Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Newsletter: December 2015

Karen Bechtel, Executive Director

Karen Bechtel, Executive Director

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.

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.


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://

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!