Individuals, companies and organizations who have helped to make great things happen over the past year were honored last week at United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Annual Campaign Celebration. 16 awards were presented at the Rosebrook Event Center in Wareham to recognize the support of United Way through the 2015-2016 campaign.
“There are so many great things that have happened in our community this year and at this year’s event we tried to acknowledge as many as we could,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO. “Many of the companies and individuals we work with found new ways of supporting us to positively impact our community and we are truly thankful for their commitment.”
This year United Way honored Bank of America, New Bedford Housing Authority, Southcoast Health and Townsquare Media with the LIVE UNITED award, not only for their support of United Way, but for their year-long commitment to GIVE, ADVOCATE and VOLUNTEER.
Recognition of Acushnet Company as one of United Way’s largest contributors earned them three awards including the Rockefeller Award, Navigator Society Award and Major Firms Challenge Platter.
City of New Bedford, Lockheed Martin and Southcoast Health also received Rockefeller Awards. Seven companies were recognized with Campaign Excellence awards including Bristol County Savings Bank, Depuy-Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union, Precix, Stop & Shop and UPS.
The Ferreira Group of New Bedford was presented with the LIVE UNITED 365 Award for their commitment to United Way 365 small business campaign. United Way also honored Cornell Dubilier and Julius Koch USA with the Loyal Supporter Award for their long-standing support.
In addition to the company awards, Chris Hodgson was awarded with the Spirit of Giving Award for his long-term service and commitment. Hodgson serves on the Board of Directors and served as this year’s Campaign Chair. “This award was well deserved by Chris who is always thinking about ways to advance United Way, our impact and of course our fundraising efforts. He truly goes above and beyond and makes United Way a priority” said Hantman.
In honor of National Volunteer Week, Manny Camara and the Miss New Bedford Scholarship Program were honored with Spirit of Volunteerism Awards and Dezmond Jernigan was honored for his volunteer work with New Bedford Community Connections Coalition. Felicia DosSantos was named Summer Fund SuperStar.
Others honored at the event included Loaned Executives and the Campaign Cabinet. Their service during the year assists in extending the reach of United Way. Dennison Memorial Community Center was acknowledged with the Agency Partner Award. The Campaign Celebration was sponsored by BankFive, BayCoast Bank and Bristol County Savings Bank.
The United Way of Greater New Bedford is a non-profit organization that was established in 1953. The United Way brings together volunteers, community leaders, and corporate partners to provide quality programs and initiatives that achieve positive results. Its service area, which has a population in excess of 197,000, includes the City of New Bedford and surrounding towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and Wareham.
See pictures from the event at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1260482850648495.1073741895.166974749999316&type=3
As the warmer weather approaches, families across Greater New Bedford begin to plan for the summer. While some enjoy family vacations, others opt to stay home and send their children to camps or summer school programs. For many of our neighbors, however, summer can be a difficult time. Many parents struggle to hold a steady job and put food on the table each night, so sending their children to summer school or camp is out of reach. Consequently, these parents are left worrying about what their children will do while they are away at work, and often times, whether their children are safe.
United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Summer Fund was created to address this reality for many families across our community. Summer Fund helps to provide the financial resources for kids to have a meaningful summer through campership spots at organizations for children in need, cultural enrichment opportunities, such as free art programs in the community, and youth employment positions for teens and young adults ages 16-21. These programs help children and youth have an enriching, skill-building summer.
To that end, Summer Fund is currently seeking applications from non-profit agencies to provide disadvantaged youth in Greater New Bedford ages 6-21 with youth employment, camperships, and cultural enrichment experiences. Non-profits with a determined 501(c)(3) status are encouraged to apply for up to $5,000 in funding. Organizations must serve youth in Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester and Wareham. Organizations interested in applying should visit www.unitedwayofgnb.org to access the guidelines and online application. Applications are due by Friday, April 15, 2016.
“Summer Fund provides youth with experiences that they may not be able to have otherwise,” said Summer Fund Coordinator Victoria Grasela. “Not only will youth participating in these programs have fun, but they will also help to prevent summer learning loss which is common for kids of all ages while on summer break. In the past, we’ve received many applications that build summer learning into their programs and we hope that is a continuing trend for local programs.”
