Holiday Gift Drive

11/19/18
In collaboration with the Town of Concord, we invite you to donate to our Holiday Gift Program for low-income Concord families. Donations of new and unwrapped gifts for children of all ages are greatly appreciated.
*Lego, games, sports apparel, and gifts for young teens are especially welcome.
WHEN
November 19 – December 10
WHERE – Drop off donations in the festive boxes located at:
Beede Swim and Fitness Center                Concord Toy Shop
Cambridge Trust Bank                                 Revolutionary Concord
Community Chest Office                             Concord Town House
Town Building at 55 Church Street
WHO
Donations benefit youth ages 0-17 years
WHAT
CHILDREN                                                   TEENS
– Action figures                                                   – Sports equipment
– Board games                                                    – Gift Cards (Target, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, iTunes)
– Sports balls                                                      – Bath and body products
– Arts and crafts kits                                         – Electronics and Headphones
– Lego and building kits                                    – Boston sports team merchandise
– Dress-up clothing                                           – Ski or fashion gloves & scarves
– Ski or fashion gloves & scarves                    – Pajamas
– Pajamas                                                            – Cozy blankets, socks and robes
Questions? Contact the Chest office at 978-369-5250 or Bonny Wilbur, Community Services Coordinator, at 978-318-3034 or bwilbur@concordma.gov.
Holiday Gift Program Pic

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting

11/19/18

Get into the holiday spirit and join us at the 2018 Town of Concord Annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting! Click here for a detailed map and more information!

Entertainment Begins 3:00 PM
Menorah Lighting 4:45 PM
Parade Begins 4:50 PM
Tree Lighting 5:15 PM
Photos with Santa 5:30 PM

Holiday parade and tree lighting pic

Chat With Carlisle COA

11/7/18

Jennifer Ubaldino, Executive Director, spoke with the Carlisle Council on Aging in October about the Community Chest’s impact on our community…and how you can help!

Carlisle COA talk

8th Annual Women in Philanthropy Luncheon

10/23/18

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest hosted its 8th annual Women in Philanthropy Luncheon on October 3, featuring a discussion entitled, A Legacy of Farming and Community: The Verrill Family Shares Stories of Concord Past and Present.

Over 200 guests gathered at the Nashawtuc Country Club to hear from Jennifer and Steve Verrill about the long history of Verrill Farm in the community. Moderated by Brooke Redmond, Founder and Principal Consultant at Concord-based Radish Road, Jen and Steve shared heartfelt stories about their lives, their families, and their business.

“It was a real honor to be chosen to share some of our story about the history of our farm and our involvement in the community”, Jennifer stated.

The Luncheon was sponsored by Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty.

This event coincided with the launch of the Community Chest’s Annual Campaign and the recent proclamation of October as Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Month. Donations to the Community Chest provide direct support to numerous local non-profit human service organizations serving Concord and Carlisle’s neediest residents.

Thanks to all who joined us!

Community Chest Annual Volunteer Service Awards

3/19/18

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Annual Volunteer Service Awards are given by the Community Chest to a few students who have demonstrated initiative and commitment to an organization or volunteer project within the area of human services. Recipients are nominated by the nonprofit organizations and programs supported by the Chest in the given year, and selected by the Community Chest Board of Directors.

Available to all students at CCHS, the awards are given at Class Act Awards Night on April 30, 2018.

To nominate a CCHS student for an award, complete this brief nomination form by March 30, 2018. Students may not self-nominate.

Any questions, you may contact Bob Furey at rfurey@aol.com or Jennifer Ubaldino at jennifer@cccommunitychest.org.

Jennifer Ubaldino Welcomed as New Executive Director

10/16/17

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Board of Directors is excited to welcome our new Executive Director, Jennifer Ubaldino. Jennifer brings over fifteen years of experience in managing non-profit organizations. She has been a leader in the Youth in Philanthropy program for the Foundation for MetroWest and advised nonprofit boards, executives, staff and volunteers through the Center for Philanthropy Education. In addition, as a resident of Concord, Jennifer serves currently on the Thoreau School PTG and previously as president of the Maynard Community Chest. We hope you will welcome Jennifer when she officially joins us on October 23rd.

JENNIFER

7th Annual Women’s Luncheon

9/17/17

Please Join Us
for the
7th Annual Women in Philanthropy Luncheon
FEATURING
An inspiring discussion on philanthropic leadership
Moderated by:
COLETTE STANZLER: Colette is a principal at Root Cause, a partner to non-profits, foundations and governments working to improve lives.  She is an expert in evidence-based best practices for strong organizations and effective programs.  Profiled as an Emerging Leader by the Boston Business Journal in 2014, Colette holds an MBA from MIT, a Master’s of Public Administration from Harvard, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Rochester.  She serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the  Phoenix Charter Academy Network.
Panelists:
PENNY AUSTEN: Penny is the co-Founder and President of ThinkGive, a non-profit whose mission is to inspire young people to make giving a way of life.  Penny is a former Board Chair of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest and lives in Concord with her husband and three children.  Penny holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BA from McGill University.
BETH ATHANASOULAS: Beth has been actively involved with fundraising at Room to Grow, a non-profit that is dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born in poverty throughout their critical first three years of development.  For the past five years Beth and her husband Jamie have served as co-Chairs for Room to Grow’s Annual Gala, which hosts over 500 guests and raises close to $500,000.  Beth holds a BS in Environmental Science from Bates College and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
AJ GRISWOLD: A United States Olympian and gold and silver medal winner in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, AJ currently works as a sports broadcaster and has reported on four Olympics for NBC.  AJ stays close to the game of hockey serving as a youth coach, an athletic director with USA Hockey and a board member with the USA Hockey Foundation.  Along with her family,  for ten years AJ ran Charity on Ice, a fundraising event that successfully raised one million dollars to payoff construction debt for the newly constructed Nantucket Ice Community Rink.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Nashawtuc Country Club
1861 Sudbury Rd., Concord MA
Individual Tickets are $50
Tables of 8 are $400
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR TICKET
PANEL DISCUSSION DESCRIPTION
The Concord-Carlisle community is rich with examples of community members who are having a tremendous impact, both locally and regionally, addressing daunting challenges and making a significant difference.
Through their personal journeys and stories, the panelists will explore universal questions about their philanthropic efforts and share experiences about the choices they have made and the lessons they have learned.

Concord Journal, April 9, 2017: Organizations step up to support mental health services in Concord

4/13/17

By Henry Schwan

When Concord residents head to Town Meeting later this month, they will vote on dozens of warrant articles.  One that will not be voted on is a request for mental health services.  Town Manager Chris Whelan said it was a category eliminated from the budget in the mid-1990s.  However, several organizations have stepped up, supplying money and resources to help fill the gap.  Whelan said there was a “modest” amount of money for mental health programs when he became Concord town manager in January 1993, but there hasn’t been money in the budget for approximately 20 years.  “Society is beginning to realize there are consequences when people are unhealthy, physically and mentally,” Whelan said.

