not to our own kind. Now, in the last few months, all the world has changed. Neediness is not long ago, or far away. It is taking place right now. Shutoff of heat and light is happening now. Lack of shelter is happening now. Hunger is happening now.
Until very recently, Nor is neediness far away. Layoffs are taking place at our own places when we heard of business. Foreclosures are taking place in our own communities. of such desperate Decline of savings and loss of income are near at hand. Desperate neediness is a thing that exists in our own time and place. We neediness, it often can no longer be of the facile conclusion that it is something far away took place long and foreign. We can no longer be of the easy conscience that it reflects some character flaw. We can no longer be of the lazy assumption that it ago, or far away. will end with the latest government bailout. The neediness in Why should we respond to this desperate neediness that is here and our own families now? Jesus told us the answer: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” happened a Let us resolve to love this world that God has given us by loving those generation or in it. Let us give of our bounty to those who are without. Let us give of our hearts to those who are not loved. Let us do all this through two ago, and was Catholic Charities, a gift to us and our forebears that we love. almost the stuff of Most affectionately yours, legend. Michael C. Gilleran Board Chair of Catholic Charities of Greater Boston
Ali Malihi Michael A. Manzo Rahaun J. Martin John H. McCarthy Teresa McGonagle Jean S. McKeigue
Louis S. Mercedes Pierre F. Monette, Jr Christy Murphy Kevin Murphy David H. O’Brien Don Rodman
James A. Rullo Kevin W. Quinn John Shaughnessy Matthew M. Soldano Carolyn R. Stall Anh Vu 25 | greater | www.ccab.org
Greater Leaders What could be better than to be the one who gets to invite you into the world of Catholic Charities Greater Boston? I hope that the pages here
allow you to share a little piece of the joy and wonder I feel every day at being allowed to be part of this mission, part of the living gospel that is Catholic Charities. Years ago, as a new social worker looking for a job, I decided I didn’t want to work with teenagers or addicts. So I carefully researched each job possibility and took a job at Catholic Charities working with abused kids. My first client was a cocaine addicted, teenage mom. At the time I looked at it as cosmic irony, fate saying “gotcha.” I’ve since come to understand it as God’s way of saying “My plan, not yours.” Later, after five years at Charities and seven years away, in 1998 I found myself back talking to Joe Doolin, telling him why I belonged at Catholic Charities again, telling him about my love of working with teens and addicts (who would have guessed?), and telling him that I was the person he wanted to hire for a director’s job. He agreed and I owe him so much for giving me this opportunity. There is no place I would rather be.
If the measure of a society is how we treat those who are the most vulnerable, then you, my There is so much I’d like to tell you about why this is an amazing place, but it turns out that one of my responsibilities is keeping this book on friends, are twelve budget so I’ll stick to my word limit. But I do want to tell you about my feet tall favorite thing. At Catholic Charities we aim to be the first choice for our stakeholders. Being first is certainly a worthy goal. But even more than being first, I take great pride in how often we are last. It’s not because others are better, but once people find us, they stop looking. More often than not, we find a way to say “yes” or “we’ll try” even when so many others have said “no.” And it isn’t just clients who stop the search once they find Catholic Charities. While we are a wonderful training ground for many new social workers, youth workers, home visitors, and residential counselors, there is also an amazing core of people who work for Charities year after year, decade after decade. The same is true with board members, volunteers, and donors. Once they have found us, they settle in for the long run. Be it for a few years or a few decades, I have never met a group of people who are more dedicated, kinder, more skilled, or more generous than those people who have found Catholic Charities and made it their home. I hope you enjoy the book and think of it as an invitation to get to know us a little better. If you like what you see, well, we’ll be glad to make room for you at the table. And if you’re already part of the Catholic Charities family, thank you. If the measure of a society is how we treat those who are the most vulnerable, then you, my friends, are twelve feet tall. Best,
Director, Greater Boston Catholic Charities greater | www.ccab.org | 26
Greater Leaders Without the generosity of our supporters and sponsors of tonightâ€™s event, we could not celebrate the work of Greater Boston. From our family to yours, Thank You! Golden Benefactors Norman and Cynthia Duffy Raymond and Marilyn Ruddy
Louis and Donna Di Lillo Duffy Properties Kevin and Rita Gill The Gutierrez Company Judge Francis and Virginia Larkin JoAnn and Sean McGrath John and Margarete McNeice PricewaterhouseCoopers Patrick and Barbara Roche James and Eileen Rullo Jack Shaughnessy, Sr. Dr. Leo and Susan Troy Massachusetts State Council, Knights of Columbus
Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation, Inc Equity Industrial Partners John Hancock Financial Services Mark and Barbara Mullen-Neem Retired Pro Football Players Association of New England, Inc
The Boston Foundation Joseph L. Doherty, Jr. Michael and Elizabeth Gilleran Neal and Patricia Harte Robert B Hutchinson, Jr. John and Eileen McCarthy Joseph and Carolyn Oâ€™Leary George and Roseleen Pyne Don Rodman Shea Insurance Group, Inc Mary Larkin-Thomson
Friends of Catholic Charities Richard Armstrong Kevin and Susan Butler Lawrence and Lisa Cahill Judge Kathleen Coffee Phillip and Lisa DiCristo
James and Donna French John and Grace Joyce Michael and Judith Manzo Rashaun and Andrea Martin Thomas and June Martin
John and Lucy Polcari Michael and Paula Price Thomas and Lynn Shields Kenneth and Linda Vacovec
27 | greater | www.ccab.org
wish all of you at greater
a very happy
ch r i s t m as
and continued success
throughout the coming
year in the important services you provide to the community
DOHERTY &QUILL DOHERTY & QUILL
Attorneyâ€™s at Law 225 Franklin Street, 26th Floor, Boston, MA, 02110
Catholic Charities of Greater Boston and
Blessed Mother Teresa Parish
celebrate the success of our partnership in BMTâ€™s
Night of 1,000 Toys
with 1,200 toys donated for the children of the inner city in need
Basic needs As an anti-poverty agency, Catholic Charities responds to the needs of the poor and working poor in our communities. With sites throughout the Greater Boston area, including Dorchester and the South End, Greater
Bostonâ€™s Basic Needs Programs provide immediate assistance to people struggling to meet the most basic of their needs. Our Basic Needs programs at the Yawkey Center in Dorchester and Union Square in Somerville, provide a wide range of support, including food pantry assistance, fuel, rental and utility assistance, brief counseling in emergency situations, and at times, assistance in providing furniture, baby supplies, clothing and other greater | www.ccab.org | 30
household necessities. We also continue to help victims of 9/11 and hurricane Katrina as well. Greater Bostonâ€™s Basic Needs Emergency services also provide holiday assistance for the time of the year when many families struggle to make ends meet and cannot afford a warm holiday meal or gifts for their children. Our food pantries, which have seen nearly triple the demand this past year, are open daily and provide services in three
languages, with interpreters available for other languages if needed. Evening hours have been added at our Dorchester pantry to meet the increase in demand. We also work in partnership with Project Bread and the Greater Boston Food Bank along with local parishes, schools, and volunteers to help reduce hunger in their neighborhoods. Emergency financial assistance can help keep a family from losing their
Greater Services Catholic Charities received donations from Titan Worldwide to post 500 advertisements on Greater Boston area buses and subways. The ad below is one of the powerful messages that we put out to each year: “A Society Can Be Measured By How It Takes Care of Its Poor.”