Last year, Summer Fund granted nearly $100,000 to summer programming for youth in our community. Summer Fund grants are made possible through a pooled fund of contributions from a number of local foundations.
For more information about Summer Fund, please contact Victoria Grasela at 508-994-9625 x10 or email@example.com.
United Way to Host Tom Lopes Documentary Screenings
For decades, Tom Lopes was dedicated to making life in New Bedford better for all residents. As the first Cape Verdean elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Tom, who was already well known to the community for his activism, fought for the residents on the SouthCoast.
To honor his legacy, a team of students worked with Reel Serious to produce a documentary about his life. With a number of interviews from friends, families and other politicians, they tell the story about his accomplishments and the impact he made on New Bedford. The creation of the documentary was funded in part with a grant from United Way of Greater New Bedford. The documentary was first screened in October.
“My brother always used to say, If you can believe it, you can achieve it,” said Deborah Ramos, Tom Lopes’ sister. “We hope this documentary inspires residents to take pride in our community.”
United Way of Greater New Bedford will be hosting three screenings of the documentary in the South End of New Bedford for residents. As part of the documentary screenings, United Way will also be hosting an open forum to discuss the progress of their work with the Working Cities Challenge grant and to get input from South End residents on the upcoming work in their community. The event is free. Dinner and child care will be provided as well as raffles for those in attendance.
Tom Lopes: Bringing Community Together Events will take place: March 22nd 5:30- 8pm at Dennison Memorial Community Center (755 So. First St.), March 29th 5:30- 8pm at Our Lady of Assumption Church (47 So. 6th St.), and April 5th at the Cape Verdean American Veterans Hall (561 Purchase St.).
If you are interested in attending one of the events, please contact United Way at 508-994-9625 ext. 19 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We hope residents in the South End take these events as opportunities to give their input and help guide our Working Cities team as we continue our work in the community,” said Allison Yates-Berg, Vice President of Community Impact and Operations at United Way. “We truly value the support and input of neighborhood residents in this process.”
In November, United Way of Greater New Bedford was one of ten cities in Massachusetts to receive a $15,000 Working Cities Challenge planning grant to improve the quality of life of residents in the South End. Later this spring, United Way and the New Bedford Team will have the opportunity to apply for a three year, implementation grant of $475,000 to continue with this work.
United Way of Greater New Bedford is looking for all-volunteer groups to submit innovative, community projects that will bring people together while creating a positive impact in our community. These groups are invited to attend an orientation session to learn more about the Mini-Grants program and how their group can apply for up to $2,500 to improve, strengthen and build local community.
Groups with budgets of $40,000 or less are encouraged to learn more about Mini-Grants and attend one of two orientation sessions that will be held at United Way, located at 105 William St. 2nd floor. These sessions will discuss the program, eligibility and the application process.
Orientations will be held:
All potential applicants are encouraged to attend an orientation session. Registration is required for the sessions. To register for an orientation session please call 508-994-9625 ext. 19 or email email@example.com.
Applications will be available March 1st at www.unitedwayofgnb.org and will only be accepted electronically. Grants must be submitted by April 22, 2016.
In 2015, 37 all-volunteer groups made an impact throughout Great New Bedford with projects funded by United Way’s Mini-Grant Program. These projects range from garden projects and healthier living programs to outreach campaigns and family engagement opportunities. Be the change in Greater New Bedford, visit www.unitedwayofgnb.org to learn more about the Mini-Grants Program.
Take This Child to Heart-An Evening of Jazz, Rhythm & Blues to
Benefit the Take This Child to Heart Fund
The Take This Child to Heart fundraising event raises thousands of dollars each year to support after school and summer enrichment activities for children under the care of area social service programs.
Over 350 people attend Take This Child to Heart—An Evening of Jazz, Rhythm & Blues each year, and this year’s event, which will take place on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at the Century House in Acushnet, promises to be the most spectacular one yet. To date the event has raised over $80,000 to provide funding for the support of the Take This Child to Heart Fund administered by United Way of Greater New Bedford. The combination of great music, delicious food and wine pull offers guests a relaxing and fun night out while also raising money for hundreds of children involved in area social service programs. The Fund awards scholarships to these children for activities such as sports programs, summer camp and music lessons.