Local aid from the state has fallen — percentage-wise — over Whelan’s tenure, while budgets continue to rise, and one of the casualties is town funding for mental health programs.  According to the Concord Finance Department, state aid climbed from $3.6 million in 2000 to $4.1 million in 2015, but it didn’t keep pace with escalating budgets, which increased from $17 million to $37.6 million over the same period.

Whelan said local aid’s percentage of the town budget has been cut in half over his tenure in Concord — from 10 to 4.6 percent — and he said Concord has relied primarily on rising property taxes to make up for the lost revenue.  Real estate taxes represent 86.2 percent of town revenue, according to Whelan.

Donations make a difference

Donations are a revenue source helping cover the shortfall, Whelan said, and those dollars have been used for myriad expenditures, from refurbishing athletic fields and the purchase of property to improvements at the library.  Concord has also relied on donations and support from a variety of organizations to provide mental health services.

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest is one of those organizations, according to Executive Director Karen Bechtel. It receives monetary donations from individuals and businesses, and farms the money out to organizations, including some that provide mental health services.

The Community Chest works with Eliot Community Human Services in Lexington to help subsidize counseling fees for 150 residents not covered by health insurance and partly funds the salaries of Concord’s community services coordinator and youth services coordinator. Through its Cornerstone Fund, it provided $10,000 to the Concord Police Department for crisis intervention training for officers interacting with suspects facing mental health and substance abuse issues, and the Community Chest partially funds several positions at the Concord Council on Aging, including social worker, outreach worker and social services coordinator.

“Mental health issues impact the individual, family and broader community. It’s worth helping out,” Bechtel said. “As long as the community feels it’s an important issue, (the Community Chest) will continue to support mental health issues.”

Interface Referral Service

Concord residents receive referrals for mental health services through the Williams James College Interface Referral Service in Newton.  Heather Byrns, a licensed mental health counselor and clinical supervisor at Interface Referral Service, said her organization has a dual contract with Concord and Carlisle to provide free referral services for residents.  Byrns said residents call a help line and speak with clinicians, including a licensed mental health counselor, psychologist or doctoral student at William James College.  The intake process takes about 30 minutes, according to Byrns, and callers are connected with services that accept their insurance, are logistically convenient and address particular mental health challenges.

There is also follow-up to ensure callers are connected with the services they need.

“We’re helping families understand their mental health needs, and be consumers of mental health services,” Byrnes said, adding that the Interface Referral Service worked with 22 Concord residents, based on figures in the organization’s most-recent report to Concord officials.

Byrns said since the contract with Concord and Carlisle was signed in February 2013, 228 families have received referral services, and issues run the gamut, including anxiety, depression and family-related issues.

School mental health services

Mental health services in the Concord Public Schools are funded outside the town budget.  The Concord and Concord-Carlisle Regional School Districts have separate budgets, and, according to Kristen Herbert, director of teaching and learning, all Concord schools provide mental health services.  Guidance counselors and a school psychologist are in every school, Herbert said, and there are “social groups” for students encountering mental health challenges inside and outside the schools, such as parents going through a divorce.

For students facing ongoing mental health issues like depression and anxiety, Herbert said options include a 504 plan and an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  The 504 plan, according to Herbert, centers on a school counselor working with a student and parents to make sure all bases are covered.

The IEP focus is on a student with a disability, and it involves a team approach to care — special education, guidance counselor, psychologist, parents and school administrators. The team is in place for three years, according to Herbert, and depending on circumstances, the care plan is revised, and assessment meetings are then held annually.

Herbert said there is a social and emotional curriculum for all students, kindergarten through 12th grade, including topics like healthy relationships and anti-bullying techniques. In the case of acute crisis, Herbert said students are referred to outside services, like Williams James College Interface Referral Service. According to Herbert, the Concord and Concord-Carlisle Regional School Districts joined the service several years ago, at the time of several suicides at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School.

According to Herbert, school guidance counselors connect a family with the help line so the student can receive necessary services.

Herbert said as budgets become tighter, the Concord school administration has never considered cutting mental health services.  “We want students mentally able to learn, so they can succeed and grow personally,” Herbert said.

Indirect mental health services

Indirect mental health services are also provided at Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education, which Herbert oversees.

Mindfulness and yoga classes are offered at Adult and Community Education, and there is also a separate entity at the Ripley Building called the Center for Parents and Teachers.

It offers programs for parents and teachers that provide training and resources for families facing a variety of challenges, including mental health issues.

The center is supported by contributions from parents and businesses, and a grant from the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

“It’s wonderful,” Herbert said of the center.

Follow Henry Schwan on Twitter @henrycojo.

November Newsletter

karen

11/10/16

Every year our town Select Boards proclaim October to be Community Chest month. I have always found this announcement galvinizing as it reflects the deep, historical roots of the Chest in our community and the broad support of our mission. This connection and history continues to inform our future as we all serve as ambassadors for this essential community resource.

Almost 70 years ago, local citizens would knock on the doors of residents to collect donations for neighbors in need. While we no longer go door to door, we do feel the personal connection to the volunteers and donors who continue to support the Chest. It is these individuals and businesses who ensure the future of the Chest and we are constantly moved by their commitment, generosity and leadership.

While history and tradition is important to the organization, innovation is also a marked characteristic of the Chest. To this end, we have launched a new funding opportunity titled adVentures in Philanthropy: An Innovation Challenge for Non-Profits Serving Concord and Carlisle. This initiative builds on the Chest’s long history of supporting and encouraging innovation as we work together to identify the best ways to help our neighbors in need.

As we reflect on the past while planning for the future, we know in the end it all comes down to the fantastic community we live in and the abounding support for the mission of the Chest. Leaving Community Chest month behind and looking forward to the unfolding year ahead, we are energized to know we will be working in partnership with a motivated community of neighbors helping neighbors.

Best wishes,

Karen Bechtel
Executive Director

September Newsletter

karen

10/22/16

As we emerge from sunny summer days, we often have to hit the ground running with shifting schedules, priorities and fuller calendars. At the Chest, we face these more demanding days with excitement as we look forward to the new events and funding initiatives on our fall schedule.

This year we have moved our Women in Philanthropy Luncheon from the spring to Friday, October 14. The format of the event will be unique with a panel discussion focused on the connection between local and global giving. Panelists will include local residents sharing their inspiring stories of extraordinary leadership in the field of volunteerism and philanthropy.

The Chest has also launched a new funding opportunity titled adVentures in Philanthropy: An Innovation Challenge for Non-Profits Serving Concord and Carlisle. This initiative builds on the Chest’s long history of supporting and encouraging innovation as we work together to identify the best ways to help our neighbors in need.

The dedicated residents of Concord and Carlisle embody the power of what is possible when a community pulls together for the common good. It is these residents who have provided both the bedrock of support for our neighbors while continuing to innovate new programming and initiatives. The Chest was created 69 years ago with the belief that we are only as strong as our most struggling neighbor, and it continues to flourish because of the commitment of community members such as you.

Best wishes,

Karen Bechtel
Executive Director

6th Annual Women’s Luncheon

10/19/16

Please Join Us
for the
6th Annual Women in Philanthropy Luncheon

809e4911-d258-4b02-9c87-276aebf03569

Featuring
An inspiring panel discussion on how local philanthropy and volunteerism is having an impact on global issues – and vice-versa.