KES CARE OF TA IT W HO BY D RE SU EA M BE N A SOCIET Y CA
etts 1 in 10 individuals in Masschus tering have been living in their own fal tholic economy for years. For many, Ca Charities is the bailout plan.
.org to nd out how you can Visit www.friendsfeedingfamilies ds every family deserves. take action to provide the basic nee
ITS POOR. 160,000
Number of individuals served food, fuel and rental assistance in Greater Boston last year
Households served in the rst 7 working days of September in Eastern Massachusetts
People turned away in those same 7 days, for lack of funds.
g Families Friends Feedin Services Programs lic Charities Basic Needs Emergency
Funding remaining for basic needs
A Campaign for Catho
home by helping with a month’s rent or mortgage in a time of crisis. We help families heat their homes in times of crisis by providing emergency funds for paying heating and utility bills. Financial assistance is dependent upon the availability of funds that come through grants, United Way, donations, and FEMA. All Catholic Charities clients are connected to various community services in their area to help address their underlying needs and prevent future crisis situations. Y
2008 Year to date: Yawkey Center Food Assistance Households Served: 3748 Total Family Members in those Households: 10521 Heat & Utilities Households Served: 108 Total Family Members in those Households: 308 Rent & Mortgage Households Served: 95 Total Family Members in those Households: 267 Total of All Services Households Served: 3965 Total Family Members in those Households: 11,126 31 | greater | www.ccab.org
foster grandparents Our Foster Grandparents Program trains volunteers, aged 60 to 95, to be in the classroom where they enrich the lives of students, and give over-worked teachers a desperately needed helping hand. This federal program is part of the government’s Corporation for Senior Citizens initiative, which works to better the lives of our nation’s elders. In 2008 we placed 65 Foster Grandparents in classrooms. They work in day care programs, head start programs, elementary, and middle schools. The volunteers stay in the classroom throughout the day, acting as a grandparent—giving hugs and words greater | www.ccab.org | 32
of encouragement—and like a teacher’s aide—helping kids with their studies and lessons. Each Foster Grandparent gets 20 hours of service training, learning their role in the classroom, what to expect from the experience, and how to anticipate the needs of the kids. The training helps them understand the culture and rules of the school and how to best utilize their skills.
Being a Foster Grandparent means that while they’re looking after students, someone in turn is looking out for them. The interaction between teacher, students, Foster Grandparents, and our FGP staffs means that the seniors in our program are an important part of a hard-working and loving team. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that exercises their minds, bodies, and spirits. Y
Maria, full of grace
n a cold morning in the waning months of 2008, before the sun is even visible, Maria Pacheco’s alarm clock springs to life at 5:00 a.m. She fixes herself a half cup of coffee and a luke warm bowl of oatmeal, which she can barely force herself to eat. Eating has been difficult for Maria lately, a result of her health which has been in decline of the last few months. “I don’t let that stop me though,” says the 79 year old. “I’m just going to keep on doing what I do. The rest is in God’s hands.” That combination of strength—both of mind and faith—is what allows Maria to prepare each morning. Despite the darkness outside her window or the complaints of her stomach, each morning she gets out of a warm bed, some times
before the sun is even visible, in order to fully prepare for her day as a volunteer teacher’s aide at St. Mary’s school in Melrose. “It’s wonderful, I love it so much,” Pacheco says about her work with the children. “And schools today teach so much more than when I was a student, sometimes I feel like I’m learning with the kids!” For the past 13 years Maria has been a Foster Grandparent, a volunteer program which places retired seniors in classrooms as teacher’s aides at no cost to the schools. But for Pacheco this is more than just ‘lending a helping hand,’ the connection to the children of St. Mary’s gives her a continuing sense of purpose. But last year her ailing health almost kept her from that calling. In November 2007, Maria was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She underwent long and painful treatment, and eventually the cancer went into remission. Then just weeks later she had to undergo a six hour bypass surgery on her stomach, a procedure that left her sick and weak for months. After the operation Maria took comfort in her faith and loving family, but she says her desire to continue her work as a teacher’s aide also played an important role in her recovery. “You can only crochet so much,” she says of the three months she spent on the couch knitting and nursing her body back to health. “If I didn’t have those kids I don’t think I’d be here today.” It’s been barely one calendar year since Maria was that weakened, recuperating patient. Watching the surefooted woman navigate the maze of tiny desks and tables in Claudia Webster’s first grade classroom, you’d never know they were the same person. Paper leaves of red, orange and brown hang from the tiled ceiling on dangling lengths of yarn. They sway in midair like real leaves, suspended in animation slightly above the heads of the students who made them. “When I’m at school I feel great,” she says walking around the classroom. “It’s not until I leave that I get tired.” At a small table, hunched over a book about autumn leaves, six children sit in a circle reading aloud. Their tiny fingers move left to right, slowly but methodically underlining each word they come across. While reading to his classmates a young boy struggles with the word “spice,” pronouncing it as “spies.” On his second attempt he slows his reading and wrinkles his brow. Pacheco leans in
from across the table and helps with the pronunciation. “You can do it,” she says, sounding the word out for him, one letter at a time. “S-P-I-C-E,” she says, pushing up her glasses, almost comically drawing out the long ‘eyyye’ sound to drive home the point. A flicker of recognition flashes in the young man’s face. They read the sentence together, he aloud and her quietly under her breath. He annunciates the word perfectly, quickly moving to the next sentence. Pacheco continues to read along, silently forming each word in unison with him, a faint but noticeable smile on her face. “She’s a God send,” Webster says later, watching Pacheco lead the entire class through a spelling game the Foster Grandparent invented herself. “She works with reading groups, does one-on-one tutoring… no matter what’s needed, she’s there.” Beth Chambers, director of Community Services at Greater Boston, says that the senior volunteers are a great addition to classrooms because they understand children and see the “big picture” thanks to their many years of important life experiences. “Our Foster Grandparents are people who understand kids and what they’ll need in the future,” says Chambers. Many of the volunteers in the program have been raising their children and grandchildren for generations, so what they may lack in formal education is made up by years of on-the-job training. “Whether it’s helping a child with special needs, or reading one-on-one, most of these grandparents have the ‘Been there done that’ experience that makes them naturals with kids,” says Chambers. Webster, who has worked along Maria for the past four years, says Maria personifies that innate rapport with students and could inspire even the most veteran teachers. “I’ve worked with a lot of teacher’s aides over the years, and Maria is right at the top of the list,” she says. “She learns from me and I learn from her, it’s a great collaboration.” Back at home, the mid November sun is already setting, casting grey beams of dying light through the window of Pacheco’s retirement home apartment. She sits on the couch, crocheting an Afghan lap blanket that she’ll eventually donate to a nearby nursing home for residents who rarely receive gifts or visitors. She’ll work until she gets tired enough to go to bed, tomorrow it’ll be another 5:00 a.m. wake up call, another day with the kids of St. Mary’s. Y
