Press Releases and Media Advisories

St. Mary’s Center Receives $250,000 gift from Amazon!!!  Again!!

Join us as we work to prevent homelessness and Build a New Community Resource Center

The Community Resource Center will provide services, counsel, and resources for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The gift of $250,000 is a match-gift challenge—so we need your help! When you make a gift, it will be matched by Amazon up to $250,000!!

In 2017, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children received a million-dollar match gift challenge from Amazon. In June 2018, the agency met and exceeded the challenge—thanks to our community — raising $1.2 million. In October, 2018 Amazon gave us another $250,000 toward a second match-gift challenge which again, thanks to you!- we met and exceeded.

“Amazon is committed to providing support and resources to our Boston-area neighbors in immediate need to help them build a better future,” said Alice Shobe, Director, Amazon in the Community. “We are excited to continue to support the life-saving work of St. Mary’s Center, as they work to stabilize and strengthen families fighting homelessness in innovative and inventive ways.”

To date, the agency has raised $2.62 million toward the Community Resource Center and the $7 million Center Campaign, which includes a Recreation Room and new garage on which the new Community Resource Center will be built.

The Recreation Room was completed in March 2019 in part due to Amazon’s match gift challenge, a $100,000 gift from the Cummings Foundation, and from significant pro bono effort from the AGC MA (The Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts).

The pro bono effort was led by Emil Frei, Founder and CEO of Berkeley Building Company, who will be honored at the agency’s 16th Annual Diamonds of Dorchester gala. Frei will receive the John M. Corcoran Award for Excellence for his leadership, service, and philanthropy on Thursday, October 10. The event will be held at the Boston Marriott Copley Hotel with 500 guests in attendance. Join us!

The new Recreation Room provides a safe, trauma-informed play space for the hundreds of children who each year call St. Mary’s Center home. The 4000-square foot space provides a place for children to run, play, and enjoy the everyday joys of childhood that every child deserves.

In March 2020, the agency plans to break ground on a new garage on its Dorchester campus located on the top of Jones Hill. The agency is twenty-six years-old, and resides on the former campus of St. Margaret’s Hospital dating back to the late 1800’s.

The main component of the Center Campaign is a new Community Resource Center that will have housing experts, advocates, and clinicians to serve individuals and families on the brink of homelessness and experiencing financial hardships, domestic and community violence, substance use and behavioral health disorders, immigration and legal concerns. The new building will have several offices, as well as a large conference room for community and peer meetings.

According to a December 2018 Boston Globe article and Federal Report “more than 20,000 people are homeless across Massachusetts. That’s the most since 2003. Homelessness in Massachusetts increased by 14 percent [in 2018], according to the same federal report from HUD.”

The need for services and programming to keep families in their homes continues to grow. Support the Center Campaign today, and your gift up to $250,000 will be matched by Amazon!


Murphy to Receive the Corcoran Award for Excellence at Annual Gala

Boston, Mass.– Joyce A. Murphy, Executive Vice Chancellor of Commonwealth Medicine, UMass Medical School’s health care operations and consulting division, will be honored with the John M. Corcoran Award for Excellence. Founded in 1993, St. Mary’s Center celebrates 25 years of service and its origins by honoring Murphy with an award named for the founding trustee of the Center. Murphy will be honored on October 17, 2018 at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children’s 15th annual Diamonds of Dorchester event.


At the agency’s 2017 Diamonds of Dorchester event held last October, St. Mary’s Center announced a million-match challenge gift from Amazon. This month, the agency met the challenge raising $2.2 million toward the $7 million Community Resource Center project and capital campaign. The Community Resource Center will build on the organization’s expertise in providing life-changing programs and services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness, poverty, trauma, abuse, substance use disorders, and immigration concerns. The Community Resource Center’s mission is to prevent homelessness before it begins and will serve individuals and families on the brink of homelessness or those formerly homeless.


The Center’s founding trustee, John M. Corcoran, the late real estate developer and philanthropist selected Ms. Murphy to work with him in leading the transformation of the former St. Margaret’s Hospital on Jones Hill in Dorchester to become St. Mary’s Center, the premier shelter for at risk families. Twenty-five years later, the Center has eight programs– five residential and three education and employment programs and is working on its ninth — the Community Resource Center.


Following the transition of the hospital to a multi-faceted health and human services center, Ms. Murphy became the first president. Among Murphy’s many accomplishments, she created the Bridge Home, a residential shelter for children, newborn to twelve years of age who have experienced trauma and abuse in their home. For more than 20 years, Bridge Home has been a haven for hundreds of children each year who receive 24/7 nurturing and professional care to heal, recover, and ultimately thrive.


Murphy has been a trailblazer for women and has led a distinguished career, including nine years as President and CEO of Carney Hospital, a community teaching hospital. Ms. Murphy began her career at the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC), where she later became the Superintendent of Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham, the sole women’s prison in the Commonwealth. Following her eleven-year tenure at the DOC, Ms. Murphy served as the First Deputy Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for four years. Throughout her career, Ms. Murphy has received numerous awards, including the Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.  She serves as Chair of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Board of Directors, and is a director on the Curry College, Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, East Boston Savings Bank, and Meridian Bancorp, Inc. boards.