Moderated by:
Maggi Alexander: Center for Global Philanthropy at The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI)

Panelists:
Andrea Hewitt and Sharon Carlson: Founders, Dignity in Asylum
April Stone: Founder, Clover Foundation
Alec Walker: Concord resident notable for his support of service groups at home and abroad

Friday, October 14, 2016
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Nashawtuc Country Club
1861 Sudbury Rd., Concord MA

Individual Tickets are $50
Tables of 8 are $400

Please click HERE to reserve your tickets

Panel Discussion Description
The most pressing problems facing our local communities and the world today are complex, multifaceted and often interconnected. Yet in philanthropy, we often bifurcate our giving as either local or global, without fully appreciating or acknowledging the intertwined nature and ripple effect of both approaches. The Concord-Carlisle community is rich with examples of local organizations and donors that are having a tremendous impact, both here in our local community and also globally, addressing some of the most daunting challenges facing our planet and making a significant difference.

Through their personal journeys and stories, the panelists will explore more universal questions about their philanthropic giving, the interconnectedness of local and global approaches, and share experiences about the mistakes they have made and the lessons they have learned through their local and international philanthropy. The speakers will share their experience working with local donors and suggestions for how donors and volunteers can be better partners and philanthropy can have a greater impact.

Panelists And Rebecca Miller

June 2016

6/7/16

As we face full calendars replete with spring activity, it is important to hit the pause button and reflect on accomplishments over the past year. We value the efforts of so many who support their neighbors in need; businesses that are willing to stand behind their community; volunteers who share their skills, intelligence and time making the work of this organization so impactful; and the donors who year after year respond to requests for support.

Our Day of Giving marks the moment when the Chest officially takes this needed pause and acknowledges all that has been accomplished. This year we will again announce significant awards to social service agencies that serve our neighbors in Concord and Carlisle. The distribution of these grants is the outcome of hours of work by thoughtful grant allocation teams overseen by a dedicated volunteer board. It reflects the generosity of almost 1,200 donors who have made giving to neighbors in need a priority.

Ultimately, the Day of Giving recognizes the important work being done in our community to help its community members, including efforts that provide food and companionship to the elderly resident who is housebound; a camp experience for a child whose parents are struggling financially; sustenance for a family who finds themselves experiencing food insecurity; and free legal services to an individual escaping a dangerous living situation.

As we enjoy these final days of spring and reflect on accomplishments over the past year, we would like to pause and thank all of the wonderful people in our community who support the Chest and the incredible work being done to support neighbors in need. You inspire us every day.

Best,

Karen Bechtel

 

Celebrating Our Leaders

Board Co-Chairs 2015-2016

Amy and Trish.jpgThe Chest is dependent on the energy, talents and dedication of a broad range of volunteers. We are fortunate to live in a community that houses an abundance of talented individuals willing and able to lend their skills and their time. Leading this great effort over the past year are two co-presidents whose dedication to their community is inspiring. Amy Capofreddi has served on the board of the Chest for five years, acting as Co-Chair for the past two. Trish Siefer has been on the Board for four years serving as co-chair for one. We are endlessly grateful for their thoughtful and careful leadership of this important community institution.

 

Day of Giving

Thursday, June 9, 2016, 8:00 am

Day bof Giving 2015.jpg

The Community Chest’s Day of Giving is a special celebration of the organizations and programs that benefit the residents of Concord and Carlisle. Their incredible work, supported by dedicated volunteers and exceptionally generous donors, translates into meaningful aid for our neighbors. During this morning event, grant awards are distributed and the important work of volunteers recognized.

Summer Camp

Fun in the Sun for Everyone

As the weather warms and thoughts of summer emerge, visions of camp experiences are on many people’s minds. Without support from the Chest however, financial constraints make this experience an impossibility for many families. Through two donor-supported funds as well as scholarships offered through Concord Recreation, this year the Chest will provide funds to help almost 90 children attend summer camp.

Red Feather Circle

Create your lasting legacy by joining the Red Feather Circle

We invite you to consider providing for the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest in your estate plan. Legacy gifts help ensure funding for the future work of the Chest, allowing it in turn to meet the most urgent needs of our beloved towns, as those evolve over time.

As the Chest considers its fiscal sustainability in a time of increasing competition for charitable dollars, we invite you to add to your investment in our work by making a legacy gift to the Chest. Legacy Gifts – sometimes known as planned gifts – will help us build a pipeline of future support, thereby ensuring that our work can continue.

To speak with someone in confidence about legacy giving and our Red Feather Circle, please contact Karen Bechtel, Executive Director of the Community Chest, at Karen@cccommunitychest.org , or 978-369-5250.

Day Bof Giving 2015.jpg

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Newsletter: April 2016

4/15/16

In my initial draft of this letter, I spoke of witnessing the first signs of spring as I peer out my window. Then I read the weather forecast. I turned my thoughts to the resiliency of New Englanders as they face impending snow in April.  With a sense of incredulity, we respond to these sudden changes with humor and a shared understanding to always expect the unexpected.

Even as we ponder returning to our storage bins to retrieve gloves and scarfs, we remain excited about the Chest’s activity and celebrations during these spring months.  For the past three years the Chest has ushered in this new season with its Spring Fling Gala.  The event will be held on Friday, April 8th at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.  Whether guests will be dressed in brightly colored spring outfits or elegantly wrapped in scarfs, it is one of my favorite evenings of the year as we share the spirit of community and our willingness to help our neighbors.

The month of April also marks the end of the Grant Allocations process with teams making final recommendations for awards to worthy organizations.  From funding an organization that provides a coordinated community response to domestic violence or a program that pairs at-risk elementary school students with CCHS mentors, I am constantly in awe of the dedicated work being done in our community to support neighbors in need.

April 30th also marks the end of our campaign.  With over $612,000 in requests from local social service organizations, we look towards our community members who are willing and able to provide the needed funds to help us serve these essential organizations.  Most importantly, we rely on your generosity to support our neighbors who, often unexpectedly, find themselves in need of help.  We deeply appreciate and admire the unwavering support of our fellow community members to the Chest and continue to look to your leadership during the final days of the campaign.

Best,
Karen Bechtel

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Newsletter: February 2016

2/15/16

With shorter days and dipping temperatures, an inclination can arise to become more insular. As I reflect on the past months at the Chest however, I find that the cold weather does not drive our community inward. With a tenacious spirit that is such an essential characteristic of our community, we continue to reach out, engage and make meaningful connections.

Last week the Chest was incredibly fortunate to host Dr. Annie Brewster, Founder and Executive Director of Health Story Collaborative for our community speaker event. Her message of building community through story telling was inspiring as was her drive to create a solution to an identified problem. At the Chest, we believe that giving voice to those who are struggling and offering support and compassion is essential for a strong community. Likewise, we know that supporting the launching of new initiatives that answer the call of emerging needs allows our towns to thrive and serve its populations.