33 | greater | www.ccab.org
Loneliness is a part of life, but for many seniors it can be more than the occasional bout of depression, it can be detrimental to their health. There have been several studies that monitor the correlation of poor aging and feelings of isolation, like a recent release from the Association for Psychological Science which states: “loneliness contributes proportionately to the wear and tear of aging.” But while the scientist and doctors are busy concocting tests to prove that loneliness is bad, Catholic Charities of Greater Boston has been doing something to combat it – all without a cushy medical grant or fancy equipment. For over thirty years, Catholic Charities’ Friendly Visitor greater | www.ccab.org | 34
Program has offered companionship and friendship to elders and persons with disabilities of all faiths, enhancing their quality of life. Located in Jamaica Plain, the program serves the southwest Boston area as well as several surrounding communities, offering much needed companionship to area seniors. The program coordinator works with a crew of friendly visitors comprised entirely of volunteers who donate
their time and smiling faces, precious commodities for several elderly adults who live alone with limited contact with the outside world. The supervised volunteers visit seniors or persons with disabilities for an hour or more each week in their homes, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. A visit from a volunteer provides the human interaction that means so much to those in need. It might include a quiet chat, a shared meal, help with shopping or
getting to a doctor’s appointment, or even just telephoned reassurance that someone is thinking of them. All visits and services are provided to the seniors at no cost. Many of the volunteers in the Friendly Visitors program are recent retirees, looking for positive, constructive uses for their new found free time. This benefits not only the shut in senior, but also the volunteer. A study published by the Journal of Psychological Science, notes: “The results of a survey of a large, ethnically diverse sample of older adults showed… that those who gave social support to others had lower rates of mortality than those who did not, even when controlling for socioeconomic
status, education, marital status, age, gender, and ethnicity.” Reports show that volunteering also has a positive effect on people’s mental state and their self image, such as bolstering one’s sense of purpose. And positive physiological health is often correlated with improved physical health. Volunteering is an opportunity for retirees to help their community while enhancing their own lives. But the studies really only tell us what we already knew. People’s lives are better
when they are not isolated. Our seniors’ basic need for human contact, a listening ear, and a concerned set of eyes watching out for them can often be met right at home when there are people ready to give of themselves. And in the end, both the visited and visitor are better for the experience. Y
35 | greater | www.ccab.org
sunset point camp Located in the seaside South Shore community of Hull, Sunset Point serves as a “dream vacation” for 300 kids every summer. The children come from all over the Greater Boston area, representing the many different races, cultures, and religions that make up the Boston community. Most of the campers come from low-income households or homes recently affected by extenuating circumstances, such as death of a parent or sibling, or separation of parents. Inside the camp there are two bunk houses, an indoor gym, a kitchen, nurse’s station, staff quarters, an arts and crafts greater | www.ccab.org | 36
center, and a grand hall complete with a stage and fireplace. Outdoors Sunset Point provides the campers with an in-ground pool, basketball court that doubles as a roller skating rink, swings, and beautiful grassy courtyard for structured activities as well as lazy summer lounging. The young, creative, and energetic staff is comprised of local members of
the community, Boston High School volunteers, and former campers who so enjoyed their young summers at Sunset Point they returned as counselors. Summer is obviously the busy season for Sunset Point, but its connection to the campers is a year-round commitment. At Christmas, campers are given gifts—donations from local parishes and companies—that are distributed at various
Never far from the pool! Greater Boston sites or hand-delivered to a family in need by a camp counselor. If needed, campersâ€™ families are also given referrals to other Greater Boston services, including our Basic Needs Program, Family and Youth Services, or Initial Response assistances. Like many Catholic Charities ventures, Sunset Point would be lost without the help of outside volunteers. The efforts of these people and organizations, who donate time and money in return for the smiles and laughter of Sunset campers, makes each summer as memorable and fun as possible. Each year several employees of Fleet
Bank volunteer to clean and prepare the camp prior to its opening, so by they time the kids arrive itâ€™s in tip-top shape. In addition to making the camp look great, the money saved in repair and maintenance costs goes directly back into the program budget. Surplus money could mean more kids can attend the camp, and/ or better care for those already there. The local Knights of Columbus provide a weekly ice cream social as well as occasional awards ceremonies to recognize the hard work and community spirit of the campers. The Proparvulis Club and Guild of the Infant Savior lend much needed financial
support to ensure the best experiences for the campers money can buy. The camp has been part of Catholic Charities since 1919, and since its inception, has hosted more than 40,000 inner-city children for a great summer on the shore. Thanks to the efforts of Sunset Point staff and supporters, 2008 was another fun-filled, sun-soaked dream vacation for our kids. Y
37 | greater | www.ccab.org
teen center at st. peter’s By Vivian Soper, Director, Greater Boston Catholic Charities
Tucked back off of Bowdoin Street in Dorchester, smack in the middle of a neighborhood lately best known for a steady stream of gang violence, a miracle is happening. I suppose that sounds like bragging, Perhaps it is. But read on, then tell me if you don’t agree. I could easily recite for you a flood of facts. I do it every day writing funding proposals for the Teen Center at St. Peter’s: 140 plus teens served every day; 250 teens in a week; sixteen separate funders; 95% graduation rate; < 1% arrest rate; 95% pass the MCAS and TOEFL; thirty parents who are learning English greater | www.ccab.org | 38
upstairs while their kids play basketball downstairs; no members killed since we opened… It is always here that I begin to stumble, struck by the enormity of what I am saying. It is here that I realize that this is a story that can’t be told just through facts and figures and well worded descriptions. It started back in 2001 with a problem and a shared vision of a solution.