“We are thrilled to honor Joyce at the Diamonds of Dorchester event this year, especially during such a special year celebrating St. Mary’s twenty-fifth anniversary. So many Moms and children have called St. Mary’s Center home, regained hope, and forged a path to success. For this we are indebted to Joyce and Mr. Corcoran,” said Deirdre Houtmeyers, president and chief executive officer, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children.


Since 1993, the Center has served more than 10,000 families through its mission to partner with women and children as they achieve emotional well-being, educational achievements, and economic independence. Currently, St. Mary’s Center serves more than 700 women and children each year.


The Diamonds of Dorchester event is being held at the Boston Marriott Copley Place and begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner and a speaking program. The agency relies on $1.5 million in private support to sustain its programs. Each year, Diamonds of Dorchester raises $500,000 and is attended by 500 members of the community. To sponsor or purchase tickets to the event, visit


St. Mary’s Center Announces $1 Million Match Offer from Amazon to

Expand Programs for Families in Need

 Supporters of St. Mary’s Center can donate at or at agency’s

Diamonds of Dorchester Gala on October 18, and Amazon will match donations up to $1 million

Boston, Mass. – St. Mary’s Center today announced the biggest, single corporate gift in their history—a $1 million match offer from Amazon—which will enable the agency to expand its reach into the community by providing preventative services, housing support, and job training for families on the brink of homelessness. To celebrate the announcement and their partnership, St. Mary’s Center and Amazon planned a Fall Fun Festival for St. Mary’s Center families and staff in Boston.

St. Mary’s Center is a leader in programs, services, and shelter for homeless women and their families. The organization is located in Dorchester, where the highest concentration of homeless families within the City of Boston (47%) live. Today, St. Mary’s Center supports more than 600 children and families through emergency shelter, job and employment training, and educational, clinical, and preventive services. Founded in 1993, the organization has more than 100 employees and hundreds of volunteers.

With Amazon’s match, St. Mary’s Center will build on its cornerstones of educational advancement, economic stability, and emotional well-being for women, children, and families who have experienced trauma or are living in poverty by creating a Community Resource Center on its campus. The new program and its staff will support both families transitioning to permanent housing as well as provide proactive support to families on the brink of homelessness.


“We are so grateful to partner with Amazon for this match offer to work to prevent homelessness in our community and the company’s efforts to inspire others to join in by doubling their support of the families we serve,” said Deirdre Houtmeyers, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children. “Everyone has a role in ending homelessness. Giving to St. Mary’s Center today will change lives for generations to come.”


“St. Mary’s Center is a very special place to me and to our community,” said Mayor of Boston Martin J. Walsh. “St. Mary’s Center does life-saving work for women, children, and families in need, and this partnership with Amazon gives St. Mary’s the opportunity to further strengthen families and prevent homelessness.”

Mayor Walsh was born at St. Margaret’s Hospital. St. Mary’s Center is located on the site of the former hospital. In the days prior to Mayor Walsh’s inauguration in January 2014, the relationship was renewed when many of the Mayor’s staff and campaign supporters volunteered at St. Mary’s Center. The Mayor also plans to speak at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children’s 14th Annual Diamonds of Dorchester fundraising event on Wednesday, October 18.

This $1 million match campaign expands Amazon’s support of nonprofits that provide critical emergency services to women, children, and families. Earlier this year, Amazon announced similar $1 million matches to Friendship Place, a leader in the Washington, D.C. region in developing innovative solutions to homelessness, and Mary’s Place, an organization in Seattle that provides emergency shelter and services for women and families experiencing homelessness. Amazon also announced plans to build a permanent home for Mary’s Place within its newest office building in downtown Seattle – a first-of-its-kind partnership.


“More than 1,000 Amazonians call Boston home, and we are so impressed and moved by the incredible, positive transformations happening at St. Mary’s Center,” said Jay Carney, Amazon Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs. “We are excited to expand our support for organizations that provide emergency services for homeless women, children, and families – this time at St. Mary’s Center, a comprehensive and evidence-based organization.”

In addition to Amazon’s $1 million match, dozens of Amazon employees are working together to support families of St. Mary’s Center. This week an Amazon van traveled up the East Coast, stopping in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, Boston, and Cambridge, Mass. to collect donations from employees to give to St. Mary’s Center families.

About St. Mary’s Center

St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children offers eight innovative, family-centered programs for women and children who have experienced trauma and are living in poverty. Placing families at the center of our efforts, St. Mary’s Center works in partnership with young women, many of them mothers, to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and achieve lasting, powerful change. For more information, visit Follow @St_MarysCenter. Tweet us at #AmazonGifttoStMarys

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.


