Community People

Distributions Make Holidays at the ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center Merry and Bright

Buone Feste! December was a time filled with holiday distributions for the seniors and families that the ABCD North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center (NE/WE NSC) serves. Although sadly due to COVID-19 there was no December holiday party, staff strove to create feelings of joy and delight in some surprises during this unprecedented year.

Thanks to collaboration with the Greater Boston Food Bank, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and donors such as the Beacon Hill Civic Association, Strada 234, The Third Order Franciscan Secular, and West End Place, the “elves” at the NE/WE NSC organized heavy bags of food, with items such as pasta, tuna, raisins, nuts, cereal, soups, self-stable milk, and so forth, for seniors in the North End and West End apartment buildings.

Blackstone Apartments staff receive food bags.

This month included deliveries of food to the Casa Maria Apartments in the North End along with the Amy Lowell Apartments, Blackstone Apartments, and West End Place in the West End. (The NE/WE NSC rotates food bag and individually packaged meal deliveries among all the buildings each month.) Bountiful produce donations from the St. John School (grown in their own garden!) and St. Joseph Society rounded out the bags with a touch of green and crunch. NE/WE NSC staff tucked in sweet holiday greeting cards made by St. John School students into the bags.

Produce donated by St. Joseph’s Society.
Gift of produce grown in St. John School’s own garden. Karen Shea, Teacher, (left) and Claire Cassidy, Principal (right).

Luigi Natale brought Star Market gift cards on behalf of Senator Joe Boncore, who sent his best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season. The center additionally thanks Robin Sidell of North Street Grille for the generous check to purchase holiday gift cards.

The drop-in center was cozy, warm, and festive as clients came by staggered appointments to get their gifts, and the Christmas tree glittered in the corner, snowed in by cheerful presents donated by Strada 234 for local families and picked up in time for the Christmas holiday.

Strada 234‘s annual toy drive was organized by Teri Groome who brought heavy, overflowing bags of puzzles, dolls games, sports equipment, plushies, and more for boys and girls of all ages. Local parents received the toys to give to their children in time for Christmas. Many recipients work at low-wage jobs to afford Boston’s cost of living and simply do not have the funds to provide toys. The NE/WE NSC was thrilled to assist them!

“Thank you for making it possible for me to pick out toys for my three little ones,” one mom enthused. “This has been a hard year for our family, and I am so happy to put some extra surprises under the tree. Please thank them the donors for picking out such nice things.”

Happy Holidays and wishing you all health, happiness, peace, and joy in 2021! The NE/WE NSC has many exciting initiatives planned for the year ahead. Stay tuned!