City Mission Society’s  Christmas Shop 2014 

Thanks to all the donations and over 300 volunteers from churches, businesses, and individuals, City Mission Society (CMS) is able to collect over $100,000 worth of gifts, given to 25 agency partners for distribution to over 4,500 children and family members in need in Boston!  CMS is also grateful to our long-time partner First Congregational Church in Winchester for their hospitality in hosting the Christmas Shop again this year.    

Photos (from top to bottom):

  • Top three photos:  some of the 70+ volunteers from Oracle.
  • Volunteers from Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.
  • CMS staff Amanda, June, and Lynda.
  • CMS Urban Outreach Director/Christmas Shop Coordinator Carl Mcdonald giving directions to volunteers.  

              Hancock Church Celebrates Manger Sunday 

Hancock United Church of Christ celebrated Manger Sunday with a festive service on December 8, 2013.  The church collected over $5,000 worth of toys and gifts, in addition to a donation of $4,000 from the offering and crafts fair to support City Mission Society‘s (CMS) Christmas Shop. One of the highlight of the service was the premier of Music Director Mark Morgan’s Hymn “Welcome Yule and Welcome All” in honor of the occasion. The City Mission Society is grateful for Hancock Church’s long-time partnership of helping the impoverished in the City of Boston, not just during Manger Sunday but throughout the year.   

 But the justice and peace that we desire will not suddenly bloom, instead, it’s something we need to carefully look for and when we find it, nurture and tend to it. The tender little shoot of hope will be there, in the most unexpected place, and our job is to help it to grow in our hearts and in our world.

From Rev. Dana Allen Walsh’s Manger Sunday Sermon, 12/8/13.

Photos (From the top):

  • Hancock Church Pastor Rev. Paul Shupe and CMS Executive Director June R. Cooper
  • Manger Sunday Procession 
  • Hancock Church Congregation at Manger Sunday
  • Hancock Church Music Director Mark Morgan
  • Text of “Welcome Yule and Welcome All”
  • Associate Pastor Dana Allen Walsh
  • Jewelry Display from Manger Sunday Crafts Fair 

“Families close to the edge have not been able to pull back from the edge in this recovery,” Albelda [Economics Professor at UMass/Boston]   said. “That’s in part because the recovery has not affected the bottom 30 to 40 percent of people.”  

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  MASS. SCRAMBLING TO FIND HOUSING FOR ITS HOMELESS

As numbers hit a record high, state fills shelters, far-off motel rooms

By Megan Woolhouse and David Abel, Boston Globe, December 2, 2013 

GREENFIELD — Record numbers of homeless families are overwhelming the state’s emergency shelter system, filling motel rooms at the cost to taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars a year.

An average of nearly 2,100 families a night — an all-time high — were temporarily housed in motel rooms in October, just about equaling the number of families in emergency shelters across the state, according to be the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The demand for shelter is so great that the state has been temporarily sending homeless families from Boston to motels in Western Massachusetts, although state officials said many have been relocated back again, closer to home.

Aaron Gornstein, the undersecretary for housing, said the surge has followed cuts in state and federal housing subsidies, soaring rents in Greater Boston, and still-high rates of unemployment and underemployment, particularly among lower-income workers.

 “The state as a whole has recovered from the Great Recession faster than most other states, but in many ways we’re still struggling,” Gornstein said. “Federal budget cuts have made the situation worse.”

Read the rest of the article at:  Boston.com

Globe Photo Caption:  UMass student Felicita Diaz moved to Northborough when a subsidy ended. Her family has since relocated to Chelsea.

Barbour Partners with City Mission as part of Annual Coat Drive
For the sixth year, Barbour is partnering with One Warm Coat, which City Mission is its Boston partner,  to host its annual coat drive to benefit the communities surrounding Barbour’s retail locations. To give back this holiday season, Barbour has committed to donate a sweater or shirt for every coat turned in at a Barbour retail store.  The Boston location is at:  134, Newbury Street. 
“Our commitment to match every coat donation with a Barbour shirt or sweater turns the focus back on the true meaning of this program and that is to give back to those in our neighborhoods and communities in need of assistance during this holiday season.” said Christopher Sapienza, Head of Barbour Retail, North America. “We hope our customers will help us meet our goal of collecting 1,500 coats at Barbour retail stores to trigger a donation of 1,500 shirts or sweaters to our charity partners.”  
Beginning Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, Barbour’s retail locations will be accepting any worn coat in wearable condition for men or women.  All coats collected at the Newbury Street store location will be donated to City Mission for distribution directly to Boston residents in need.   

Barbour Partners with City Mission as part of Annual Coat Drive

For the sixth year, Barbour is partnering with One Warm Coat, which City Mission is its Boston partner,  to host its annual coat drive to benefit the communities surrounding Barbour’s retail locations. To give back this holiday season, Barbour has committed to donate a sweater or shirt for every coat turned in at a Barbour retail store.  The Boston location is at:  134, Newbury Street. 