6th Annual AGC MA Service Day to Benefit

St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children

AGC MA Day of Service 2016
AGC MA Day of Service 2016

Boston, Mass.— On Friday, May 19th for the third year in a row, more than 100 volunteers and 50 companies representing the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (AGC of MA) return to St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children to repair and enhance the Dorchester campus.


The day-long project, which kicks off at 7 a.m., brings more than $250,000 of pro bono capital improvements to the aging facility, located at the former St. Margaret’s Hospital. St. Mary’s Center has been a beneficiary of the service day in 2015 and 2016, which has transformed the campus via $750,000 in professional expertise, materials and equipment, enabling more resources to be directed to the agency’s eight programs. Seven programs are located in Uphams Corner the main site of the service project and Crossroads Family Center in East Boston will also benefit from the project. More than 600 women and children receive shelter, education, and employment training at St. Mary’s Center each year.


“The AGC’s multi-year commitment to St. Mary’s Center has significantly improved the sustainability and growth of the agency, allowing us to provide more housing for homeless families, mentor and educate more women and girls, and offer occupational therapy to children as they heal and recover from trauma and abuse,” said St. Mary’s Center President and CEO, Deirdre Houtmeyers. The AGC’s renovations to our campus have made an instant impact on the delivery of our programs and services that will last for years to come.”


In 2016, to recognize the extraordinary dedication of the AGC MA and their service to the community, St. Mary’s Center honored the organization at its annual Diamonds of Dorchester event bringing together the lead volunteers and companies to receive the John M. Corcoran Award for Excellence. The award is named for the founder of St. Mary’s Center, and fittingly a philanthropist with expertise in building management.


Current projects include overall flooring, heating/cooling repairs, painting, plumbing, window replacement in order to maintain a dignified and safe place for families who live, learn, and work at St. Mary’s Center.  There also will be a second renovation to GRLZradio, the teen mentoring program, due to growing community demand for the academic and youth development program that is also a 24/7/365 web-based radio station.


Fifty organizations and 100 volunteers will take part in the day of service. Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans, Commissioner of Inspectional Services Department William Christopher, Jr. and City Councilor Frank Baker will be in attendance.


Companies Taking Leadership Roles:

AGC MA, Bond, Central Ceilings, Inc., Columbia, Commodore Builders, Elaine Construction, Gilbane Building Co., Sea-Dar Construction, Skanska, Suffolk, and Turner Construction.


Complete List of Participating Companies:

Allan Construction
Allegheny Contract Flooring
BCM Controls
Berkeley Building Company
Boston Police
Business Interiors
Causeway Contracting
Central Ceilings
Charles Services & Equipment
City Councilor Frank Baker
City of Boston ISD
Columbia Construction Company
Columbus Door
Commodore Builders
Corporate Mechanical
Cox Engineering Company
Dellbrook |JKS
Dimeo Construction Company
Elaine Construction
EM Duggan
Emanouil Inc.
First Nick Painting
Gilbane Building Company
H. Carr and Sons, Inc.
J & M Brown Company, Inc.
JM Electrical
KO Stone
Landscaping by Greenscape
Marc Truant & Assoc.
McAdam Painting Co.
McDonald Electric
Millcreek Residential
ML McDonald Sales Company
New England Building Supply
North Bennett Street School
PAL Painting and Construction Services, LLC
Pavilion Floors Inc.
Quarters Hardware
Sea-Dar Construction
Siena Construction Corporation
Skanska USA Building
Skanska USA Civil
Sterling Construction, Inc
Suffolk Construction
Thom. S Carlson Corp
Titan Roofing
Turner Construction Company
Wentworth Institute of Technology
YOU Boston




Moms Helping Moms at St. Mary’s Center

Boston, Mass. On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, moms in the community will gather at Novara, the popular Milton-based restaurant to support St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children via Dancing for Hope’s second annual luncheon and fundraising event. To date the Dancing for Hope committee has raised more than $400,000 for St. Mary’s Center’s programs and services for young Moms and their children, which include shelter, education, and job training.


Dancing for Hope committee (L-R) Denise Queally, Evelyn Knight, Jill Hayes, Margaret Walsh, and Danielle McKnight.

Nearly 100 people are expected to attend the luncheon to enjoy great food at Novara, known for its signature drink, “The New Fig on the Block”, a nod to investor Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block.  Knight’s wife and restaurant partner, Evelyn, serves as long-time co-chair of the Dancing for Hope committee along with fellow co-chair and Milton resident Jill Hayes. In addition to Knight and Hayes, committee members include Milton residents Patti Elliott, Danielle McKnight, Denise Queally, and Margaret Walsh.


 Hosting the Saturday, May 13th event for the second year in a row, Novara is located in the historic and former State Theatre also known as the Milton Cinema. The event which raised nearly $35,000 last year, begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Guests enjoy a brunch buffet featuring Northern Italian cuisine, sip complimentary mimosas, bid on auction items, and play games. The event also features a brief speaking program where a former St. Mary’s Center resident will share her personal story and accomplishments.