The fund makes it possible for hundreds of children to take part in after-school and summer enrichment activities that they would not otherwise be able to participate in.
“Take This Child to Heart provides financial support to area foster children and their families,” stated Darlene Spencer, the Executive Director of New Bedford Community Connections Coalition and the Co-Chair of the Take This Child to Heart Committee. “Its purpose has been expanded to include other vulnerable children within our community who have been impacted by neglect and abuse.”
This year’s event features special guests Samantha Johnson, Wannetta Jackson, Stan Strickland, and Jackie Santos and The A-List.
Take This Child to Heart will also feature a wine pull, along with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Tickets for the event are $50 each and can be purchased by contacting New Bedford Community Connections Coalition at 508-994-9625, x22.
Samantha Johnson’s long and storied musical journey began at age four and continues today where she placed as a semi-finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Besides numerous theater productions that have taken her around the world, she is currently writing and recording her debut EP, to be released in early 2016.
Wannetta Jackson is one of Boston’s treasured queens of soul and jazz. She has recorded voice-overs for Sesame Street and performed black history gospel programs for Young Audiences of Massachusetts, Express Yourself Inc., and the Beverly Massachusetts Youth Organization. She has also performed with recording artists Andre Ward and Pieces of a Dream and many more.
Saxophone player Stan Strickland has toured extensively throughout the world and performed with the Boston Pops, The Village People and many Jazz legends, including Herbie Mann and Yusef Latif. He is a professor of voice at the Berklee College of Music and teaches the flute and saxophone at the Longy School of Music as well as Lesley University. He is also the leader of Stan Strickland & Ascension and the Stan Strickland Trio.
The event is being produced by Jackie Santos, who will also perform along with members of his band, The A-List. From touring the world to performing with his idols, Jackie has set the standard for performance and stage presence. He has toured with Tavares, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and many others. He is currently on tour with John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band and is a full professor of Percussion at the Berklee College of Music.
Jeff Lockhart, a master of the guitar, has worked for big names like Melba Moore and LaVerne Baker. He has also done a great deal of session work, recording with Jazz saxophonist Walter Beasley. He has also toured with world-renowned recording artist Brian McKnight. He is also a professor at the Berklee College of Music where he teaches guitar.
Oscar Stagnaro, a four-time Grammy winner and recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award at the Berklee College of Music, has worked extensively on studio work and live performances with many international musicians and groups, including Dave Valentin, Charlie Sepulveda, Tavares, Rebecca Parrish, The Boston Pops, and The Chicago Pops Orchestra. He has also been a full professor at the Berklee College of Music since 1988.
Ricardo Monzón is an accomplished drummer, percussionist, and studio musician who has toured and performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has performed with Sting, Chris Botti, John Mayer, Josh Groban, and Yo Yo Ma. He leads his own Jazz quartet as well as Marimba Canto De Guatemala, the Ricardo Monzón Orchestra, Jazz for Kids and Mamboston.
John Harrison III is a pianist, arranger, and producer who has toured frequently on the festival circuit in Europe and the United States. He is a former faculty member at Berklee College of Music and a current faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
United Way of Greater New Bedford has named Allison Yates-Berg (pictured below) Vice President of Community Impact and Operations.
Mrs. Yates-Berg joins United Way after spending several years as a Senior Associate at ideas42, a non-profit organization that works with foundations, government entities, and other partners to use research and insights from behavioral science to tackle today’s most difficult social problems.
As the Vice President of Community Impact and Operations, Yates-Berg will be responsible for leading and managing UWGNB’s strategic collective impact work and community investment. She will oversee an array of United Way’s initiatives and programs ensuring alignment for the most effective community impact.
“I am very excited to begin work in the community as a part of the United Way of Greater New Bedford team,” said Yates-Berg. “I feel fortunate to be joining such a respected organization that already does amazing work in the community every day.”
Mrs. Yates-Berg received a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Societies and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.
“I am thrilled to add Allison to our team. She brings a unique set of skills to our United Way and comes to us at a pivotal time in our work” says Michelle N. Hantman, President and CEO.
In addition to Mrs. Yates-Berg’s new role, United Way staff positions have also transitioned. Michelle N. Hantman has been named President & CEO; Maureen Sylvia, Vice President of Resource Development and Victoria Grasela, Marketing and Community Relations Officer.