At the speaker event I had the opportunity to connect with current board members and overseers, donors who have been giving for more than 40 years and volunteers who have tirelessly offered their time. I continue to be awed by the depth of commitment by such a broad range of community members. This commitment is regenerated every year with a new group of 32 dedicated allocation members who come together to review grant submissions and meet with non-profit organizations doing such important work in our community.

While many of us look forward to sunny days and leaving our heavy coats behind, we are fortunate to benefit from a hearty New England spirit that embraces challenges and generates a warmth and energy that sustains us through these cold months.

Best,
Karen Bechtel

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Newsletter: December 2015

12/15/15

It is a wonderful time of year to be in the center of Concord. As we watch the decorations appear, witness the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and enjoy the town pride as we marched through Concord Center for the tree lighting, we are constantly reminded that we live in a vibrant area that celebrates its sense of community.

It was this strong sense of community that helped launch the Chest 68 years ago. Long-time Community Chest supporter Mary Johnson, reflecting on five decades of service says, “At the beginning the Chest was real homespun. It’s come a long way, but there remains a vital community connection. It’s proactive, dynamic, it is right out there all the time.”

Today we see a continued call to action to from a range of community members: A group of neighborhood children raising money for the Chest by selling lemonade and cookies; a parent stopping by to collect materials for a family discussion about philanthropy; a local business looking for creative ways they can generate giving to the Holiday Gift Drive; or a group of high school freshmen raising money for gift cards for our most at-risk community members.

Every day, and especially at this time of year, we are reminded of the generosity and compassion of our community. From all of us at the Chest, happy holidays and best wishes for the new year.

Warmly,
Karen Bechtel

Please Consider the Community Chest
… when making your year-end gifts

As an organization that has been around for 68 years, we deeply value the long-term commitment our community has made to sustain the Community Chest’s mission. We celebrate our donors whose loyalty is unwavering. We appreciate those who are in the position to make donations and who choose to support the Chest. We are constantly amazed every year by the willingness of community members to answer the call to help neighbors in need.

Thank you if you have already given this year. If you have not, we hope you will consider helping your neighbors with a gift to the Community Chest.

The Community Chest needs your Support

Together we can continue to strengthen our community. It starts with you.

DONATE TODAY

On the Mat Yoga to Sponsor Fundraiser

Thursday, December 17 at 10:30 am

Beloved yoga instructors Ramsay Trussell and Sammy Brown Goodrich have generously agreed to host a fundraising class to benefit the Community Chest’s “When in Need”(WIN) Fund at On The Mat Yoga in Concord. Ramsay and Sammy will teach a deep stretch and flow class that is suitable for all levels, beginners to experienced yogis, ending with a spacious savasana and guided meditation. The class will cost $18 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the WIN Fund. Space is limited so please sign up as soon as possible at httpss://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=7314

The WIN Fund provides one-time, emergency funding for individuals or families in crisis. It is unique in its ability to respond immediately and appropriately to unexpected calls for support. Examples of recent WIN Fund projects include:

  • Funding for temporary housing for a homeless resident
  • Rent payment for a resident suffering a medical crisis and unable to pay
  • A public transportation pass to enable a resident to get to work
  • Payment of a heating bill for a struggling resident who lost her job
  • Emergency funds for dental surgery for a young resident

Holiday Gift Drive
….Ends Tomorrow, December 16!

The Community Chest has teamed up again with Concord Youth Services to collect holiday gifts for families in need. This program has grown from 31 children in need of assistance in 2013, 87 children in need in 2014 to an unanticipated 137 children representing 63 families requesting assistance this year.

If you have any new, unused items, please consider donating them to the Drive. We are in particular need of gifts for teens. Festive drop boxes can be found at the Concord and Carlisle schools, Cambridge Trust Bank, Cambridge Savings, Middlesex Savings, Concord Recreation and Beede Center, Concord Council on Aging, Concord Town House, Fritz & Gigi, CVS, Sara Campbell, Concord Toy Shop and the Mane Escape

If you can’t make it to a drop off box, please feel free to coordinate a drop off at the office by calling 978-369-5250. Thank you so much to those who have already contributed gifts.

Thank you to Our Local Business Partners

We greatly appreciate your support

We want to thank our business community for its incredible support. On Giving Tuesday, Juju and Juju for Men selected the Chest as its non-profit partner and donated 10% of all sales. J. McLaughlin hosted a sip and shop on December 6 with 15% of sales benefiting the Chest. The Concord Bookshop hosted volunteer wrappers with generous shoppers making donations to the Chest. And Fritz and Gigi donated proceeds from its sale of Salt Marsh Pottery. We deeply value this opportunity to collaborate with our business neighbors.

Save the Dates!

Speaker Event: Building Community By Sharing Stories

Who? Dr. Annie Brewster

What? Founder and Executive Director of Health Story Collaborative

When? Monday, February 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Where? The Fenn School, Ward Hall, 516 Monument Street, Concord, MA 01742

We are very fortunate to be hosting Dr. Annie Brewster for our speaker event this year. Dr. Brewster founded the non-profit organization Health Story Collaborative to keep the patient voice alive in healthcare and to harness the healing power of stories. By collecting, honoring and sharing stories of illness and healing, Health Story Collaborative makes the process of navigating illness less isolating and empowers individuals and families facing health challenges. HSC’s belief, supported by research, is that storytelling is healing for both story sharers and listeners. Stories have the power to transform individuals as well as the healthcare system.

Annual Women’s Luncheon on Thursday, March 10 from 11:30 – 1:00 at the Nashawtuc Country Club.

This year’s featured speaker will be Linda Rossetti, author of book “Women in Transition: Reinventing Work and Life.” Her book was written as a resource to help guide women through the process of choosing a transition. As one past event attendee said “you have so carefully and thoughtfully given voice and structure to an issue that millions of women and some men face throughout their lives.”

Spring Fling Gala!

Please join us for the third annual Spring Fling Gala on April 8, 2016 at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. Wonderful people, great food and a fabulous cause. You will not want to miss it!

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest: Appreciating our History and Informing our Future

11/19/15

This article is one in a series about the organizations supported by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Fifty years ago, if you did not donate to the Community Chest, a neighbor would come knocking at your door. For ten days during October citizens fanned out across town in search of funds to service those in need. It took such a spirited sense of community to create the Concord Community Chest in 1947.


Winthrop Lee, one of the four founding members, recalled it was Morgan Smith who had the idea to break away from the regional Red Feather Campaign, the predecessor to the United Way. Red Feather balked at Concord’s forming its own group, but the local leaders could not be dissuaded. Past Board president Mary Johnson, whose husband, Franklin, was a founder, said accountability was a key reason for the change. ‘When you gave locally you knew where your money was going,’ she says.

Once Concord was on its own, the fundraising campaign generated a groundswell of grassroots enthusiasm. With military-like precision canvassers were organized into neighborhood teams. Boy Scouts tacked up posters featuring the now familiar Community Chest Minute Man on utility poles all around town.

Can you identify any of these people?

The early campaigns were buoyed by the local newspapers. In 1947 The Concord Journal banner was turned into an image of a group of people pulling the plowing Minute Man toward the fund-raising goal. A column, ‘Chest Chatter’ announced events and happenings and each agency published its own description of it services in the K.Y.C.C. – Know Your Community Chest.