Dancing for Hope celebrates all the Moms and caretakers in our lives and at the same time makes a difference in our community, said Knight.

Tickets are $75 per person. Guests also are invited to bring gifts of new bedding, small housewares, and gift cards to local stores to provide families with critical items as they work toward independence.  More information on purchasing tickets and details on the wishlist for families are available at

Eight years ago, Evelyn and I launched Dancing for Hope with a few volunteers, and now we have grown to a group of dedicated women who each year support the life-changing work of St. Mary’s Center who help Moms build bright futures,” said Hayes.

All event proceeds benefit St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, the Dorchester-based nonprofit agency that serves more than 600 families and children each year affected by intergenerational homelessness, poverty, and trauma via eight innovative residential, education, employment and preventative programs.

St. Mary’s Center President and CEO Deirdre Houtmeyers has attended four previous Dancing for Hope events since becoming the agency’s leader in 2013. “We are so grateful to the Dancing for Hope committee for their years of unwavering dedication in planning wonderful events that raise awareness and critical funds that help Moms who are working toward self-sufficiency. The committee’s ability to engage the community in our important work is immeasurable.”


 Teen-Led GRLZradio Station Celebrates Radio Excellence Among Global Contenders 

* New GRLZ logoNew York—St. Mary’s Center’s GRLZradio program, a youth development program and 24/7/365 web-based radio station ( won two awards and was a finalist in a total of three categories at the 77th Annual International Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) Conference and Golden Mic Award Ceremony on Saturday, March 4th. GRLZradio was awarded two golden microphone trophies winning Best Public Service Announcement and Best Use of Facebook and was a finalist for Best Use of Instagram. The IBS conference and award ceremony featured over 150 speakers and nearly 1,500 individuals from across the globe to celebrate excellence in radio programming, community media, public service efforts, air personalities, and outstanding radio for both colleges and high schools.

This month’s awards mark the second time GRLZradio has been recognized by IBS.  In 2016, the program won Best Station ID and Best Radio Drama for “An Urban Cinderella Story” and was a finalist in two categories, Best Radio Talk Show and Best On-Air Personality.


“We are so proud of the DJs and staff at GRLZradio to be recognized two years in a row– winning a total of four awards and seven total nominations. The IBS Conference provides an opportunity for the staff and a few girls in the program to receive the recognition they so richly deserve for their broadcasting achievement on top of their academic success! It’s also an opportunity for them to network and exchange ideas with their peers,” said Deirdre Houtmeyers, President.

Broadcasting daily on the web from its studios at St. Mary’s Center, GRLZradio is a first of its kind youth leadership and development program. GRLZradio provides a nurturing, supportive environment that encourages academic achievement and cultivates essential critical thinking, communication, social and employment skills by offering a safe forum and paid position for teen girls from Dorchester and surrounding communities. Training more than 75 adolescent girls annually in all aspects of radio production and programming, GRLZradio teaches and promotes the importance of a positive self-image which is vital to all aspects of their lives. 100% of participants graduate high school and are accepted into college, they receive professional level on-air personality experience along with industry standard training in all aspects of broadcast technology, 80% report increased self-esteem and self-efficacy.


Saun Green, Program Director for GRLZradio said, “We are extremely proud of the work that the amazing young women of GRLZradio are doing. Their creativity, resilience, and dedication to making sure the voices of teen girls are heard and respected is remarkable – they are doing great work It’s my honor to be a part of their respective journeys as they become such confident and courageous leaders. This work is truly transformative!”

Green has more than 15 years of experience in youth development, program direction and operations, and curriculum design and implementation.

Teen girls ages 12 to 19 are the on-air DJ’s who with training from staff members Danielle Johnson and Tekeisha Meade select and play music with positive and empowering lyrics. The DJ’s also create, produce, and host talk radio shows during the fall, spring, and summer sessions. The girls also offer peer training and community outreach activities to scores of youth each year to teach media literacy, violence prevention, and leadership skills.

Broadcast Manager, Danielle Johnson said, “Working at GRLZradio has truly been an honor and privilege. The recognition is incredible, and I am proud of the girls every day!”


GRLZradio (

GRLZradio is one of eight programs at St. Mary’s Center’s Dorchester campus. Founded in 2003, GRLZradio was created out of crisis in the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts at a time when violent crime was skyrocketing. Confronted with a sense of marginalization in the larger society, neighborhood girls started to express their concerns about their lives and future. They approached former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino with a desire to create a more positive image of young women and an outlet to be heard. In 2006, GRLZradio became a program of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, located on Jones Hill in Dorchester. Visit or listen at or use the smart phone app, Tune In to listen.


St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children

St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children offers innovative, family-centered programs for women and children who have experienced trauma and are living in poverty. Placing families at the center of our efforts, St. Mary’s Center works in partnership with young women, many of them mothers, to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and achieve lasting, powerful change by building their emotional well-being, educational achievements and economic independence.