“Our commitment to match every coat donation with a Barbour shirt or sweater turns the focus back on the true meaning of this program and that is to give back to those in our neighborhoods and communities in need of assistance during this holiday season.” said Christopher Sapienza, Head of Barbour Retail, North America. “We hope our customers will help us meet our goal of collecting 1,500 coats at Barbour retail stores to trigger a donation of 1,500 shirts or sweaters to our charity partners.”  

Beginning Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, Barbour’s retail locations will be accepting any worn coat in wearable condition for men or women.  All coats collected at the Newbury Street store location will be donated to City Mission for distribution directly to Boston residents in need.   

Citizens Bank and City Mission Volunteers Distributed 500 Coats at the Russell School as part of Coat Boston 2013

Volunteers from Citizens Bank and City Mission Society distributed over 500 coats to children and families at the Russell School as part of the launch for Coat Boston 2013 on November 15, 2013.

Coat Boston is made possible by generous donations of $25,000 from the Citizens Bank Foundation and $5,000 from the Macy’s Foundation.  Coat Boston’s goal is to collect and distribute 2,500 new winter coats to underserved children and families in the City of Boston, between now and the holidays.

At the ceremony Citizens Bank President Jerry Sargent praised Russell School Principal Tamara Blake-Canty for her school leadership in addressing the needs of children, and CMS Executive Director June Cooper and City Mission for “their work serving children and families on a daily basis.”  “We are pleased to partner with City Mission to keep children and families warm through the winter,” said Sargent. 

CMS Youth Peace Video Wins Prize at Film Festival

Jahmol’s Vision for Youth Peace, a film about a remarkable group of young people working for peace on the streets of Boston, was producedby City Mission Society and directed by Tony Bennis and Mike King. It  was awarded the prize for Best Documentary at the International Kids Film Festival, which was held at the Somerville Theater on November 1-3.

Accepting award was Director Tony Bennis, who reflected on the challenges and rewards of working with young people to create a project like this. “They didn’t really know what to make of us at first,” he said. “Especially the young men. But then one day we put the cameras aside and just spent the afternoon shooting baskets with them. That did a lot to reassure them and gain their trust.”

 Originally released in 2008, the documentary tells the story of Jahmol Norfleet, who was shot to death in November of 2006. Jahmol was exceptionally charismatic, and in the year prior to his murder he led a peace movement among the youth of Boston. Mayor Thomas Menino hailed Jahmol as an important architect of the gang truce that prevailed the summer before he died. The film focuses on his younger sister Teah and a close circle of friends who work to promote peace in a climate of  escalating teen handgun violence.

Jahmol’s Vision for Youth Peace is available for viewing at churches, schools, and community centers. It has been shown to thousands of
people all over Great Boston since its release. The documentary has
already received accolades at the Roxbury Film Festival and the “Kids
First” Film Festival.


The Boston International Kids Film Festival is a new collaboration
between Filmmakers Collaborative and Tufts University whose aim is to
expose children in a variety of developmental stages, and their
caregivers, to thought-provoking films from around the world that are
by, for or about children.  

For more information on the video, check out CMS’s website.

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Reflections from Sarah Strosahl, Seminarian in the City Fellow at City Mission Society:
“On Sunday, October 20, I had the privilege of representing City Mission Society and worshipping with the Quincy Point Congregational Church.  It was the congregation’s annual “Missions Sunday” in which they celebrate and honor the variety of mission projects they are involved with across the globe, and it was an honor to be representing CMS amongst them.  The confirmation class, with the support of the entire congregation, collected 28 brand new coats for our Coat Boston Project, and gave us money to buy more! Seeing the generosity and excitement of this church to help their neighbors in need reinvigorated my own passion to serve. Because of the generosity of QPCC, nearly 30 children will be warm this winter; they will be able to go to school, play with their friends, and show off their flashy new coats- who doesn’t love to do that?
I’m grateful to CMS for this opportunity to serve with them and to partner with people like those at Quincy Point Congregational Church. Together, we’re able to transform lives!”
-Sarah

Photo Caption:  
Sarah Strosahl, Seminarian in the City for CMS, receives 28 new warm winter jackets, plus a check for $125 from Adam McGhee, Youth Director for Quincy Point Congregational Church

 

Reflections from Sarah Strosahl, Seminarian in the City Fellow at City Mission Society:

“On Sunday, October 20, I had the privilege of representing City Mission Society and worshipping with the Quincy Point Congregational Church.  It was the congregation’s annual “Missions Sunday” in which they celebrate and honor the variety of mission projects they are involved with across the globe, and it was an honor to be representing CMS amongst them.  The confirmation class, with the support of the entire congregation, collected 28 brand new coats for our Coat Boston Project, and gave us money to buy more! Seeing the generosity and excitement of this church to help their neighbors in need reinvigorated my own passion to serve. Because of the generosity of QPCC, nearly 30 children will be warm this winter; they will be able to go to school, play with their friends, and show off their flashy new coats- who doesn’t love to do that?

