The 2014 BOMA Beneficiaries
Birthday Wishes | Generations Incorporated | Hospitality Homes | St. Francis House
Cradles to Crayons | My Brother’s Keeper
About the BOMA Benefit:
The BOMA Benefit is committed to raising funds on behalf of charities whose missions are aligned with providing affordable housing, housing solutions, and education to those in need. In 2014 we have opened this up to include charities whose work benefit the community or individuals of Greater Boston as a whole through efforts that focus on health, human services, and the environment.
Birthday Wishes is a Massachusetts-based non-profit whose mission is to provide birthday parties to homeless children. We believe that all children, regardless of their living situation, deserve to be celebrated on their birthdays. Birthday Wishes recognizes the importance of a birthday in the life of a child and knows that the gift of a birthday party can provide normality and hope in the otherwise unsettled lives of homeless children. Our grassroots philosophy fosters the spirit of volunteerism and community service in the adults, children, and families who donate their time and resources to our cause. In the 11 years we have been throwing birthday parties for homeless children, we have found that this simple childhood tradition has the power to make these children not only feel special, but perhaps more importantly like a ‘regular kid’. Birthday Wishes was begun as a family volunteer project serving one shelter in 2002, and today works with over 186 homeless shelters and programs across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Long Island, NY. In 2013 more than 19,000 homeless children experienced the joy of a Birthday Wishes party.
Birthday Wishes parties foster a sense of stability, security, and self-worth in at-risk children; provide role-modeling for parents; and help support a sense of community at the shelter. Our program touches all members of the homeless family, from infants to teens, as well as the parents, for whom being able to provide a birthday party for their child is as important as it is for any parent. The children we serve experience (many for the first time) the security and joy of being celebrated, and knowing the day they were born was a special day.
Generations Incorporated is Boston's leading inter-generational literacy organization. We strive to improve the literacy skills of young children through grade three. We also provide meaningful opportunities to older adults who serve as literacy tutors at our school and after-school partners in low-income communities. Our inter-generational literacy programs improve students' literacy skills, self-esteem, and motivation to learn; while keeping older adult volunteers active, healthy and connected to their communities beyond retirement.
Each year, we engage over 250 older adult (age 50+) volunteers to provide one-on-one and small group literacy support to over 3,300 kindergarten through third grade (K-3) students in Greater Boston - all students are at risk of school failure and 80% are low-income. We have grown to serve 10% of Boston Public School K-3 students, and 45% of Revere Public School K-3 grade students.
Hospitality Homes provides temporary housing in volunteer host homes and other donated accommodations for families and friends of patients seeking care at Boston-area medical centers. Since 1983, Hospitality Homes’ unique, home-away-from-home lodging option has provided a caring response as well as relief from emotional and financial challenges for these individuals and families.
Through its host home network, Hospitality Homes offers not only a comfortable bed in which to sleep but also a compassionate presence in an unfamiliar city and a welcoming home to return for families and friends who spend long days at the hospital supporting their loved ones. Hospitality Homes is unique among Boston-area hospital housing programs because it is open to all families, regardless of income, nationality, or the patient’s age, diagnosis, or treatment facility. Nearly 75% of the program’s guests have annual household incomes under $40,000, often due to the impact of chronic illness. By providing all housing at no cost, Hospitality Homes seeks to alleviate financial constraints and enable families to focus both their financial and their emotional resources on their hospitalized loved ones. Many guests report that without the housing that Hospitality Homes offers, their family members simply would not be able to access the life-saving or life-changing treatment they need.
St. Francis House
Founded in 1984, St. Francis House is a nonsectarian, nonprofit daytime shelter providing basic and rehabilitative services designed to help homeless adults establish lives independent of shelters and institutions. Our goal is to provide our guests with everything they need to reclaim their dignity and rebuild their lives: nutritious meals, clothing, access to medical care, counseling, vocational rehabilitation, housing services, and four floors of on-site housing. Vocational rehabilitation, in particular, is a strategic institutional goal, focused on helping our guests re-enter the workforce and positively engage with the world; strengthening themselves, their families, and the social and economic fabric of our communities. We have an open-door policy where everyone is welcome, and we are open 365 days of the year.
As the largest day shelter in New England, St. Francis House works in concert with the night shelters in Greater Boston. We open at 7:00 AM when many night shelters are closing for cleaning and preparation for the next night, and we close at 3:00 PM when night shelters are re-opening. We provide protection from the elements and a full complement of life-changing services for for our guests, who need more than just overnight shelter to rebuild their lives.
Finally, the ability of St. Francis House to provide all services under one roof is our greatest organizational strength and sets us apart from other local organizations that address homelessness. Simply put, our guests receive the most extensive and most complete spectrum of integrated services in the Greater Boston area. From basic services to rehabilitative services to housing, we work as a team to support individuals as they progress from the streets and shelters to self-sufficiency.
Cradles to Crayons
Mission: To provide children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. For more information, visit www.cradlestocrayons.org
My Brother’s Keeper
Mission: To provide food and furniture assistance to families in need in the Greater Boston Area. For more information, visit www.mybrotherskeeper.org