Located in Uphams Corner in Dorchester, Massachusetts, St. Mary’s Center supports 600 women and children annually with shelter, clinical and educational services, job training, employment placement, and search for affordable permanent housing.





Children and Families to Benefit from Indoor Play Space100Kfor100-logo

 Boston, Mass. June 10, 2016—St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children is one of 100 local nonprofit agencies to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100k for 100” program. St. Mary’s Center, based in Uphams Corner in Dorchester, was chosen from a total of 479 applicants, during a competitive review process. St. Mary’s Center will receive one gift of $100,000 toward a recreation room for children living in its residential programs as well as children and teens participating in the agency’s community programs.

Founded in 1993, St. Mary’s Center offers seven programs in Dorchester including four residential programs and three education, employment, and prevention programs. The agency also has a fifth residential program, Crossroads Family Center, located in East Boston. Each year, more than 600 families receive shelter, clinical and educational services, job training and support from professional staff, so they may build brighter futures. St. Mary’s Center’s programs include Bridge Home, Margaret’s House, St. Mary’s Home, Mass Maternity First Home, Women’s Learning Center, Women@Work Plus and GRLZ Radio.

On June 9, St. Mary’s Center President Deirdre Houtmeyers and V.P. of Development and Communications, Susan Keliher joined 300 other guests to celebrate $10,000,000 infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $140 million to local nonprofits alone.

President Deirdre Houtmeyers recognizes the value of a $100,000 gift to St. Mary’s Center. “The majority of children we serve have experienced trauma, domestic violence, poverty, and homelessness. All children deserve a place to run around, play, and make friends. We are grateful to the Cummings Foundation for making our dream of an indoor play space possible.”

A new recreation room will benefit more than 100 children each day for generations of families residing in one of St. Mary’s Center’s residential programs. A recreation facility also will be used by members of the community who participate in education, employment, and prevention programs. The space may be used for family gatherings, activities, meetings, celebrations and staff trainings, too. Another 50-100 children attend Horizons Daycare program on St. Mary’s Center campus, who also make use of the recreation room.

St. Mary’s Center is located in the former St. Margaret’s Hospital, which has many rooms that serve as bedrooms, but not many large spaces that provide sufficient space for play. While the campus has an outdoor playground, Boston winters are harsh, and many days, due to inclement weather, the kids cannot go outside and play. Staff have made due, by having the children play games and ride bikes inside small community rooms and in open spaces, including hallways in the education and employment programs, when those programs are not in session.

Creating a large, indoor play space is high on President Houtmeyers’ wish list and the agency’s new strategic plan. A registered nurse, Houtmeyers is committed to providing opportunities that improve health and wellness for the families of St. Mary’s Center, so they may have long and prosperous lives.

The new recreation room will help children enjoy the everyday joys of childhood, and support more activities and programs that help families thrive, such as a year-round play space for children to participate in athletic and wellness activities as well as play games, bounce balls, and ride bikes.

The plan for the recreation room is to convert existing offices which are part of the facilities’ management team’s offices and storage space that is approximately 50’ x 40’ feet or 2000 square feet into an open play space. Lead support from the Cummings Foundation enables St. Mary’s Center to attract more financial and in-kind donors to support the project.

“We admire and very much appreciate the important work that nonprofit organizations like St. Mary’s Center are doing in the local community where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s’ executive director. “We are delighted to support their efforts.”

The $100k for 100 program supports nonprofits that are not only based in but also primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. This year, the program is benefitting 41 different cities and towns within the Commonwealth.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages more than 10 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including education, homelessness prevention, elder services, healthcare, and food insecurity.  Most of the grants will be paid during a two-to-five year period.

The complete list of 100 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation,org.

Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. With assets exceeding $1 billion, it is one of the largest foundations in New England.  The Foundation directly operated its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date was $50 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Additional information is available at




Private Foundation and City Unite to Fund $4M Project

Boston, Mass.—St. Mary’s Center’s new transitional supportive housing program involves the substantial renovation of an existing structure to provide a critical and unmet need in the community—supportive housing for young families who are not fully prepared for independent living. The new program will be the fourth residential program on the agency’s Dorchester campus, and its eighth program overall. The transitional supportive housing program will provide 12 young homeless families at any one time with the tools, developmental experience, and learning opportunities they need to thrive and succeed.

The new project is made possible through private support of more than $3 million from the Massachusetts Maternity and Foundling Hospital Corporation, and $1 million in support from the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development. Residents also will have project based Massachusetts Rental Vouchers.

“St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children is a very special place to me. Families have the opportunity to change the trajectory of their futures at the Center, and with a mix of City and private funding they will continue to receive the support they need to become independent,” said Mayor Walsh.

The Mayor has been a tireless advocate of the work of St. Mary’s Center which supports 600 women and children annually with shelter, clinical and educational services, job training and employment placement, and affordable permanent housing searches.