Bowdoin Geneva, the neighborhood surrounding St. Peter’s parish in Dorchester, had become largely Cape Verdean, with many of the families newly arrived immigrants. Both teens and parents struggled with English at a time when bilingual education in the public schools had been eliminated. Smart kids were failing. At the same time, violence in the neighborhood was on the rise. Gangs
had started to become the norm. The youth in the neighborhood worried about safety just walking to and from school. St. Peter’s elementary school was working hard to take care of the kids through grade 8. But by 9th grade they were on their own. Catholic Charities was already a presence in the neighborhood. Brother Tino Arias was providing Cape Verdean Family Stabilization services and Paulo DeBarros soon joined him in this endeavor. At every home they heard the same thing. The teens needed a safe place to be together, help with their studies, a place where they could talk and be understood, a place where they could belong without belonging to a gang. St. Peter’s agreed to help out. We could use their school basement and gym in the afternoons and evening. With the help of colleagues we were able to secure some funding, and with a small discussion group
a few days a week, we were on the way to something beyond what any of us could have imagined. If you sit with these kids and talk to them, you’ll hear life stories as varied as those for any group of kids from the same neighborhood. Some were born here, some were born elsewhere, many in Cape Verde. Some like school, some don’t, some have dropped out. Same with sports or jobs or family, there are as many answers as there are kids to any question you may ask. But there is place where they all converge. They all know someone who has been killed on the streets near their homes. They all know where to buy a gun or drugs. They all have been approached to join gangs. And yet, the Teen Center is not a story of despair because our kids have found a way out of the violence and drugs on their streets. They may all be asked to join gangs, but at the Teen Center most have found the strength and the will to say “no.” They know where to buy a gun or drugs but most choose not to. When teens come to the Teen Center they find themselves part of something bigger. They make friends, they find mentors, they learn skills, they learn to lead and to be a valued member of the group even when not leading. At the Teen Center, staff not only gets to know the teens, but we also get to know their families and their teachers when possible. We help them secure their future by helping them succeed now. We work them to succeed in school, make good choices, stay healthy and stay safe. We help them give back to each other and to the community, learn work skills, and be role models for the younger members. We help them develop respect for themselves and for each other. We let them have fun, struggle, discover their potential, and grow into young adults. We share the ride with them, each step of the way. Someday soon I hope to be able to write a funding proposal that doesn’t need to include keeping teens alive and safe from street violence as one of the primary goals. Until then, it’s good to know that what we do helps. Y
In her words
When I first started to come here, the Teen Center, it was September 9, 2004. My first day at Teen Center was not so good, it was kind of boring actually, because I didn’t know anybody. I went home and I spoke to my mom about my experience and said “Mama, that is not the place for me to be. I don’t know anybody.” My mom wisely responded “No you are in the right place. It’s all new for you, it was your first day and that is why you don’t know anybody. I am sure you will like it soon and have a lot of friends before you know it. The Teen Center is a good place for you!” I took her advice with me to my room that night and I thought to myself, should I go to the Teen Center or stay home? Could my mom be right or is that place not for me? Then I realized that my mom could be right and that I should give the Teen Center a chance. I went back and before I knew it thanks to activities at the Teen Center I began meeting new people and making friends. I began participating in all kinds of activities like; the girls soccer team, the female focus group, and the youth council. If Teen Center was having any activity or event you could be sure to find me there. When I first began attending the Teen Center I had very poor skills in English. I could hardly speak or write a word of English. Thanks to the Staff at the Teen Center, and the especial attention I was given, I was able to improve my skills. The support that I was given made me want to try my best to learn. Today I still have much to improve but the Teen Center has given me the confidence to know that I can reach any goal. The Teen Center is a good place to be because they can help you with your school work, teach you new skills and also help with any problems. The Teen Center helped me face a lot of my challenges in the past four years. If the Teen Center didn’t exist I don’t know what would have become of me. For me the Teen Center is like a gift that my mom gave me. One more time thank you Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s.
The support that I was given made me want to try my best to learn.