Over the years needs have changed and agencies have come and gone. Carlisle joined with the Concord Community Chest in 1968, just about the same time that the regional high school was graduating its first class.

The design of the campaign brochures themselves has gone from the sedate 1950s, through the flashy ’70s (a bright green flyer with a line drawing doubled as a kitchen wall decoration), to the more graphically sophisticated ’90s, to its current vibrant design of blues and greens. Through it all the Community Chest has maintained its primary mission of neighbors helping neighbors.

Barbara Howland, Executive Director starting in the 1990’s recalls that she brought town leaders and Chest agencies together to help identify emerging risky health behaviors, evaluate and prioritize actions, and initiate new programs. The Chief of Police, Superintendent of Schools, Emerson Hospital leaders and Concord Recreation Directors worked collaboratively with interested residents and businesses to expand social services offerings, educate parents and the community on these issues and share local services that would help individuals who need them. Several Community Chest agencies therefore expanded their programs to meet relevant and new social service needs in Concord and Carlisle.

In recent years the Chest has continued its efforts to be a catalyst for community problem-solving. During Astrid Williams’ tenure as Executive Director, important bridges were built between community need and the creation of support systems. In particular, two positions were created and initially fully funded by the Community Chest; the Community Services Coordinator and the Concord-Carlisle Youth Services Coordinator.

In speaking about changes he has observed since serving as Co-Executive Director, Richard Fahlander talked about the increase expenses associated with living in our community and its impact on our residents. The Chest continues to respond to emerging community need, and as financial stresses increase, it will strive to meet these needs with agility and purpose.

Mary Johnson, reflecting on five decades of service says, “At the beginning the Chest was real homespun. It’s come a long way, but there remains a vital community connection. It’s proactive, dynamic, it is right out there all the time.”

An early photo of two Chest representatives with the first logo. Gilbert M. Roddy is on the right. Can you identify the gentleman on the left?

The Community Chest uses its history to help inform the future and we would love to hear your stories. Please contact us at info@cccommunitychest.org or call our offices at (978)369-5250.

An Early Photo Of Two Chest Representatives With The First Logo. Gilbert M. Roddy Is On The Right. Can You Identify The Gentleman On The Left?

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Newsletter: November 2015

11/15/15

Looking out our window at 19 Main Street in Concord, I feel in the center of much of our community activity. People running or walking, meeting friends, shopping and connecting with their neighbors – it is a vibrant town center.

Inside the four walls of our office, my daily interactions remind me that the Chest’s mission also places us at the center of community activity. With board members and volunteers coming to the office to lead, advise and support this important community institution, I am able to engage with some of the most interesting and community-minded leaders in our towns.

Today board member Dr. Henry Vaillant stopped by. Henry is a widely respected Concord resident known for his dedication to the Chest and his commitment to our community. He is also appreciated for his exceptional ability to turn a phrase – whatever is said, it is always unexpected and often alarmingly funny. With wisdom and wit, his deep commitment to the Chest strengthens the fabric of our community.

Today I also interacted with Aileen Buford, our dedicated and talented town social worker. Aileen had received a call about a family in an unsafe living situation and was searching for an alternative. Within hours of sending an email to Chest contacts requesting help for this family, I received multiple offers from individuals who are willing and able to help find an improved living situation.

From witnessing the vibrancy of the community outside our office window, to interacting with its residents inside, I am reminded on a daily basis of the central role the Chest plays in our community. I am endlessly proud to be part of this Concord-Carlisle institution.

Best,

Karen Bechtel
Executive Director

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest: There when life throws curve balls

11/12/15

By Faith Bade

This article is one in a series about the organizations supported by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Imagine that your son suddenly moves back home with his two children, a four-month old baby and three-year-old. Their mother has become addicted to drugs and this young family is devastated. You are now a grandmother helping to raise two very young children. All of you need help.

Imagine you are a widow with a young son. Recent medical issues mean you can no longer work. You have to get medical treatments during the day and your son has nowhere to go that is safe and welcoming. You both need help.


Imagine you are a young mother who left a violent marriage. Your ex-husband kidnaps your child and drives her across the country. You are so afraid and you need help.

Imagine you are a young woman, with a good job and enough money to support yourself. Yet, you steal a beautiful item from a boutique shelf and are caught. You need help.

No one ever plans on needing help. It happens. Life does throw curve balls.

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest has been here to help since 1947. We believe that the Community Chest is uniquely positioned to help identify, evaluate and address the most pressing human service needs in our community. We provide significant financial support to nonprofits, town agencies, individuals and local projects and we offer events to strengthen our community. In 2014-2015 alone, The Chest granted over $560,000 to local programs: 25% to Food, Health, & Safety; 20% to Elder Services; 19% to Mental & Physical Disabilities; 18% to Education for Children & Adults, and 18% to Legal Aid & Scholarships.

Through grants awarded from the Community Chest, and funded by your generous donations, the:

  • Concord Area Preschool Association provides scholarships for Concord and Carlisle families who could not otherwise afford the cost of preschool.
  • Concord Children’s Center gives partial tuition to approximately 20 children whose families live and work in Concord and Carlisle.
  • Concord Recreation Department provides scholarship support to approximately 70 Concord and Carlisle families annually. These families can then afford to attend summer camp.
  • Metro West Legal Services offers free civil legal services to poor, elderly, and disabled residents of Concord and Carlisle.
  • Communities for Restorative Justice offers an alternative to the traditional judicial system, thus increasing the capacity of direct services.

So, what happens to some of those in need? Because of your generosity, and through grants awarded by the Community Chest, the Concord Children’s Center provided care for the four-month-old and three-year-old, identified learning delays, accessed support services, and helped stabilize a challenging situation. The Concord Recreation Department provided the widowed mother with a scholarship of almost $4,000 covering a whole summer of a supervised, safe, and fun camp program for her son. A lawyer from Metro West Legal Services was in court each day for a week and the ex-husband returned the child to our community.

And the young woman caught stealing? She found herself in a restorative circle with a police officer, the owner of the boutique, and a facilitator. She learned how hard it is to run a small business and spoke about what was happening in her own life. She worked with her Communities for Restorative Justice facilitator, entered therapy, and made changes in her life and relationships. After fulfilling obligations to the boutique owner, she returned for the closing circle to apologize, celebrate, and begin a new phase of life.

These neighbors received help because of the Community Chest – and because of you! Support neighbors helping neighbors by contributing to our annual campaign, which ends on April 30. Visit www.cccommunitychest.org or call 978-369-5250 to donate or learn more about our work and the programs we support.

Faith Bade is a Board Member of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest and a 16-year resident of Concord.

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest: Enriching lives for those with mental, physical disabilities

11/5/15

By Trish Siefer

This article is one in a series about the organizations supported by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Each weekday, my morning begins with the beeping sound of a van backing up in my neighbor’s driveway. When I first moved to my home in West Concord, I wondered what the van’s arrival was for each day? I came to find out it was from Minute Man Arc, a 57-year-old organization that is committed to enhancing the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities of all ages. The van transports my neighbors and others in the community to Minute Man Arc’s location on Forest Ridge Road, where participants learn new skills and receive therapeutic services. It also takes many of these residents to various jobs in Concord and the surrounding area. These individuals are performing important work in our community at places like Emerson Hospital, Crosby’s Market and Corporate Chefs.