“We are so blessed to have the support of the Mayor, the City, and of course the extraordinary generosity of Massachusetts Maternity and Foundling Hospital Corporation in making possible the dream of providing young homeless families with supportive housing,” said Deirdre Houtmeyers, President of St. Mary’s Center. “We now know their emotional well-being, education, and economic opportunities are further realized through this new program.”

The new program will open its doors in late 2015. A private groundbreaking ceremony is to be held on June 16 at St. Mary’s Center and will have many dignitaries and elected officials in attendance including, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Mayor Walsh, Police Commissioner William Evans, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Rep. Dan Hunt, Rep. Russell Holmes, City Councilor Frank Baker, and City Councilor Stephen Murphy.

The program offers a multi-disciplinary approach, including social workers, nurse and case managers. Working with the family as a team, they will help identify and bridge serious gaps in skills, address emotional and social challenges, and overcome barriers to employment and increased financial independence.

Massachusetts Maternity and Foundling Hospital is making this substantial gift to provide long-term supportive, transitional housing to young families. In the past, the foundation has supported programs that provide housing and services to teen mothers and their children, including nearly $300,000 in past support to the Center’s St. Mary’s Home, a program for pregnant and parenting teens.

“The young families served at St. Mary’s Home and other residential programs are particularly vulnerable as they leave a communal and supportive environment, having made significant progress but not yet ready for independent living,” said Dr. Thomas Connolly, President of the Massachusetts Maternity and Foundling Hospital. “Mass Maternity is delighted to have the opportunity to partner with St. Mary’s and the City to create a place where families can continue their progress towards independence and self-sufficiency. The program allows the foundation to fulfill the mission of its founders in creating a comprehensive program to support young moms.”

The new program’s building is located at 84 Cushing Avenue in Dorchester, within walking distance of Upham’s Corner and across a driveway from the main building. The renovation is of the former clinic which built in the early 1900’s as part of St. Margaret’s Hospital, which eventually gave the property to St. Mary’s Center in 1993. Mayor Walsh and the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy were both born at St. Margaret’s Hospital.

St. Mary’s Center currently operates four residential (shelter) programs, including three located on its Dorchester campus as follows: Bridge Home, a stabilization program for 12 children ages 0-12 who have been removed from their home due to abuse, trauma and neglect; St. Mary’s Home, an 17-room shelter for pregnant and parenting teens and their children; and Margaret’s House, a 32-room program for moms and their children. St. Mary’s Center also runs Crossroads, a 15-unit, family shelter in East Boston. St. Mary’s Center also has Women’s Learning Center and Women@Work Plus, education and employment programs respectively and, a 24/7 web-based radio station and after-school and employment program.

All 12 units will be affordable housing and the redevelopment will contain three, single-bedrooms and nine, two-bedroom units, including one fully accessible and one sensory-impaired unit. All units will have private bathrooms and kitchens and will be gas heated by new high efficiency boilers. Domestic electric including electric cooking and air conditioning will be individually metered.



4th Annual Day of Service Brings $250,000 of In-Kind Services and Resources to Homeless Families.

Boston, Mass.—More than 150 volunteers representing the Association of General Contractors (AGC) of Massachusetts will rally on May 15th to transform the Dorchester campus of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children. The day-long project, which kicks off at 7 a.m., brings an unprecedented level of capital and professional support to the aging facility, formerly St. Margaret’s Hospital. Today, more than 600 women and children receive shelter, education and job training at St. Mary’s Center. The project’s value, estimated at $250,000, will improve the facility and create a more functional space for the agency’s six programs.

“We are honored to partner with St. Mary’s Center and bring our members’ commercial building expertise to this project so more families can build brighter futures for themselves.” Bob Petrucelli, President and CEO of AGC of Massachusetts.

Last winter’s record-breaking snowfall has taken a toll on the historic building which is located in Upham’s Corner atop the highest point in Boston, Jones Hill. The project includes repair to the building’s façade, updates to the interior at, an after-school program and web-based radio station for teen girls, the creation of an additional bedroom in Margaret’s House, an onsite residence for homeless families, improvements to community space in St. Mary’s Home, a residential program for pregnant and parenting teens, landscaping, and the renovation of the lobby and reception area.

St. Mary’s Center President Deirdre Houtmeyers recognizes the value and impact of the day of service. “This is a tremendous gift to St. Mary’s Center, a place which hundreds of families call home each year. To replicate a project of this magnitude on our own would take at least a year of planning and fundraising. Thanks to the AGC, we can allocate more resources to the programs and services benefiting our families.”