—Gilmara, 18 39 | greater | www.ccab.org
healthy families Though many Catholic Charities of Greater Boston programs differ in regards to the services they provide or the clientele to whom they cater, they all share one common goal: to strenthen and preserve families. Our Healthy Families programs assist first-time young parents, ages 20 and under, by offering parenting education and support groups. Enrollment takes place any time from pregnancy until their childâ€™s first birthday. Once enrolled, the participants and their babies are served by the program until the childâ€™s third birthday. The first three years are an important time in a childâ€™s development, and for a parent to get the support and education they need to greater | www.ccab.org | 40
properly provide and care for their kids. Healthy Families home visits are conducted by trained staff and involve the entire immediate family as well as extended family members. Staff members encourage participants to develop, at their own pace, the information, skills, and support networks necessary to be strong parents. Home visitors speak English as well as the languages represented by the community they serve. The main goals of the Healthy
Families program are to:
Promote optimal parental health and wellness Achieve optimal child health, growth, and development Reduce repeat teen pregnancies Educate in job/life skills Nurture parental skills to reduce child abuse and neglect Tighten the family bond Strengthen local communities Y
A Parent’s Journey: Meet Tatiana My name is Tatiana. I am a 20 year old, first time mom. I expected it to be hard having a baby but I really was not ready to face what happened to me. I went to the hospital and I was informed that my blood pressure was very high and I was told it was my life or my baby’s life if I didn’t stay in the hospital. I had made up my mind to go home and not stay, but no one would come and get me. I told myself that I would sign myself out in the morning. However, around 7:30 the next morning I was in labor. I was in the delivery room from 7:30 am to 8:35 pm. I gave birth to my pretty little girl. She was seven weeks early and weighed only 2 lbs. 14 ozs. She had to stay in the hospital one very long month. Healthy Families provided me with transportation so that I could visit my daughter every day. When I was at home I would call the hospital and get updates on her progress. It was a stressful time for me but I had support from my home visitor and the Healthy Families Program. Healthy Families was also helpful in getting some of the things that I needed like a crib and some baby clothes for when I was able to bring my daughter home. I am thankful for all the support and help I receive from Healthy Families. I was very happy when she started
gaining her weight and breathing the way she was supposed to. My daughter is now 4 months old and weighs 11 lbs. 5 ozs. Being a mother is hard but, after going through this I know I can do it, for her.
“Being a mother is hard but, after going through this I know I can do it, for her.”
41 | greater | www.ccab.org
boston catholic youth connection Formed in April of 2005, the Boston Catholic Youth Connection (BCYC) is a collaborative effort between inner city parishes in the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, South Boston, and the South End, with Catholic Charities providing coordination, training, and support. The BCYC convenes Catholic parish clergy, staff, and volunteers â€“ young and old â€“ to effectively address the issues that lead to youth violence and gang formation and to identify and engage youth who are at risk. greater | www.ccab.org | 42
The BCYC is designed to break down racial, cultural, and geographical barriers, increasing communication, understanding, and tolerance between teens from different neighborhoods. Teens are trained in leadership skills. Staff are trained to reach out to and effectively work with at risk teens in their parishes who likely would
not otherwise engage in church activities such as CYO. City wide Teen Masses for Peace attract up to 200 teens who join the host parish to pray for peace, recommit themselves to living a life that fosters peace and safety, and then come together to share food and fun activities. Activities
Pledge of Peace
include things such as dances, sporting tournaments, dance lessons, cookouts, and discussion groups. The Connection recognizes the important role the youth themselves play in the success of the program. The BCYCâ€™s youth leadership program is designed to train the teens to become better peer leaders in church, school, and their communities. Through their compassion and ability to lead by example will younger members of their communities be drawn to Boston Catholic Youth Connection. Y
Lord, I am Your follower. I offer to You all that I think, do, and say. Help me to know and love and serve You. Give me the courage to show Your peace and love to the world through my actions and my words. Father, I am Your child. Today, I promise You I will not join a gang. I will not carry a weapon. I will not use or sell drugs. I will resolve conflict in peaceful ways. I will seek help when I am afraid. I will reject violence and retailiation. You are my Father. Keep me safe. I am Your servant. I pledge to be an instrument of Your peace.
43 | greater | www.ccab.org
At Catholic Charities, providing for people’s basic needs means more than providing food and emergency help with bills. It also means providing shelter for homeless families and women. It means providing support services to people who are newly placed in transitional or permanent housing. It means helping new moms get their feet on the ground in a supportive congregate living situation before moving on to try to do it on their own. Catholic Charities of Greater Boston runs four homeless shelters, each with their own special mission, all driven by the need to keep people safe and warm and reduce the number of people who are greater | www.ccab.org | 44
told each night that there is “no room at the inn.” St. Ambrose Family Shelter is located in the former convent of St. Ambrose parish in Dorchester. On any given night you will find 15 (or sometimes more in an emergency) families settling in to their own rooms after a home cooked meal which they helped choose and prepare. Moms or dads can live at the shelter with their children. The house is usually
active with a mix of kids from new borns through teenagers. Conversations in English and Spanish and sometimes a mix can be heard from all corners of the living room and dining room. Children play in specially designed play space donated and created by volunteers and K’Boom. While living in the shelter, whether at St. Ambrose or elsewhere, families work toward finding affordable and permanent housing, and have the chance to work
on personal growth. Some attend school while others work. Some participate in parenting classes or support groups while others work on improving their English skills. All are at home at Catholic Charities. Nazareth Residence for Women and Children is located in the former convent of the former St. Joseph’s parish in Roxbury. The building, now owned by Catholic Charities, was renovated specifically for this program so is ideally suited to the needs or the residents, homeless women and their children. Because the program is designed to serve women with specific health problems, it is fully accessible and can easily accommodate wheelchairs, hospital beds or other such aides. Often full of newborns, infants, and toddlers, these days
the house is home to a crew of teenagers who have brought a new and exciting energy into the house. And the little ones love having them to follow around. Nazareth can house up to 9 families at any time. Genesis II Family Treatment Shelter is the temporary home to up to 11 moms and their children. Located in the former convent at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton, the program has not only case management, housing search assistance, and child advocates, but also has two full time clinicians on staff to provide individual and group counseling. Our medical director from the Catholic Charities Family Counseling and Guidance Center works with the clinical staff to meet the treatment needs of the residents. St. Patrick’s Emergency Shelter for Women is an emergency shelter located in the former convent of the former St. Joseph’s parish in Somerville. St. Patrick’s serves adult women from the Somerville and Cambridge area, providing 30 emergency beds each night with an additional 10 transitional beds that are private rooms reserved for enrolled women who are working and progressing toward permanent housing. Unlike our other shelters, St. Patrick’s never knows who will be in their beds each night, with some guests who have returned every night for many years to others who are there only for a night or two. For those who are willing to accept the help, we have case management services to help people find permanent safe housing and help them stabilize their physical and psychological health. Some take advantage of this service. Others don’t. All are welcome back each night with warm food, warm and clean beds, and a smile. At Seton Manor and Robert McBride House, Catholic Charities provides case
management and supportive counseling service to 36 residents who enter into a long term lease with the owners of the building. Residents are welcome to take advantage of the services or not, but most choose to do so, receiving support, counseling, guidance, advocacy, and a welcoming ear and smile. Y
The number of men, women, and children homeless in Massachusetts. A 4% increase over the year before
The total number of homeless adults and children in families, an increase of 13% over the year before.
