Allston Cleanup, Allston

Urban Engagement is going to the Allston area, just a 5-minute T ride away, for Allston Cleanup! Boston police officer Sergeant O’Hara took Jeff and Lindsey on a ride in his cop car to the Allston area to check out the streets where volunteers will be doing service during FYSOP to clean off stickers on lamp polls and repaint them. Although this is indirect service, Sergeant O’Hara was talking with us about how beautifying urban spaces increases the sense of safety and unity of the community.

Volunteers will be making a huge difference in an area so close to BU!

Father Bill’s & Mainspring, Brockton

http://helpfbms.org/2012-homepage

On Friday, Jenna and Claire visited Father Bill’s & Mainspring in Brockton.  This site takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of homelessness.  The shelter offers overnight stays, and during the day groups can come in for nutritious lunches.  It is impossible not to feel the welcoming atmosphere created here – everyone is so passionate about their work!  We were able to tour the facility, and we walked through the sleeping quarters, the recreational rooms, and the dining hall and kitchen.  Our volunteers will assist the chefs in preparing and serving lunch as they work alongside the amazing volunteer coordinator, Kathy.  This experience will provide rewarding direct-service opportunities, and it will offer a look into a successful program that is working hard to provide an array of services and assistance.  We can’t wait for our volunteers to visit!

Esther R. Sanger Center, Quincy

This week, Claire and Jenna visited the Esther R. Sanger Center for Compassion in Quincy.  This fabulous site is small but mighty, and they work every day to bring their message of hope and care to the needy in the area.  Our volunteers will have the privilege of packaging food donations in the food pantry, and then they will travel throughout Quincy to deliver personalized meal bags directly to clients.  The Center works to cultivate a strong community, both within the Center and around Quincy; as our site contact David said, they are working to be better neighbors.  We are very excited to work with this wonderful site! 

ALSO: be sure to tag them in our post…they would love a Facebook shout-out!

Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Cambridge

H&H Coordinators Jenna and Claire travelled to Cambridge to visit the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House. They met with Mark Stearns, Director of Programs who showed them around the premises and explained the service volunteers will be doing. They also got a little bit of a history lesson: The Margaret Fuller house in over 200 years old, and is named for a famous author and one of the United States’ first women’s rights activist by the same name, who grew up there.  Today, the house functions as a welcoming place for the community to learn and grow. There is a food pantry, technology center, lending library, and services more than 70 young children from low-income families every year with their after school program a summer camp.