"This year we've worked with over 600 students directly in our programs. About 2/3 of students come from families identified as Economically Disadvantaged by DOE and attend for free or for an enrollment fee of less than $50. The (BHCF) grant allowed four Boston youth from economically disadvantaged families to participate in full day summer programming for free."
From Hill House, Inc.:
"The funds granted to Hill House by The Beacon Hill Community Fund enabled us to offer critical scholarships for our Summer Day Camp program for families who needed the additional assistance in such a difficult year. The grant supported a full week of camp to six children during the summer of 2021. The camper recipients experienced a week full of summer fun activities in a supervised environment by caring, compassionate, and well-trained staff in the heart of downtown Boston. Given the COVID-19 challenges kids experienced during the 2020-2021 school year, we were thrilled to be able provide these kids an in-person camp experience to socialize and have fun, as well as allow their parents the peace of mind to know that their children were safe, well-cared for, and could feel like kids again.
We are so grateful to the Beacon Hill Civic Association, not only for their support via the BHCF but also for the ways they improve life on the Hill for all community members."
From The International Women's Writing Guild:
"In 2020, IWWG received a grant from the BHCF which enhanced our pilot mentorship program in Boston. During this intergenerational writing program, we aimed to hear diverse perspectives from young writers in the City and supported them with writing mentors to refine and workshop their writing which ranged from short stories to poetry. In such a difficult year, the writers wrote about justice. Funding from BHCF allowed us to design and print a gorgeous anthology: "Heels into the Soil: Stories and Poems Resisting the Silence." which represents their voices and empowered them to speak about justice and equity in Boston. We were also able to keep them engaged through an inaugural "Fellowship" program and they are still working with us to help plan our 2022 conference in Boston. We also hope to soon do a reading at the African Meeting House. Funding from BHCF was such a light-filled gift in a dark year for these students. They are thrilled to be published and to be heard."
From Beacon Hill Seminars:
"Beacon Hill Seminars is very grateful for the $2000 Community Fund Grant we received from the Beacon Hill Civic Association last year. This grant helped our small non-profit fund the significant investments in software and hardware required to move 30+ courses to an online format for Beacon Hill Seminars’ 200+ members last year. We were fortunate to be able to keep our community of lifelong learners together, engaged, and safe during that first year of the pandemic. We’ve also come to appreciate the benefits of online programming for many of our members, and we look forward to offering a mix of in-person and online classes for BHS members in 2022 and beyond. We are thankful to the BHCA for its support."
From Friday Night Supper Program:
"Over the last year, the Friday Night Supper Program (FNSP) has served more than 4,000 hot, delicious, and nutritious meals to our neighbors in need. The grant from BHCF was critical to helping FNSP keep our doors open every Friday and cover the additional expenses we incurred this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Traditionally (prior to the pandemic), each guest at FNSP is served a three course meal, consisting of soup, dinner and dessert, at their table by our courteous volunteer servers in our dining hall in the basement of the Arlington Street Church. During the Covid-19 health crisis, FNSP adapted its meal service to a fully takeaway model to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and guests. Meals were served from the front foyer of the Church where guests lined up outside to respect social distancing guidelines. This required extra security, PPE for our staff and volunteers and to-go supplies. In June 2021, FNSP re-opened its dining room again at a limited capacity for in-person dining with enhanced safety protocols, including the installation of HEPA air filters and plexiglass barriers. To-go meals are still offered for those guests who prefer that option. FNSP also offers a twice monthly Clothing Closet where guests can find seasonally appropriate clothes, shoes, winter boots and toiletries and distributes “emergency” supplies such as face masks, hand sanitizer and soap. We are so grateful for the generous support from BHCF and for their ongoing commitment to our community."
From the Old West Church:
"Thanks to a generous grant from the Beacon Hill Civic Association in 2020, the Old West Church has been able to advance its work providing healthy meals for our unsheltered and elderly guests, including those experiencing displacement and hunger in our beloved community on the fifth Tuesdays of the month, as we did last year, along with the Oasis Coalition of Boston. In addition, the grant made possible the purchase a commercial grade refrigerator and freezer that allows us to secure, store and prepare more meals. We were able to purchase freezer storage for food items (two generously-sized freezers), and thus we are able to extend the edible life of some perishables and increase offerings for the meals. The food we serve is composed of donations from Panera Bread, O.A.S.I.S. at the Ballou Avenue Urban Farm and Codman Square Development Corporation, and St. John Episcopal Church in Westwood. St. John’s is extending their already generous support by purchasing a 10x15 tent to allow all volunteers to shelter during the inclement weather days ahead. The Oasis Coalition of Boston will be providing clamp lights and portable heaters. Beyond the specific refrigeration and meals, this grant contributes to Old West Church serving as a resource for healthy food and a sense of community and belonging. The partnerships we are developing will help make Old West a leader in food justice and availability. Beacon Hill Civic Association is one of those invaluable partnerships for which we are grateful. It is through the incredible world of the BHCA that we are able to do the work of justice and equity in our community and we are ever grateful for the BHCA’s support and engagement in our community."