The increase in families in domestic violence shelters, and transitional programs compared to the previous year.
The increase of homeless women since 2006. It is also of note that number of women reported in inpatient facilities doubled that year as well. According to the Mayor’s annual census report on homeless populations of Boston
45 | greater | www.ccab.org
Francine’s poem Once upon a time ‘bout two years ago, I found myself at St. Ambrose, oh God, oh no! Wondering how did I get in this space, With many new issues I had to face. Emotions were varied from sorry to mad, Lost, dismayed, and feeling so sad. Dealing with staff was always rough, Found myself dealing with too much stuff. Housing, health care, and junior high, Sometimes my grandson didn’t want to comply. Never once said that I didn’t care, ‘cause I knew I hadda get outa here. Did all of my housing search and tried to obey, Had to humble myself and always pray. I’m grateful to St.Ambrose for all they have given, Because of their graciousness now I am living, In a beautiful apartment, I’m happy and strong. When I think back to time spent it really wasn’t long. Keep praying, hold your head up, stay on your course, always remember you’re your best resource. I can never repay St. Ambrose but I can always say, I was treated with respect and care during my stay. May God bless all those who work and contribute to the St. Ambrose Family Shelter.
Francine illiam will tell his
grandmother all about his successful first semester at his new boarding school, and she in turn will tell William all about how well she is adapting to her new surroundings. But aside from the talk of new beginnings this meeting will be extra special for the pair; it will be the first time in over a year they will sit together in their own home. A Boston native, Francine has been a hard and dedicated worker her whole life. She supported the people of Boston as a licensed social worker for many years, putting in gruelingly long hours to help her clients and earn enough to provide and care for William. But a sudden brush with illness changed her life forever. greater | www.ccab.org | 46
Renee t all started on July 12, 2007. Me and my mother were waiting on the moving
truck to show up—where we were going, I didn’t know. All I knew was we lived at this address for ten years, and for some reason the landlord wanted the apartment now. She did accept the rent, but every month leading up to this day she kept giving my mother a 30-day notice (after accepting the rent). This went on for three to four months. My mother, being the strong woman that she is, said enough is enough, so we proceeded with the moving arrangements. Mind you, neither of us had a place to go, but we were both looking for shelter at this point. My mother suggested that, while she kept saying “Renee look for an apartment” (how could I save when I was paying car insurance for both of u?). She said this would be a good time to go to a shelter. I looked at her like “don’t you love me anymore?”—mind you, I was 38 at the time. So back to family housing I went. The night before they tried to send me to a Springfield shelter. Yes, I left, and said “I’ll be back.” The very next day I had to come back because the moving truck arrived and now, this becomes real to me; I have no home after paying rent, right. What a world. So I’m sooo scared right now at housing thinking “ok, now they’re going to send us to some East Cupcake City Shelter where I don’t know anyone. But to my surprise they said “we found you a shelter in Field’s Corner.” I didn’t’even know they had shelters that close. We get out of the car to this church looking place and I say to myself “I’m going to need God to get me through this”. The first person I met was a staff member. “What a pleasant lady she is,” I thought, because the first thing she told me was “I was waiting for you guys so you could go to the park with us.” Wow! I didn’t know her or anyone there, and she made me feel like family right away. Yes, we missed the trip, but I was glad to get to know the staff first. Everyday was a blessing there for me and my son. Taking a teenager out of their element isn’t easy, but before we came here I sat down with him and explained to him that we had to move and it was only for a short period (I was hoping). When we had holiday dinner the priest next door would bless our food—what a beautiful experience that was. Even my son said he never met a priest or a nun. Every week there were volunteers from a college that help the kids with homework. Adults would sometimes have classes on health issues or personal care, which made me feel like “hey they really do care about us.” They give just a little break to working parents who are fighting to get back by curfew. I loved staying here because the rooms were private, I thought I was going to a room full of people and beds (scary). After six months of housing assistance, we found our home. Yes, I had to follow rules, but so does the whole world. I filled out over twenty-five housing applications, made many visits to apply for housing, but after praying to God, “please don’t let our family spend Christmas in a shelter”. It happened. On December 14th, 2007, they told me that an apartment was ready for us. Y Francine developed a neuropathic disorder known as trigeminal neuralgia (TN), which causes intense pain in the eyes, lips, nose, and forehead. To help alleviate the pain, Francine underwent brain surgery. After surgery, Francine was no longer able to do her job. The physical and emotional stress of the life of a social worker proved too great for her as she began the long and difficult recovery process. With regret she referred her clients to other counselors and took a job at a local radio station to pay the bills. But as the cold of another New England winter set in Francine’s pain increased. She thought a change in climate might ease some of her suffering so she moved herself and William to Florida. But after only a few months, Francine realized the
medication she was taking for the TN was reacting negatively to Florida’s bright sun and hot climate, leaving her in more pain than before. Francine was in a terrible situation. She had taken a risk by leaving her home in Boston to come to Florida, and her worst fears were confirmed when her new surroundings intensified her condition instead of alleviating it. She knew she needed to return back east but now had no place to go. A sympathetic friend agreed to take them in until a more permanent solution could be reached, but the very night they arrived at her door, her friend changed her mind and turned Francine and William away. With no where else to go, she turned to her family for help. A niece agreed to let her and William stay with her until they
Amador ‘ve spent many years incarcerated.