My neighbors are a special group – 8 adult men with disabilities who live at “Emerson House,” which is run by Minute Man Arc. My children now know our neighbors well; they exchange happy greetings on the sidewalk while our neighbors get in and out of their van, on my kids’ daily walk to and from school. Interacting with these neighbors has become part of our family’s daily routine. We see them walking to church, socializing in their yard, and getting in and out of their van each day.

I am grateful that my children get to interact with our neighbors. It is important for them to know that there are all different types of neighbors in our community and some neighbors need special care. It is also important for my children to know how lucky they are to live in a community that supports people no matter what their challenges may be. In Concord, we have several well established non-profit organizations that enhance and change the lives of those with mental or physical challenges. These special organizations help to heal, teach, create joy, and provide opportunities and meaningful social interaction for those with mental or physical disabilities.

As mentioned earlier, Minute Man Arc for Human Services, Inc. supports people with developmental and intellectual disabilities throughout their lives. This organization is committed to enhancing the quality of life for people with mental or physical challenges by increasing inclusion in the community, maximizing personal choice and decision making, and supporting people to achieve full potential in all areas of their lives. As Chief Executive Officer Jean Goldsberry states, “Our overall goal is to help people have lives just like anyone else…to be part of the Community. Everything we do is aimed to help people achieve their goals and to have a better life every day.”

Another well established organization that supports Concord residents is The Eliot Center. Eliot began in the early 1960’s, when it was founded by Abigail Eliot, a Concord resident and well known innovator in early childhood education, who founded Walden Clinic, a child guidance clinic. Today, Eliot provides a wide range of community- based services for individuals and families of all ages, including crisis intervention, diagnostic evaluation, individual, couple, family and group therapy, psychopharmacological services, information and referral, consultation and case management services, school-based services and 24-hour emergency coverage. “Eliot strives to make the process of accessing mental health services as easy as possible,” states Deborah Garfield, Director of Clinical Services. “The support we receive from the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest ensures that services are available regardless of a person’s financial situation or the complexity of their problems. As a community based center, we believe strongly in supporting our clients in all areas of their lives. This is what makes our services unique and it’s how we know we’ve made a difference. “ About 150 Concord and Carlisle residents were served last year. Eliot is committed to serving the most vulnerable of populations, those who are most at risk and have limited or no resources to access help. They provide a continuum of care to a varied population.

In addition, The Nature Connection, based in Concord, has a unique program that brings the power of nature to people with limited or no access to the outside world. Since 1983, the Nature Connection has brought educational and therapeutic nature programs to hospitals, residential schools, at-risk youth programs, special needs facilities, nursing home and Alzheimer’s care programs. Each visit combines seasonal natural materials, live animals, and hands-on activities that engage participants and expands the boundaries of their lives. It connects individuals with nature’s capacity to heal, teach and create joy. “Our Concord and Carlisle landscapes are among the most beautiful in the country,” said Sophie Wadsworth, Executive Director of The Nature Connection. “And yet in mental health and rehab settings, residents have few opportunities to connect with the natural world. A girl with profound anxiety connects with a therapy rabbit, then her peers: taking first steps toward healing. A wheelchair-bound elder reaches to smell a rosemary plant: advancing in his occupational therapy goals, he also feels renewed joy. We are thankful to the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest and all of its donors for support of this program.”

Finally, the Friday Night Fun Club has been providing social activities for those who face a variety of developmental disabilities since 1974. This program was started by parents who were eager to form a social network for their kids who had developmental disabilities and lived at home. Today, the club has 45 active members (men and women ages 18-65) at its monthly events, such as the “Sneaker Prom.” This club does not focus on what its members cannot do; rather, it focuses on providing meaningful social interaction for them.

I feel so fortunate to live in a community that supports all of our neighbors, no matter who they are or what their life challenges may be. It makes our community a stronger place for all of us to live. I look forward to that beeping sound of the van in my neighbor’s driveway each day as it is a constant reminder of the engaged, supportive community in which we live.

Please visit the Community Chest website at cccommunitychest.org/who-we-help/ for more information about each organization and how you can connect with them.
The Eliot Center
Friday Night Fun Club
Minute Man Arc for Human Services, Inc.
The Nature Connection

Trish Siefer has lived in Concord for over 15 years. Trish is a member of the Board of Directors of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest: The importance of education and program for children and adults

12/5/15

By Kelly Driscoll

This article is one in a series about the organizations supported by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Being a board member of the Chest has expanded my understanding of the need within the Concord-Carlisle community. I deeply admire the amount of important and impactful work being done by a range of organizations to support our neighbors; important work often being delivered quietly yet effectively.

I have seen how the Chest is uniquely positioned to help identify, evaluate and address the most pressing human service needs in our community and support this essential work. It provides significant financial support to nonprofits, town agencies and local projects. The Chest is able to see what is needed and respond, supporting the efforts of the committed and talented individuals delivering services to some of our most at-risk community members. In some instances it serves as the primary funder of small programs or positions.

The Youth Services Coordinator is an example of a position that emerged from an identified need and is funded primarily by the Chest.

The position was initially created in 2009-2010 as part of a long-term response plan developed by the Town of Concord after a series of youth suicides impacted the town. Current Youth Services Coordinator Jennifer Clarke facilitates coordination and collaboration amongst stakeholders and is able to bridge the gap between community need and available resources. Ms. Clarke states: “Our community is fortunate to have a wealth of resources and services to support healthy youth development. Highlighting these opportunities gives us a chance to do great prevention work. That said, youth and families are not immune to life challenges and unforeseen circumstances that require increased intervention. Our ability to empower youth and families with resources they need and the tools to navigate tricky situations is important to maintaining a healthy, vibrant youth community.”

The Teen Buddy program is another impactful program primarily supported by the Chest. Teen Buddy is a social mentoring program designed to provide older student/younger student mentoring opportunities in a structured program of social enrichment activities. Julee Vitello, program administrator, describes the value of the program: “It’s amazing to watch how the friendships develop and the student-to-student relationships mature over the year, and sometimes over several years. Children are connecting to peers and other students that they may never have met; and they are being exposed to activities that they may not have been exposed to otherwise. I am especially thrilled when former little buddies return on their own, and volunteer for the programs as Concord-Carlisle High School students.”

As community members, we all benefit from the range of wonderful programming. The Chest also provides access to programs that would be unavailable to those on restrictive budgets. Through its grant making, the Chest offers financial aid to 150 qualified families and individuals who wish to benefit from the Concord-Carlisle Community Education program, thus making the diverse offerings in the course catalogue available to many more.

I feel fortunate to live in a town with such tremendous resources. Likewise, I feel very fortunate to have an organization like the Chest that continues to identify what is missing. Where can we offer support? How can we make the tremendous range of programming available to all community members? How can we support the work of the dedicated individuals providing services to the most at-risk individuals? Finally, I feel grateful to my community neighbors who support the Chest and allow it to implement its important mission.