I’m grateful to CMS for this opportunity to serve with them and to partner with people like those at Quincy Point Congregational Church. Together, we’re able to transform lives!”

-Sarah

Photo Caption: 

Sarah Strosahl, Seminarian in the City for CMS, receives 28 new warm winter jackets, plus a check for $125 from Adam McGhee, Youth Director for Quincy Point Congregational Church

 



The 5th Annual COAT BOSTON                    of the City Mission Society of Boston


Join our COAT BOSTON campaign.  Help us reach our goal of 2,000 coats for Boston’s young people!


A NEW warm coat says, “Boston cares about our young people.”
A NEW warm coat means children and youth:
Are able to attend school regularly;
Will be warm and able to play outside;
Will be able to enjoy the dignity of fitting in with their peers!
HOW IT WORKS: 
COAT BOSTON works with local retailers to purchase new coats for as little as $20 to $25 each.
And we rely on donations of new coats and gifts from friends like you!  Launched in 2009 with the generous support of Citizens Bank Foundation, COAT BOSTON has distributed over 7,000 NEW winter coats to underserved and homeless children and youth in Boston. We have also added Macy’s as one our corporate partners this year.  
HOW TO JOIN US:
YOU can help us achieve this goal by launching your own campaigns with your workplace, friends, and church.
CHECK OUT OUR HELPFUL DOCS:
HOW YOU CAN HELP
OUTREACH CAMPAIGN CHECKLISTS
SAMPLE TEMPLATE FOR YOUR OWN EVITE

The 5th Annual COAT BOSTON 
                   of the 
City Mission Society of Boston

Join our COAT BOSTON campaign.  Help us reach our goal of 2,000 coats for Boston’s young people!

A NEW warm coat says, “Boston cares about our young people.”

A NEW warm coat means children and youth:

  • Are able to attend school regularly;
  • Will be warm and able to play outside;
  • Will be able to enjoy the dignity of fitting in with their peers!

HOW IT WORKS: 

COAT BOSTON works with local retailers to purchase new coats for as little as $20 to $25 each.

And we rely on donations of new coats and gifts from friends like you!  Launched in 2009 with the generous support of Citizens Bank Foundation, COAT BOSTON has distributed over 7,000 NEW winter coats to underserved and homeless children and youth in Boston. We have also added Macy’s as one our corporate partners this year.  

HOW TO JOIN US:

YOU can help us achieve this goal by launching your own campaigns with your workplace, friends, and church.

CHECK OUT OUR HELPFUL DOCS:

image

Quincy Point Church’s Youth Group Organized Bake Sale for Coat Boston

On September 22,  2013, students from Quincy Point Congregational Church’s confirmation class organized a bake sale to purchase coats for CMS’s Coat Boston Project.  They raised over $150 from the bake sale.   When asked why they were trying to buy warm winter coats for needy children, inspiring messages from the students included:  “If one kid is cold, we’re all cold.”; “We’re here to help God’s children in need.”; and “Warmth is love.”

Since 2009, COAT BOSTON has distributed over 7,000 NEW winter coats to underserved and homeless children and youth in Boston.  If you want to host a Coat Boston party or want more information about the Coat Boston project, visit CMS’s website. 

September 14, 2013: First Congregational Church of Westminster Mission Trip to Boston 


A group of 21 adults and 4 teens from the First Congregational Church of Westminster volunteered with CMS’s Boston Urban Outreach (BUO) program on September 14th.   The mission trip participants made sandwiches and passed out socks to the homeless on Boston Common (above photo), created pathways for the outdoor garden at the Russell School, and served lunch to the homeless at the Pilgrim Church later that afternoon.  

The mission trip was part of the church group’s “Socks for Boston” project, where over the course of a year, church members collected 1,402 pairs of socks for the City Mission Society’s BUO program benefitting the homeless. The idea for the project was the creation of 2 teens from the Westminster Church’s confirmation class.  You can read their story from the church’s website.  

Link to coverage of the story from telegram.com. 

September 14, 2013: First Congregational Church of Westminster Mission Trip to Boston 

A group of 21 adults and 4 teens from the First Congregational Church of Westminster volunteered with CMS’s Boston Urban Outreach (BUO) program on September 14th.   The mission trip participants made sandwiches and passed out socks to the homeless on Boston Common (above photo), created pathways for the outdoor garden at the Russell School, and served lunch to the homeless at the Pilgrim Church later that afternoon. 

The mission trip was part of the church group’s “Socks for Boston” project, where over the course of a year, church members collected 1,402 pairs of socks for the City Mission Society’s BUO program benefitting the homeless. The idea for the project was the creation of 2 teens from the Westminster Church’s confirmation class.  You can read their story from the church’s website. 

Link to coverage of the story from telegram.com.