A few years before my release, I began receiving services by an AIDS service organization that helps people living with HIV while in prison. They helped me apply for housing at Robert McBride House. When I moved into McBride House I finally had a sense of security, what a real home feels like. Having a home gave me a reason not to go back to my old way of living. In the past, I have had housing, but I didn’t know how appreciate it. I appreciate McBride House not only because it’s a beautiful, safe place to live but because of the people I have met, total strangers. It was difficult for me to understand why people would want to
help someone with a past like mine. After I came to McBride House, I learned to care about myself and realized people like me are worth saving too. In the process I learned how to care about a lot of other people, and ask if there was something I could do to help them. Since coming to McBride House my life has changed for the better. This is because I see things in a different perspective. I have more respect for other peoples lives, others peoples property, their privacy and their life experience. These are things that when I was homeless and living on the street, I didn’t care too much about. I didn’t care about these things because I didn’t care about myself. I now know that if you don’t care about yourself, you won’t care for others. Y
After I came to McBride House, I learned to care about myself and realized people like me are worth saving, too.
Left, we pull out all the stops for birthday parties at St. Ambrose. Right, Resident’s regulary attend outings, especially to one of their favorite sporting event-- Lowell Spinners games. In September, a group attended the game using tickets that they won in a raffle at a previous game! The kids met with the cheerleaders, the mascot, and even got signitures from the players. Everyone had a great time!
could find other housing. But because of her condition Francine was again at an impasse. Her constant pain made work impossible but without a steady income finding housing didn’t seem feasible. In desperation she turned to the state. The Department of Transitional Assistance quickly referred Francine to St. Ambrose Family Shelter in Dorchester. Her whole life Francine had been self sufficient and never imagined she would have to live in a shelter, but the suddenness and severity of her illness had abruptly forced her into just such a situation. As the oldest resident of the shelter, Francine quickly became the mother figure of the household. Many residents turned to her for advice and a shoulder to lean on. With the help of a housing
coordinator at St. Ambrose, Francine continued her quest to find permanent housing. Their dedication paid off, and soon she was moved into her own apartment in Dorchester. “When I walked in to my new apartment the entire place was completely furnished,” Francine said. “From pots and pans, to a bed with sheets, to a living room set. I didn’t need to buy a thing. Everything I have today is because of St. Ambrose.” While the apartment was ideal for Francine, William had a harder time adapting. The transition to a brand new school district and a new peer group was hard. Soon it was apparent that the move had been detrimental William’s learning and general growth. Through the hard work and
perseverance of a St. Ambrose staff member, William was accepted into a private school in Vermont. The staff at St. Ambrose went out and bought him all new school clothes, a book bag, notebooks, and everything else he could possibly need to start at his new school. William loves his new school, where he plays football and basketball, but he will be home with his grandmother for the holidays. “This Christmas will be extra special for me and my grandson. He will be coming home from school for Christmas and this year we have a place to call home, thanks to St. Ambrose,” Francine said. “My story is really a story of a miracle. St. Ambrose was a blessing to me. I shudder to think where I would be without them. I am just so grateful.” Y
47 | greater | www.ccab.org
FAMILY STABIliZATION Though many Catholic Charities of Greater Boston programs differ in regards to the services they provide or the clientele they cater to, they all share one common goal: to strenthen and preserve families. The Family Stabilization Services provided by Catholic Charities of Greater Boston works to help keep new, first, and second generation immigrant families in Boston together. Referred by the Department of Social Services, these families face not only the normal hardships of living in the urban neighborhoods of Boston â€“ economic hardship, crime, drugs, personal and greater | www.ccab.org | 48
family challenges â€“ but also added stressors including legalization issues, language barriers, and adapting to a different culture. Many of these families are reluctant to seek help but are in need of assistance and support in keeping their children safely at home. Catholic Charities provides social workers with the cultural and linguistic abilities to help them. The social
workers develop trusting and supportive relationships with families that are often very difficult to engage. They then provide intensive case management and counseling, meeting with families several times each week, helping them meet their basic needs, working with them to understand and negotiate a system that is often confusing to newcomers, especially those with limited English
literacy, and helping them work with the cultural shifts that happen as the children “become Americanized”, often to the dismay of the parents. Social workers are available “24/7” to their families, often providing support well into the night and on weekends. The Family Stabilization Program is fortunate to have the skills, commitment, and devotion of 3 social workers and
a supervisor who together bring eight languages and more than 55 years of Catholic Charities service to the table. We currently offer specialized services to Vietnamese, Chinese, Cape Verdean, and Haitian families. The program is also open to other families who speak English or Portuguese.
49 | greater | www.ccab.org
It has been a great year for Greater Boston Catholic Charities! Here are some of our favorite moments:
Catholic schools in Dorchester/Mattapan are being revitalized through a comprehensive $71 million plan, as part of the Archdiocese of Boston’s Campaign for catholic schools and the 2010 Initiative. Part of the initiative, paid for through private donations, is to put $4 million of renovations at the Catholic Charities Teen Center at st. peter’s. A large portion of the funds were donated by the Yawkey Foundation, who has given genorously to Catholic Charities in the past, specifically to build Greater Boston’s Yawkey Center—which also houses the Haitian Multi-Service Center—on Columbia Road in Dorchester. As of December, the center is now housed in a newly-renovated, state-of-the-art Center where Dorchester teens can improve their dance skills in their new dance studio; play sports in their new gymnasium; get online in the hi-tech computer lab; and use classrooms for tutoring, lifeskills classes, MCAS, SAT, and TOEFL test preparation, and counseling. A basement is finished to act as the ultimate hang out—complete with living room, billiards table, ping pong, foosball, and lounging. Special thanks to Creative Office Pavilion in Woburn for the thousands of dollars of furniture for the Teen Center! Visit the new Teen Center at St. Peter’s on Bowdoin Street in Dorchester. We’re ready to give you a tour!