Additional Education & Programs for Children and Adults funded by the Community Chest:
Center for Parents and Teachers
Emerson Hospital Pediatric Intervention
English at Large
First Connections

Kelly Driscoll has lived in Carlisle for 14 years and is a board member of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest: Inside the magical workings of Concord’s Open Table

10/29/15

By Jeanine Calabria

This article is one in a series about the organizations supported by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

I like to think of Open Table as Brigadoon, the mythical Scottish town that appears out of nowhere, attracting visitors who fall in love and can’t bear to leave. But while Brigadoon appeared only every century, Open Table conjures up, every week, a feast for 100. Beautiful centerpieces and dishes are prepared by a team of caring cooks. Bags of nutritious foods fill the pantry and are carried home by guests. And this magic has recurred, week after week, for 26 years.

Of course, it’s not magic. It takes volunteers and community groups to deliver this free community service. A single night at Open Table requires at least 75 volunteers. They work at so many different shifts during the day that most have no idea that they are a team of so many.

At 8 a.m. pantry pickups begin at neighboring bakeries and grocery stores. At the Everett Street Pantry, six volunteers sort the recent donations from food drives at the Concord Children’s Center and the Concord Recreation Department. Once that is accomplished they will begin packing bags to lbe transported to the First Parish Church by Fenn School students or the NuPath team of adults with developmental disabilities. During the day, flowers from a local florist and centerpieces assembled by the National Charity League are dropped off. Home-baked muffins and breads are donated by National Charity League as well.

During the afternoon a work team from Minute Man Arc sets up the tables, chairs and the pantry distribution site. It’s a scene of high fives and industrious workers. Later, food is delivered from different sources. For instance, Gaining Ground brings the abundance of the season in a rush of color and fragrance.

Soon the guests arrive and make the tableau complete; friends, neighbors and first timers all find a place at the table. Everyone is greeted and served. Conversation hums as pantry numbers are called and people leave their tables to shop. Social support volunteers stroll the room, helping visitors gain access to community services. One volunteer helps a guest fill out a fuel assistance form and explains how the system works. Another calls out to that it’s “Coat Give-Away Night” when each guest is invited to shop for a gently used coat and winter clothing. MetroWest Legal Services comes monthly to provide legal advice. The Domestic Violence Service Network is often present. Young volunteers help guests out to their cars with their packages and guests begin their slow departure home from Open Table.

After dessert is served and the last guest leaves, high school students from Middlesex School arrive to dismantle Open Table. Tables and chairs are put away. Tarps are stored in the basement. Bags of unused food are driven back to the Everett Street pantry. Laughter and clinking dishes form background noise while executives and students swap stories and wash dishes.

One of the oldest regular guests is helped to her car. Many of the students call out to her. Week after week she calls me “doll” and asks how my family is doing. Her rich, full life doesn’t include a retirement package at the end, but Open Table gives her socialization, human contact and healthy food. My mood lightens whenever I see her, and I think: “Who is benefitting most – me or her?”

I turn and switch off the lights. The church hall is quiet and empty. No traces left of the magical world of Open Table except the lingering aroma of what was served.

Jeanine Calabria is the President of Open Table. She has lived in Concord since 2003 with her husband Carl and three children and is currently writing a memoir cook book that she hopes to have published in 2016.

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest and Elder Services: It takes a village to help a senior stay home

10/15/15

By Liz Harvey

This article is one in a series about the organizations supported by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Looking forward we know that an aging population in our towns, challenging economic times for many and amplified stresses in our world will increase the demand for elder services. A look at our nation’s demographics reveals that the older cohort numbers will keep climbing until the year 2030 and will hold steady at these very high levels until 2050.

We also know that within Concord and Carlisle lies an array of non-profit organizations dedicated to serving the needs of our aging population. These organizations are providing seniors with opportunities that enhance their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs.

Currently in Carlisle 20 percent of the total population is comprised of seniors. The Carlisle Council on Aging serves this community in a number of ways: information referrals, transportation to appointments, medical equipment, educational and exercise programs and respite care. The Carlisle COA also offers monthly lunches, book groups, exercise classes and a multitude of opportunities for seniors to come together as a community.

Importantly, the Carlisle COA also facilitates connections between its senior population and the broader community either by asking its residents to look out for an elderly neighbor or to serve as a volunteer at the COA. As Angela Smith, outreach and program manager says, “It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to help a senior stay in their home safely.” A drive to a doctor’s appointment, shoveling a mailbox out after a storm, picking up a prescription or delivering a hot dinner through the Meals on Wheels program; each action can have such a significant impact on the life of a neighbor.

“Concord is a lovely town in which to grow old. There is so much support here.”

The Concord Council on Aging is also dedicated to improving the quality of life of seniors. Bonny Wilbur, program supervisor for the Concord COA says “Concord is a lovely town in which to grow old. There is so much support here.” The Concord COA offers a welcoming and friendly atmosphere at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center with a range of programs to include speakers, trips, social events and classes. Social workers are available to reach out to seniors in need with home visits, offering support to those with health, housing or financial needs. The Concord COA also involves the community in achieving its mission by engaging over 100 volunteers to help run an art gallery, provide yard work, offer computer tutorials, cell phone assistance, income tax assistance and general office support.

David Klein, executive director of Carlisle COA says, “Life comes full circle in that early on we are dependent on others and as we continue to live to older and older ages we often become once again dependent on others. In the elder services sphere a lot of resources go into helping those 85 and up. However, as it becomes more and more common to see people at these ages or even older we need to continue to develop ways to not only offer support, but to help folks retain as much of their independence as possible.”

The following is a list of the other non-profits supported by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest that serve our senior population. Please visit the Community Chest website at for more information about each organization and how you can connect with them.

Concord Housing Authority

Cooperative Elder Services

Minuteman Senior Services.

Liz Harvey has lived in Concord for more than 16 years. She was formerly on the board of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest and now serves as the organization’s associate director.

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest needs your help

9/24/15

By Faith Bade

I can think of so many times my neighbors have helped me. Plowing me out. Helping with a sick child. Walking my dogs. Advising on parenting. Making me laugh. My neighbors have babysat my children, driven me to the hospital and fed my family. We are neighbors, and I feel so lucky to be the recipient of their care.

I love our community, and I worry we may lose this sense of neighbor helping neighbor. There are so many neighbors in our community who need help. Do you know someone who is in need? Do you have a need? Are you in a domestic violence situation? Do you require legal advice? Do you need transportation to medical appointments? Does your child need early intervention due to a physical or learning disability? Do you need help in getting food on the table? Do you need mental health care? Do you need financial assistance to send your child to preschool, daycare, after-school care, or camp?

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest knows about need. The Community Chest is about neighbors helping neighbors. The Community Chest began as a rebel, breaking away from a predecessor of the United Way in 1947 to focus on local fundraising and programs. Past Board President Mary Johnson, whose husband was a founder, said accountability was a key reason for the change. “When you give locally you knew where your money was going,” she said. Carlisle joined with Concord in 1968 to form a community organization to “give where you live” benefiting residents of Concord and Carlisle.