From the Boston Landmarks Orchestra: "Thanks to the generous support we received from the BHCF, Boston Landmarks Orchestra was able to return to the Hatch Shell stage for live, in-person performances. This summer, we performed five concerts at the Hatch Shell, all completely free of charge to audience members. Many told us how wonderful it was to hear live music again, and we completely agreed. Out of all the pieces performed this year, almost half were written by composers of color. Additionally, almost twenty percent were by women, and about one-fourth were by living composers. This season, we were able to collaborate with five community partners. We also reintroduced our Maestro Zone, where kids can get a quick conducting lesson and conduct along with the orchestra in real time. Accessibility at our concerts has always been a priority, and this year was no different. We welcomed ASL interpreters who interpret not just written remarks, but the feel of the music, back to the Hatch Shell stage. We also piloted a program with SUBPAC machines, which convert sound into vibrations, allowing those d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals to experience music. We are so thankful to BHCA for their support!"
From Big Sister Association of Greater Boston:
"Big Sister Association of Greater Boston is grateful to the Beacon Hill Civic Association for its $2,500 grant to directly support three Little Sisters in one-to-one mentoring relationships with their Big Sisters. This grant supported Big Sister Boston’s gender-intentional, strengths-based approach to mentoring, that has served thousands of girls across Greater Boston for 70 years. With this funding, Big Sister Boston invested directly in its talented, committed staff who make the organization’s mission possible. Every Little Sister in Big Sister Boston’s programs is assigned a dedicated Match Support Specialist, a trained staff person who provides consistent monthly support, shares activity ideas and resources, and facilitates strong long-lasting mentoring relationships through a strengths-based approach. As the impact of the pandemic continued this year, matches in Big Sister Boston’s programs primarily met virtually. Their Match Support Specialists were there every step of the way to guide Big and Little Sisters to navigate the ups and downs of virtual mentoring. In partnership with the Beacon Hill Civic Association, Big Sister Boston is proud of its ability to be nimble, creative, and caring in its approach to mentoring during this time. On average, it costs $2,500 to match a girl from the waitlist with a Big Sister and support her new relationship for a year. For girls already matched in Big Sister Boston’s programs, it costs an average of $1,000 a year. The partnerships Big Sister Boston builds with organizations such as the Beacon Hill Civic Association directly impact the number of girls it can support. Thank you for being 100% invested in girls!"
From the Esplanade Association: "Funding from the Beacon Hill Community Fund was always a generous and meaningful gift from a valued neighbor, but this spring that funding became even more critically important than usual. COVID-19 has affected the Esplanade Association in many of the ways you might expect. Our free public programs in the park were all canceled or made virtual, including guided tours, musical offerings, and exercise classes. Our fundraising was also heavily impacted. And our award-winning Volunteer Program, a significant source of helpful labor in the park and income for EA, scheduled to start in mid-March, was canceled through August. In coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, EA recently determined that we could run our Volunteer Program both safely and enjoyably with only minor adjustments, so we are a “go” for September and October! We are delighted that the Community Fund grant means that BHCA members will be joining us for two volunteer days this fall. They will perform important park beautification work, including painting benches, removing litter, and doing some planting, all around the Fanny Appleton Bridge, and their experience will help us determine our approach for the 2021 volunteer season."
From the Beacon Hill Friends House:
"The Beacon Hill Civic Association Community Fund grant has been a key part in ensuring the success of the Financial Assistance program at Beacon Hill Friends House. This program was started in July 2019 in order to help support current and prospective lower-income Friends House residents. The generous funding from BHCA during the first year of the program has enabled us to provide financial assistance to 7 individuals, ensuring that these residents could make a home in our community without undue financial hardship. The grant has also enabled improvements to the Financial Assistance program itself; we are now able to guarantee some level of assistance for the full tenure of a resident's time at the Friends House, and have been able to raise both the income threshold to qualify for the program and the amount of funding available to an individual resident.