This December, a group of 15 volunteers (and their kids!) made what has become an annual trip to St. Ambrose to decorate the building for the holidays. For the last several years, Harpoon Brewrey Service day means volunteers have hung wreaths and garlands, set up a tree, spread holiday cheer to a place where it can often be a difficult time of the year. The kids set up shop in the kitchen where parents led an arts and crafts activity, with Christmas music playing in the background. As if their efforts were not already enough, the group also donated several gift cards to Stop and Shop, Walmart, and Dunkin Donuts. This event has truly become an integral part of our holiday season, and it has certainly become a day that we look forward to all year. To show our appreciation, we thanked each volunteer with a tee-shirt and pen.
Volunteers from Boston
College helped residents at
Seton Manor get ready for Halloween. The group carved pumpkins and ate candy â€œwhile being together sharing some fun,â€? said Brian Quigly, xxx [title?]. 51 | greater | www.ccab.org
2008 Greater in the News! Through the efforts of Tara Anderson at our Somerville pantry, together with Beth Chambers, Director of Community Services for Greater Boston, a multi-media campaign for toy donations meant that more than 300 children in need in Somerville had Christmas this year! With segments on Channel 4 WBZ, Channel 5 WCVB, features in the Boston Globe, and a live
toy drive on Sirius Sattelite
Radio’s The Catholic Channel (159)—all in one week—Somer-
ville was able to provide toys to the hundreds of families that would otherwise gone without in the most wonderful time of the year! Thank you to all of those who donated their time, skills, toys, and funds to ensure this goal.
New Partnerships, more examples of giving ... Urban Neighborhoods Healthy Families (UNHF) has entered into an exciting partnership with “Raising a Reader” MA. As a result of this partnership, we are now able to make available to all of our families a dynamite pre-school literacy program. “Raising a Reader’s” mission is to give every child an equal opportunity for achievement by engaging parents in daily book sharing with their children from birth to age five. In doing so you foster healthy brain development, parent / child bonding, and the early literacy skills necessary for school success ... The City of Somerville gave Greater Boston a grant to update their location with a new lift for handicapped visitors. Individuals and staff visitng our Somerville location can now gain easier access into the food pantry and initial response services offices ... Over the summer, MassPort (Massachusetts Port Authority) employees sponsored 25 children from the first to eleventh grade and residents St. Ambrose. The employees pooled their personal funds and filled 25 packpacks—a value of nearly $4,000—with much-needed school supplies for all the kids ... Also this summer, we were proud to accept a donation of 27 toys from Hasbro’s Gift of Play program! greater | www.ccab.org | 52
Greater News Catholic Charities’ Sunset Point Camp in Hull arrived to find a new addition to their camp—an
in-ground pool! Accompanying this surprise amenity is the pre-existing basketball court that also serves as a roller skating rink, swings, the ocean bay for paddleboats, and a beautiful grassy courtyard designed for all sorts of activities. “For years campers have been swimming in an above ground pool, but the in-ground pool is something staff and campers have always wanted. By the last week of camp the lining of the above ground pool is torn, so not all campers are able to use the pool. The in-ground pool allows us to accommodate more campers and gives us the opportunity to offer more structured activities in the pool.”
In February, Attorney General Martha Coakley hosted the Teen Center’s Job Shadow Day, a day-long event
dveloped as part of the Center’s programs to expose Teens to a prpofessional work environment. Students were invited to shadow staff members from various sectors of the AG’s Office, including investigators, paralegals and Assistant Attorneys General from the Criminal, Public Protection and Advocacy, and Business and Labor Bureaus; consumer information mediators; Assistant Attorneys General with the Environmental Crimes Strike Force, Trial, Municipal Law, Business Technology and Economic Development divisions; staff from the Press Office, IT, multi-media, the library, and budget departments. The day ended with a discussion between the students and three state police troopers assigned to the Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Coakley spoke about her career path and decision to work in public service and the rewarding aspects of her work as Attorney General. “I commend these students on their hard work and participation in the programs offered by the Teen Center,” said Attorney General Coakley. “I am very pleased to see that they are taking the initiative not only to do well in school, but to better prepare for the future. These students have the unique opportunity to focus on this experience, find their passion and use it to make a difference in society.” 53 | greater | www.ccab.org
Offering their Sport Greater Boston is no stranger to celebrity support, and that includes the Commonwealthâ€™s greatest athletes. Shown below, bob
sweeney (left) visited the Teens at the Teen Center to present them with a check for $25,000 from the Bruins. Bottom, Red Sox Great David Ortiz stopped by Nazareth Residence to meet the kids for Christmas. And in December, the National Basketball Players Association donated 500 turkeys to Greater Boston. for the holidays
Greater Support Thank you! Our thanks go out to so many of you for your generous spirits and your gifts of money, time, and support. No act of charity goes unnoticed or unappreciated. Each one goes such a long way toward helping build that just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people. Our special thanks go to those below for their amazing gifts of charity that they have shared. Jack Connors, John Fish, Kathleen Driscoll and Mary Myers and The Campaign for Catholic Schools- 2010 Initiative For $4.5 million dollars worth of renovations to our Teen Center at St. Peter’s Blessed Mother Teresa Parish, Dorchester; St. Paul’s Parish, Wellesley; Resurrection Parish, Hingham; St. Bartholomew’s Parish, Needham; and St. Sebastian’s School, Needham for year after year of holiday help and Christmas gifts for kids. St.Mary of the Nativity Parish, Scituate; Knights of Columbus; Guild of the Infant Savior; and the Proparvulis Club for so many years of volunteering and support at Sunset Point Camp Father Walter Waldron, Father Dan Finn, Father Oscar Pratt, and Father Paul Soper For having the vision to build the Boston Catholic Youth Connection Dorchester Youth Collaborative, DotWell, Project Bread, Greater Boston Food Bank, United Way, and Healthcare for the Homeless for daily partnership in meeting the needs of those living on the edge St. Timothy, Norwood; St. Mary, Winchester; St. Joseph, Medford; St. Lawrence, Chestnut Hill; Holy Name, West Roxbury; St. Ann, Dorchester; St. Joseph, Quincy; Sacred Heart, Roslindale; Immaculate, Revere; St. Ignatius, Chestnut Hill; St. Agnes, Medford; and Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton for helping provide a wonderful holiday for those in our shelters and ... Our hundreds of volunteers and donors who give of themselves to others over and over again. For giving His word hands and feet. 55 | greater | www.ccab.org