New Bedford was recently selected by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston as a recipient of a $15,000 Working Cities Challenge design grant. This grant is intended to promote economic growth in New England’s low-income communities through community engagement and cross-sector collaboration.
The $15,000 planning grant was awarded to United Way of Greater New Bedford and is intended to support the development of a team initiative over the next six months that will take steps to improve the quality of life for all residents in the South End of New Bedford. The award makes the team eligible to compete for a three-year $475,000 implementation grant in the spring of 2016.
New Bedford’s team has set the following goal: All residents of the South End of New Bedford are safe, healthy, and have the knowledge and skills to thrive.
“We are grateful to the United Way for taking the lead in this bold initiative that has the potential to improve the lives of the residents of the south end of our city. And, we appreciate the Boston Federal Reserve Bank’s recognition of our team’s commitment to the challenge,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.
United Way of Greater New Bedford has been making strides to begin a collective impact initiative in the South End of New Bedford and has taken the lead on New Bedford’s working team.
“We are so excited to have been awarded the Working Cities Challenge Grant in New Bedford,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO of United Way. “This grant will allow us to continue the work we have started in the South End with a committed set of organizations that want to see residents succeed.”
United Way is joined by the City of New Bedford, BankFive, Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, Immigrants’ Assistance Center, New Bedford Housing Authority, New Bedford Public Schools, Old Bedford Village, PACE, Southcoast Health, Southcoast Youth Alliance, TRI –The Resource Inc. and UMass Dartmouth Public Policy Center. Together, this collaboration hopes to determine the challenges that face residents in the South End and work towards making necessary changes to empower residents.
New Bedford was one of only ten cities to receive the design grant. The awards were officially recognized at an event at the Massachusetts State House with Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren on November 5th. In addition, the New Bedford planning team attended an all-day training at the Boston Fed on December 2nd.
The Working Cities Challenge, launched in 2013 in Massachusetts, builds on Boston Fed research that identified cross-sector collaboration and leadership as the key ingredients in resurgent smaller cities across the country. In January 2014, six cities in Massachusetts received $1.8 million in funding for projects to address issues impacting low-income communities. Funding was provided by the Commonwealth, private sector, and local and national philanthropic organizations, and cities were selected on merit by an independent jury not comprised of Boston Fed representatives. Four of those cities from the first round won multiyear grant awards and continue to make progress expanding their efforts and improving the lives of low-income residents in their communities.
With additional funding commitments from the Commonwealth, and from public and private partners, the Boston Fed formally launched a second round of the Challenge in July, modifying the application process to include an initial round of design grants. These $15,000 awards – decided by a selection committee not including the Boston Fed – are designed to provide resources to cities to further develop their initial application and collaborative, with the goal of submitting a robust bid for awards of $475,000 over 3 years in the summer of 2016.
Please join the New Bedford Firefighters’ Union and United Way of Greater New Bedford in their 17th Annual Toy Drive to provide toys to local youth this holiday season. New, unwrapped toys, gift cards or movie tickets can be donated at locations throughout the SouthCoast through Monday, December 14th.
“Families in our community are making the tough decisions whether to put food on the table or get their children presents for Christmas,” said Victoria Grasela, Marketing & Community Relations Officer at United Way. “Our toy drive with the Firefighters is meant to help those families and provide peace of mind knowing the kids will be taken care of this year.”
Thousands of toys are collected and distributed to agencies in Greater New Bedford each year. From trucks and dolls to games and books, items for all ages newborn – teens are needed. Gift cards and movie tickets make great gifts for teenage recipients.
All of the items collected will be separated and delivered to local nonprofit organizations that serve youth. Some organizations that have received toys from the drive in the past include: Greater New Bedford Women’s Center, Schwartz Center for Children, NorthStar Learning Centers, Donovan House and HarbOUR House/ Family Preservation Program. These agencies will distribute the toys to children through their various holiday activities.
New, unwrapped toys or gift cards can be dropped off at any of the following businesses:
Donate toys now until Monday, December 14th. These toys will be distributed to local organizations serving youth throughout New Bedford.
Please do not contact the New Bedford Fire Department with toy requests. Please contact United Way of Greater New Bedford with any questions at 508-994-9625 ext. 10.
