ABCD North End/West End NSC Holiday Celebrations

It’s a wrap! As the holidays come to a close for another year, the ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center wanted to extend heartfelt thanks to the local community-based organizations, our elected officials, and members of our community for their support in the series of initiatives that have allowed us to bring cheer to this Holiday Season for the seniors and families that we serve in the North End, West End, Beacon Hill, and Greater Boston neighborhoods. We could not have done it without you!

We kicked off this season of giving with Thanksgiving, where we distributed over 100 donated turkeys to North End and West End families. At the Thanksgiving Day Celebration at the NSC as well as at the December holiday celebration, we were visited by Representative Aaron Michlewitz and City Councilor Sal La Mattina, and their devoted staff. We came together as a family at both celebrations to enjoy home-cooked food, one another’s company, and delightful music. Silke Evans regularly plays piano at these celebrations, and Victor Brogna, who is also on the NSC Advisory Board, played the trumpet.

Turkey donations and deliveries included 20 turkeys from Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Senator Anthony Petruccelli, and City Councilor La Mattina; gift cards for turkeys and holiday baskets from City Councilor Josh Zakim; 12 turkeys, 12 apple pies, and tins of cookies from La Famiglia Giorgio’s; 20 turkeys from Church on the Hill; 24 turkeys from the Greater Boston Food Bank; and 30 turkeys from Greg Antonelli, President, of GTA Co., Inc.

We extend heartfelt thanks for the following community food drives: the Eliot K-8 Innovation School, Old West Church, Regina Cleri, Strada 234, Vantage Travel, the West End Civic Association, and Whole Foods Market.

Hats off to the Frattaroli family and the North End Waterfront Health who put on and host their annual successful Taste of the North End event that supports elderly, health, and educational programs in the neighborhood. We are honored to be a regular recipient and put the funds to good use over the holidays for elder services!

We had the pleasant visit of the children of the North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC ) who performed the annual Holiday Musical Recital for the delight of the NSC clients and staff.     Thank you, Sherri Snow, Voice and Music Theater Director, and Rebecca Rapoport-Cole, Private Music Instruction Coordinator, for your collaboration and pulling it all together.   The seniors loved singing along with your talented performers and cannot wait for you to come back!

December was not only a month filled with celebrations but also opportunities to provide joyous holiday to the families we serve through several programs to bring gifts and necessities to those in need. For the second year in a row “Adopt a family “ was a tremendous success, allowing us to obtain substantial relief to 13 families with toys, food, household items , and vouchers for essentials. The sponsors of the “Adopt a Family” included companies and organizations such as Strada Apartments, and private donors.  One family in particular needed extra holiday cheer as they experienced a recent loss in their family.

In addition, we gave out dozens of toys as part of our annual ABCD toy drive.

I close with again my profound thanks to all who contributed to making all these events successful and memorable, especially at this time of the year. The connections made through these events will allow us to identify and assist the needs of the communities that we serve and connect families and seniors to other resources, including basic needs assistance and recreational activities.

Our work is just beginning for 2016 to reduce and eliminate poverty in our neighborhoods.

Felice Anno Nuovo! Good Health, Joy, Peace, and Prosperity in 2016!

Maria Stella Gulla