Through our service projects, we spend time helping children with special needs, young female scholars, families in crisis and the elderly and we teach kindergarteners about tolerance and acceptance. As women, we know the power of the connections we’re making can be life-changing.
Family Promise Metrowest
Family Promise Metrowest (FPMW) is a family shelter that accommodates about 2-3 families at a time. The organization assists families with a range of professional, personal and financial development. Their goal is to move families to sustainable independent living. During the day, families relocate to the Day Center in downtown Natick, which is their home base and mailing address while in shelter. This is where families store their belongings, take showers, wash clothes, and commute to and from school, day care, and work. It is also where they meet with professional staff to set goals in areas of health and safety, finances, parenting, and transportation. The Day Center is staffed by FPMW employees during the week but during the weekend, WHJWC assists with tasks that range from answering the phone at the front desk to reading stories to kids.
A Better Chance (ABC)
The scholarship organization, A Better Chance, has provided many students of color with the chance to attend college-prep private schools and public schools across the country. Their mission is “to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.”
The Wellesley ABC program houses six female scholars at the ABC house in Wellesley so that they can attend Wellesley High School. They have a residential director, but without cars their participation in extracurricular activities often depends on securing rides. WHJWC volunteers drive the scholars to and from activities, events, and/or classes.
WHJWC works with two organizations focused on serving children in need, The Walker School and The Second Step. We provide after school programming for both organizations, which gives us a chance to connect with the children and provide a temporary distraction from the challenges of their daily lives.
The Walker School provides intensive services for children and youth facing complex emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges. Walker achieves this goal by providing innovative therapeutic and academic programs for children and youth. They partner with nearly 20,000 youth and their families in the Massachusetts area. We also works with The Second Step, which provides “a way from violence to self-reliance.” This organization partners with domestic abuse survivors to address the aftermath of abuse, both immediate needs as well as long-term goals.
WHJWC volunteers with agencies that serve the senior community, which include Wellesley’s Council on Aging (COA) and the Sisters of Charity’s Elizabeth Seton Residence (a skilled nursing facility). We orchestrate several activities and events at ESR each year–a regularly scheduled bingo game for residents and a celebration of some kind at each holiday. We also provide programming and activities for seniors at the COA Tolles Parsons Center.
Wellesley Food Pantry
The Wellesley Food Pantry opened its doors for the first time in July of 1989. They currently serve more than 420 clients in about 200 households in town. Of those who come to the pantry for food and personal care products, about a third are children (18 years old and younger) and another third are seniors. WHJWC volunteers stock the shelves with the week’s food donations. The club at large also runs a food drive at each general meeting.
Kids on the Block
Kids on the Block is a program started in 1977 in response to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which required that children with disabilities be given the opportunity to be educated with their peers. The Kids on the Block program uses puppets to engage with school age children to open a dialogue on physical and learning differences, such as cerebral palsy, autism, feelings, visual impairment, intellectual disabilities and mental health. Kids on the Block operates in all 50 US states and in 30 countries around the world. WHJWC puts on performances for kindergartners in all Wellesley Public Schools as well as Saint John School and Tenacre.