Great things happen when we LIVE UNITED and with strong leadership. United Way of Greater New Bedford recently welcomed new Board Members and held officer elections at their Annual Meeting.
The United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Board of Directors provides direction, support, guidance, and governance to the organization by engaging local leaders as committed volunteers and leveraging expertise to advance the work of United Way.
Four new Board Members were voted in and welcomed to the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Board of Directors. Kim Ferreira, Sherrie Nobre, Joan Pilling were nominated and confirmed at the Annual Meeting. Warley Williams was nominated and confirmed at the December Board Meeting.
“These four individuals each bring strong leadership qualities to our Board and a variety of expertise,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO. “We are proud to welcome these four standout professionals in their new roles and we are thankful for the invaluable leadership of our Board.”
Ms. Ferreira is currently the Director of Mass in Motion, an organization that works closely with the community to create healthier environments for New Bedford’s residents. She is also a registered dietitian.
Ms. Nobre is the Executive Assistant and Resident Services Administrator at New Bedford Housing Authority. Before her time with NBHA, she worked at the District Attorney’s office in several different roles including the Juvenile Diversion Program.
Ms. Pilling is a Branch Manager at the Bristol County Savings Bank in East Freetown. She has worked in local banking for over 30 years and brings a wealth of experience in management, customer relations and new business development.
Mr. Williams is the Assistant Principal at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. He has spent the majority of his career in education and working with youth in New Bedford.
In addition to the appointment of the new Board Members, Officers were also elected. Beth Sylvia Caldwell, Vice President/COO/Owner of Sylvia Group was re-elected as Board Chair; Roland Giroux, Vice President/General Counsel at Acushnet Company, was re-elected as Vice Chair; Robert Pielech, CPA, partner at CliftonLarsonAllen was named Treasurer; Scott Dubois, Co-Founder of Pidalia will serve as Clerk and Christopher Hodgson of Coastal Financial will serve as Immediate Past Chair on the Executive Committee.
Pictured from Left to right – Kim Ferreira, Sherrie Nobre, Joan Pilling, Warley Williams
By John Garcia
October 06. 2015 6:13PM
NEW BEDFORD — About 50 volunteers walked through the center of the 139 Hathaway Road PriceRite’s parking lot Tuesday morning, stacking food and essential items near a large truck bearing the name of the organization “Feed the Children.”
Within minutes, the volunteers would begin to distribute the items to 800 local families as part of a partnership among the supermarket chain, the anti-hunger organization Feed the Children, and United Way of Greater New Bedford.
Jessica Webb, Feed the Children’s senior manager of corporate partnerships, said that each family would receive a 25-pound box of food, a 10-pound box of essentials such as shampoo and personal care items, a box of Avon products, a bag of PriceRite products including produce, and a case of water.
All families participating had received vouchers from United Way umbrella agencies. Webb said the volunteers were mostly PriceRite employees and United Way volunteers.
She said 24 percent of families in New Bedford live below the poverty line.
“A lot of times these families might not know where their next meal comes from,” she said. “When we can provide this to them, these families are very appreciative, very emotional sometimes, and very thankful.”
Webb said the assistance of local businesses such as PriceRite is essential to carrying out Feed the Children’s mission.
“This is what fuels our mission,” she said. “We want to partner with corporations who want to give back to the areas where they live and work.”
Kevin George, PriceRite’s regional director of operations, said the company has become more involved in the community over the past year at the request of its employees.
“We’re just proud to be in the community, serving the community any way we can,” he said.
Inside PriceRite, several local organizations had set up tables in order to provide families with information on long-term help.
Teyana Gomes of the New Bedford Community Connections Family Resource & Development Center helped direct those present to a variety of resources and programs geared toward assisting families with children.
“We help with low income families who need extra support,” she said. Gomes added that the event served as a great outreach opportunity.
Next to Gomes’ table, Outreach Specialist Larry Moore provided information on behalf of the Veterans Transition House, which helps homeless veterans recover and transition back into civilian life through such services as classes and case management. “It’s a hand up, to kind of get your stuff back together,” he said.
Anyone interested in donating to Feed the Children or receiving further information can visit feedthechildren.org.
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