Mayor Martin Walsh and his Office of Neighborhood Services along with Boston City Councilor Frank Baker have advocated for the families of St. Mary’s Center and played an integral role in making this service project possible. Boston City Councilor Frank Baker along with members from fifty organizations will take part in the day of service:

Companies taking leadership roles:
Berkeley Building Company
BOND Brothers
Central Ceilings
Commodore Builders
Elaine Construction
Gilbane Building Company
Marc Truant & Assoc.
NEI General Contracting

Project Partners:
Allegheny Contract
Ben Franklin Institute of Technology
Best Painting Co.
Caliper Woodworking Corp
Campanelli Companies
Causeway Contracting
Charles Services and Equipment
Columbia Construction
Compass Project Management
Consigli Construction
Dec-Tam Corporation
DeIulis Brothers Construction Co.
E.G. Sawyer Co.
Emanouil Inc.
FT Painting
G. Greene Construction Co
GH Electrical Services
Hennigar Door
Inspectional Services Department of Boston
J&M Brown Company
KO Stone
Lee Kennedy Company
Liberty Construction Services
Marjam Supply
Massachusetts Federation of Building Officials
McAdam Painting
Mechanical Air of New England
Mill Creek Residential Trust
Mutha Cullina, LLP
Onsite Services Corp
Perini Management Services
Sea-Dar Construction
Second Street Iron & Metal
SE Technologies
Siena Construction
Skanska USA Building Inc.
Southeastern Mass Building Officials Assoc.
Suffolk Construction
Thom S Carlson Corp
Turner Construction Company
Wentworth Institute of Technology

AGC or Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts
AGC or Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts is a professional construction association representing firms that provide building construction services for commercial and institutional clients in the Commonwealth. Begun in 1935, the association offers valuable management education, safety training, and advocacy for its members and the industry at large. The AGC of Massachusetts is a chapter of the national association, Associated General Contractors of America, which began in 1935 at the behest of President Wilson. The goal was to assist the government in planning for the advancement of the nation, an objective that AGC has been fulfilling since that time. Locally, the chapter works closely with all facets of the industry to advocate for fair business practices for all participants.


JANUARY 29, 2015


City Councilor Tito Jackson, MTV’s Phunk Phenomenon, Patriots’ Cheerleaders to appear at Fundraiser for St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children

Boston, Mass.—Fans of New Kids on the Block front-man Jordan Knight get ready to dance the night away for a great cause.  Knight will once again be the special guest at the 5th annual Dancing for Hope fundraiser at one of Boston’s premier nightclubs, The Estate, located at One Boylston Place.  The Saturday, February 7 event kicks off at 6 p.m.

All event proceeds will benefit St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, the Dorchester-based nonprofit agency which provides residential, education and employment programs for young families affected by intergenerational homelessness, poverty and trauma. To date the Dancing for Hope committee, co-chaired by event founders Jill Hayes and Evelyn Knight, has raised more than $285,000 for St. Mary’s Center’s programs and services.

Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson returns for the second consecutive year as the event’s emcee. Dancing for Hope 2015 will also feature a performance by Phunk Phenomenon, from the hit show America’s Best Dance Crew, and an appearance by members of the New England Patriots cheerleading squad—just back in Boston following their Super Bowl performance. Tickets, which range from $40-$250, are available online at Sponsor and VIP level tickets include a special reception and photos with Jordan Knight.

St. Mary’s Center President Deirdre Houtmeyers recognizes the value of Dancing for Hope.  “This annual event does much more than raise funds for St. Mary’s Center and our essential programs and services.  Through Dancing for Hope, new audiences become aware of the vital role we play in the Boston community. Everyone at St. Mary’s—both staff and clients— is grateful to the committee for their tireless efforts all year long.”


For Immediate Release
February 16, 2013
Media Advisory


Annual Benefit Launches St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children 20th Anniversary Celebration

WHAT: New Kid on the Block vocalist and singer-songwriter,Jordan Knight, Boston City Councilor,Tito Jackson, and MIX 104.1 on-air personality,“Fast Freddy,”will join an expected 500 guests at the 4th annual Dancing for Hope fundraiser, with all proceeds supportingSt. Mary’s Center for Women and Children.  This year’s Dancing for Hope benefit will help kick-off the Dorchester nonprofit’s 20th anniversary and launch St. Mary’s newly established Education and Employment Fund.

Dancing for Hope will feature a photo booth where guests can pose fora souvenir snapshot with Jordan Knight, appearances by the New England Patriots Cheerleaders and Miss Massachusetts USA and special dance performances by Against All Odds and MTV’s Phunk Phenomenon.  The event will also include a silent auction featuring Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots tickets, a Nantucket getaway for two, autographed sports and New Kids on the Block memorabilia and tickets to for an upcoming Drop Kick Murphys concert.


  • Jordan Knight, Singer-songwriter
  • Tito Jackson, Boston City Councilor
  • Fast Freddy, On-Air Personality, MIX 104.1
  • Evelyn Knight and Jill Hayes, Co-Chairs and Co-Founders, Dancing for Hope
  • Judy Beckler, President, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children
  • Phunk Phenomenon, MTV Dance Crew
  • Sarah Kidd, Miss Massachusetts USA 2013
  • New England Patriots Cheerleaders


Club Royale
279 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

WHEN: Friday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m.


