On Wednesday, Feb. 26, more than 100 friends, supporters and grantees of the Brookline Community Foundation gathered at the Brookline Senior Center to celebrate the people and organizations dedicated to making Brookline a better place for all to live and work. The event, hosted by BCF Executive Director Jenny Amory and President Frank Steinfield, featured 15 grantees, each of whom spoke briefly of the work made possible by grants from BCF.
One of the programs funded by BCF, run by FriendshipWorks, connects volunteers with seniors who can benefit from companionship, personal assistance and emotional support. "With a grant from the Foundation, we are reaching isolated, lonely seniors in Brookline with well-trained volunteers who do home visits, escort to medical appointments, or come with a pet for company. One senior recently shared after a volunteer had come regularly that this was her first experience with love in a very long time,” said FriendshipWorks, Inc. Executive Director Janet Seckel-Cerrotti.
In 2013, the Brookline Community Foundation (BCF) awarded 29 grants totaling $280,548 to organizations that are creatively addressing the most pressing needs in our community. BCF’s 2013 grantees are expanding access to the arts, empowering low-income families and individuals, addressing issues of educational equity and providing critical support to Brookline’s most vulnerable populations. Since 1999, BCF has given more than $5 million to local non-profits and initiatives.
The largest single grant for 2013 of $100,000 funded the BCF Safety Net, which is administered by the Brookline Community Mental Heath Center to meet the emergency needs of Brookline residents. BCF’s Spotlight Grants, a new grant program launched in 2013, totaled more than $1,700 to support the reconditioning of a piano in a community room of a low-income senior residence; to provide tools for low-income seniors’ community gardens; and to support a pilot emergency fund for school children through vouchers for food, clothing and transportation. These small, one-time grants are available throughout the year to meet an immediate need that is outside of an organization’s normal operating expenses.
“Thanks to the generosity of Brookline residents, BCF is able to provide critical funding for non-profits, large and small, that serve our community. Each of our grantees is doing important work in Brookline – and we are so proud to partner with them,” said BCF President Frank Steinfield.
The BCF Annual Grantee Celebration was made possible by the generosity of Boston Private Bank & Trust Company; Brookline Bank; Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation; Smith, Sullivan & Brown, PC and studioMLA Architects.
The Brookline Community Foundation shines a spotlight on community needs, inspires philanthropy and awards strategic grants to build a more vibrant, engaged and equitable Brookline.