Read More

The Chest names the Inaugural Recipient of the Maura Lawton Perkins Award

6/21/15

The Community Chest established the Maura Lawton Perkins award, which recognizes extraordinary volunteer commitment to the Chest. The award is named to honor Maura Perkins, who was an active Chest board member and tireless supporter of the work of the Chest and its member organizations. Maura’s optimism, energy, caring and thoughtfulness exemplified the mission of the Community Chest. The Maura Lawton Perkins award will be presented annually to a Chest volunteer who embodies Maura’s qualities, who gets involved, always sees the good and is hopeful.

The inaugural recipient of the Maura Lawton Perkins Award is Ken Yang. Mr. Yang is a three-year volunteer for the Chest. Mr. Yang works diligently, reliably and with a smile on his face and makes a big impact in the office. The Chest is very grateful for his warmth and dedication.

Maura Lawon Perkins

Ken Yang – Inagural recipient

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest presents $570,000 in grant awards (2015)

6/16/15

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest awarded more than $570,000 to 28 human service agencies and programs at its annual Day of Giving Ceremony held at the Trinitarian Congregational Church last week.

Thanks to the generosity of community members and local businesses, the Chest awarded a record level of grant funding this year. Executive Director Karen Bechtel stated, “These vital programs do the work each and every day of the year to help our neighbors in need. The work they do is essential and challenging. The Chest is honored to be able to partner with them.”

Top business sponsors were also presented with special awards for longstanding financial commitment to the Community Chest: Cambridge Savings Charitable Foundation, Cambridge Trust Company, Middlesex Savings Bank and the DiGiovanni family.

In addition to the award ceremony, the Chest held its annual meeting, electing Sandy Caggiano, Jennifer Gates, Sarah Hoch and Richard Wells as new members to the board of directors for three-year terms. Retiring board members Amanda Hickman and Alyssa Bigay were elected to the board of overseers.

In memory of one of the Chest’s past board members and a generous Concord volunteer, the Maura Lawton Perkins Award was presented by Astrid Williams and Bill Perkins to Ken Yang, dedicated volunteer at the Chest.

Community Chest grant allocations team members present the award letter to Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ). Left to right are Jim Carter, Chest grant team member; Lauren Rosenzweig Morton, C4RJ board president; Erin Freeborn, C4RJ executive director; Bob Furey, Chest grant team and board member; and Ali Sullivan, Chest grant team member. Courtesy photo / Harley Freedman

Community Chest Grant Allocations Team Members Present The Award Letter To Communities For Restorative Justice (C4RJ). Left To Right Are Jim Carter, Chest Grant Team Member; Lauren Rosenzweig Morton, C4RJ Board President; Erin Freeborn, C4RJ Executive Director; Bob Furey, Chest Grant Team And Board Member; And Ali Sullivan, Chest Grant Team Member. Courtesy Photo / Harley Freedman

Concord-Carlisle student service honored at ‘Class Act Awards’

6/4/15

Concord-Carlisle High School Principal Peter Badalament stepped up to the mike at the high school’s new airy auditorium to welcome students, parents, coaches, and advisors to what he described as his favorite night of the year.

“Students don’t know they’ve won something,” he explained. Without any thought of reward, the students, as participants in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, did what needed to be done. Nominated by their club advisors, coaches, or volunteer coordinators from various non-profits, students received awards from the Rotary Club of Concord, Concord-Carlisle High School, the Concord Carlisle Community Chest, Youth in Philanthropy and 2Volunteer.

As the Class Act Award winners’ names advanced on a screen behind him, Badalament overviewed the many extra-curricular opportunities where students apply learning and practice teamwork. Before introducing keynote speaker Jeanine Roche Calabria, Badalament led a round of applause for all who had supported the students in their endeavors.

Read More

CCHS student Lauren Backerman, winner of Rotary’s Interact Club Award with Keynote Speaker Jeanine Roche Calabria of Open Table.

Nick Wilbur, winner of Rotary’s History Reading Club Award, with his mother, Bonny Wilbur and grandmother Mart Doig.

‘Give Back Day’ benefits Concord nonprofits

3/26/15

Concord’s business community is inviting the public to help support local nonprofits during the annual Give Back Day Saturday, March 28 2015.

Those who shop at participating stores can do so knowing that 5 percent of sales will go to the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Read More

11037698 890561444297428 6117557861941089202 N

Let the good times roll

3/20/15

By Henry Schwan

Concord has a new King of Pop. Move over Michael Jackson, because Brian Fruscione is in town.

The Concord resident displayed some impressive break dance moves Friday night that would have made the late Jackson proud.

“I love break dancing,” Fruscione said. “My brother taught me.”

Minus Jackson’s signature white glove and sequined jacket, Fruscione boogied down with friends from the Friday Night Fun Club inside a dimly lit gym at the Sudbury Recreation Center.

A disc jockey spun tunes and two light boxes flashed multi-colored lights while dancers moved to the sounds of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.”

One might say Friday Night Fun Club has generated good vibes since its inception in 1974, when parents started the club to provide social activities for their children, who face a variety of developmental disabilities. Back in the early ‘70s, there were few, if any, social services for the developmentally disabled and parents were eager to form a social network for their kids, who lived at home.

Read More

Brian Fruscione, Of Concord, Finds His Groove During The "Sneaker Prom," Sponsored By The Concord Based Organization Friday Night Fun Night, Which Is A Group Of Parents And Their Developmentally Disabled Children, Many Of Whom Are Adults, On Friday Night, March 13, 2015 At The Sudbury Recreation Complex. Wicked Local Staff Photo/David Gordon

Grant Review Process Underway

2/3/15

A team of 35 dedicated volunteers from Concord and Carlisle gathered to begin the important annual review of grant applications received by the Chest.

This year, the Chest received 30 applications for funding from local programs and non-profits, which will be carefully evaluated over the next several months. Members of the Grant Allocations Committee include: Faith Bade, Kevin Balboni, Susanna Barton, Alyson Becker, Sandy Caggiano, Paul Caliandro, Pam Callahan, Jim Carter, Hedi Charde, Lauren Dillon, Kelly Driscoll, Jean Easterday, Christina Economos, Mark Engerman, Jeff Fraser, Bob Furey, Jennifer Gates, Natalie Gekle, Sarah Hoch, Laura Hoffman, Ben James, Caty Kessler, Heather MacPhee, Greg Mueller, Lesley Nesbitt, Meri-Sue Nuzum, Seema Peterson, Wade Rubinstein, Sally Schnitzer, Carol Smith, Jennifer Soillis, Alison Sullivan, Beth Thut, Richard Wells and Dianne Wesselhoeft. Thank you for all of your work!

Committee Photo Grant Alloc IMG 1701

The Chest Moves its Office Space!

2/1/15

The Chest has relocated its offices to 19 Main Street in Concord Center. We are thrilled to have our new space be at the crossroad between Concord and Carlisle. We hope to have an open house this spring, so stay tuned! In the meantime, please stop by to say hello if you are in the neighborhood! Regular office hours are M-Th 8:30am-2:00pm or by appointment.

New Offices At 19 Main Street, Suite 2, Concord MA 01742