For Immediate Release
February 7, 2013


Annual Benefit Launches St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children 20th Anniversary Celebration

February 7, 2013 (Dorchester, Mass.) – More than 500 guests are expected to attend the 4th annualDancing for Hope benefit in support of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, next Saturday, February 16th at Royale Boston.  The event will kick-off St. Mary’s yearlong 20th anniversary celebration and help establish an Education and Employment Fund for the Dorchester nonprofit.

According to Dancing for Hope Co-Chairs, Evelyn Knight and JilianHayes,this year’s event will include special appearances by singer-songwriter and New Kid on the Block vocalist, Jordan Knight, and Kiss 108 on-air personality, Lisa Donovan.  Boston City Councilor, Tito Jackson, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Dancing for Hope was founded in 2009,by Evelyn Knight and Jilian Hayes,to support St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children – a vibrant multi-service center providing a comprehensive package of education, employment, housing and after-care programs for at-risk women and their children who are living in poverty.  Since its inception, Dancing for Hope has generated more than $160,000 in support of St. Mary’s work and programs, helping the organization provide a pathway out of poverty for 500 women and children annually.

According to St. Mary’s President, Judy Beckler, the funds and awareness generated by Dancing for Hopeare vital to the nonprofit’s mission and success.  “We are so thankful to have the support of Dancing for Hope, year after year.  This event is crucial to our fundraising efforts, as it attracts both longtime friends and donors of St. Mary’s as well as a newer and younger generation of supporters.  It is a night of celebration, in so many ways,” said Beckler.

In addition to a festive evening of dancing, the benefit will feature a special photo booth with Jordan Knight, an appearance by the New England Patriots Cheerleaders, a dance competition with a $500 prize and special performances by YouTube’s #1 band, Ahmir,and MTV’s Phunk Phenomenon.  The event will also include a silent auction featuring Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots tickets, a Nantucket getaway for two, autographed sports and New Kids on the Block memorabilia and concert tickets to for an upcoming performance by the Drop Kick Murphys.


JANUARY 31, 2013

Massachusetts-bred singer-songwriter, Jordan Knight, paid a special visit to St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children on Wednesday afternoon, with a $10,000 contribution in hand.  Knight, a longtime supporter of the Dorchester nonprofit, presented the check to Dancing for Hope – an annual fundraiser benefiting St. Mary’s – before participating in an interview with the organization’s nationally recognized Internet radio station, GRLZ Radio.

The New Kid on the Block vocalist discussed growing up in Dorchester, his path to success and his upcoming tour with his fellow New Kids band mates, 98 Degrees and Boyz II men.  Knight called the work of GRLZ Radio “an inspiration” and expressed his excitement for the upcoming Dancing for Hopeevent on Friday, February 8th at Royale Boston.

For Immediate Release
January 30, 2013
Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity



WHAT: To help launch the 20th anniversary of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, Massachusetts-bred singer-songwriter, Jordan Knight, will present $10,000 to Dancing for Hope– an annual fundraiser benefiting the Dorchester-based nonprofit.  This will be the first gift earmarked for the newly established Education and Employment Fund.  While at St. Mary’s, Knight will be interviewed on the nonprofit’s nationally recognized Internet radio station.

Based on fan support, Knight was chosen to receive$10,000 for the charity of his choicefrom The BiLLe Celeb Charity Challenge, an international, nonprofit organization. The New Kids on the Block vocalist and his wife, Evelyn, are longtime patrons of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, which supports 500 women and children annually by providing shelter, clinical and educational services, job training, employment placement and assistance in securing affordable, permanent housing.


  • Jordan Knight, Singer-songwriter
  • Evelyn Knight, Co-Chair and Founder, Dancing for Hope
  • Jill Hayes, Co-Chair and Founder, Dancing for Hope
  • Judy Beckler, President, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children
  • Sheri Landry, Representative, TheBiLLe Celeb Charity Challenge
  • David Steer, Representative, TheBiLLe Celeb Charity Challenge
  • Bernadette Reid, Director, GRLZ Radio
  •  GRLZ Radio staff


St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children
90 Cushing Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02125



50 Boston-Area Women to Participate in Inaugural Career Day

WHAT: St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children initiative for participants in its Women@Work Plus employment training program.

  • Women@Work Plus serves low-income women, many single mothers with limited work histories and educational success.  Designed to help address the social, emotional, educational, vocational and logistical obstacles to successful employment, the program provides comprehensive, on-site case management, skills training and paid working experience at employer partner sites.
  • Moving Forward Together is a day-long workshop designed to prepare the fifty women who enroll in Women@Work Plus annually for the workforce.  The program will include tips for networking, business etiquette, time management and interview preparation.

WHO: St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children President, Judy Beckler; State Senator Sonya Chang Diaz (D-Boston); Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts President and CEO, Andrew Dreyfus; and, industry representatives from the communications, insurance, medical, real estate and business fields will address attendees.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Landmark Center
401 Park Drive
Boston, MA 02215


Tuesday, December 4, 2012
9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

About Women@Work Plus

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