Offering reliable financial assistance has helped the Friends House maintain full resident occupancy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic - and we've even converted our two overnight guest rooms into housing for additional residents. We are proud to make residency in Beacon Hill affordable to community-minded individuals from a variety of walks of life, and we're grateful for the support of the Civic Association as a fellow organization working toward greater intentional community on Beacon Hill. We look forward to further strengthening our capacity for financial inclusiveness in the coming years as we continue to deepen both our commitment to diversity and our relationships to others in the Beacon Hill community."
From the Old West Church:
"In 2019, Old West Church applied for and was granted an award from Beacon Hill Community Fund and what an incredible gift it has been and continues to be. Our application contained an ask to both support our 2020 work with the Monday Night Dinners and the planting out of our food forest. Obviously 2020 has thrown us all for a loop but this grant has been a steady boon for OWC and our initiative to lessen the injustice of food access and instability for our neighbors and our community.
When the impact of COVID19 first started to be felt in the States in March 2020, the Monday Night Dinner team was about to step up and increase their capacity rather than decrease or even shut down. We deemed this aspect of OWC to be truly essential. Thus, the dinner shifted from indoors to out, planted to takeaway. Additionally, we went from just Monday evening dinners to Saturday afternoon lunches as well.
Certainly, this is not the 2020 food justice we were anticipating, however, because of the generosity of the BHCA and their work through the Beacon Hill Community Fund, OWC has been able to ensure that our commitment to food justice not only remains steady but remains possible through their generosity.
Additionally, one thing that has not been derailed has been our search for a landscape architect. And we are pleased to announce that after a rigorous RFP and interview process, the Old West team has selected Jan Goodman, and her team at Cityscape, to partner with OWC in this incredible project. As part of the initial planning, Jan and her team will be reaching out to community members to get their ideas, inputs, and dreams for what the food forest at OWC will grow to be! We know we can count on the participation and engagement of the BHCA as this is possible, in part, because of their support and belief in the mission and vision of OWC.
We are so grateful and look forward to all the work we can and will continue to do together!"
From Jack Burton:
The Beacon Hill Community Fund has fundamentally and positively changed the way I understand and see our neighborhood. I've always been interested in interviews and their power to create meaningful connections with others; so, when I heard about this community fund, it stood out to me as an opportunity to explore my passion.
Hearing about my grant request approval was an exciting moment for me. I felt thrilled that the BHCA had decided to give me the chance to explore and make a difference in our wonderful neighborhood. My mother and I attended the grant acceptance, and, although I was the only person who could not sip wine with the others, I engaged in interesting conversations with new, friendly faces. In a way, the project started at this moment; the Fund already had given me the opportunity to meet and converse with my neighbors with whom I had never spoken.
My project did not require an enormous amount of money to complete--however, the grant was very helpful in raising the quality of my video. I used a decent portion of the funding to hire a videographer and editor for my first few installments. Using my newfound knowledge gained from my experience with the first videos, I plan to purchase some of my own equipment for further interviews. From Beacon Hill Art Walk:
Thanks to the Beacon Hill Community Fund Grant program by the BHCA, we were able to postpone the Beacon Hill Art Walk from June until October, in hopes that by then the event would be feasible. Taking into consideration all the guidance from health officials and Massachusetts’ phases for public events, along with input from artists and patrons, we have been working on setting up a virtual event coupled with an online art sale.
We feel that this is an incredibly important opportunity, as artists are seriously struggling. There have been no art shows all year long, and the galleries and stores selling original local art have been closed.
While we did collect some artists’ participation fees in January and February before the Covid shutdown, the grant allowed us to refund the artists that requested it, and the rest of the artists will have guaranteed acceptance in 2021 with their 2020 Art Walk fee transferring to next year.
Thanks to the BHCA and the Community Fund Grant, we have been able to pay our fixed annual expenses (such as website hosting, P.O. Box, etc.), advertise the event on Facebook and Instagram all year long, update our website with the current participating artists’ info, with their own page of photos, bio, links to social media and their websites, and pay our usual PR company to write and distribute the press release and professionally promote our online art sale that utilizes a professional sales platform. This will assist the artists in getting their work publicized and generate sales, and allow our neighbors and fans to see what our artists have been creating during Covid, and also share their artwork with art patrons throughout the world.