News Briefs

Holy Week at First Church of Winthrop, United Methodist

The Holy Week Schedule for First Church of Winthrop, United Methodist is as follows:

Maundy Thursday – April 1, 6pm

-Service of Holy Communion at First Church

Good Friday – April 2, 1-3pm

-First Church Sanctuary will be open for prayer (reserve a time by contacting the church office)

-Stations of the Cross booklets available for use at home or at the church.

Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service – Winthrop Beach, April 4, 6:10am

-All are welcome to this 25-minute outdoor service with joint leadership from Winthrop’s churches

-Meet at the north end of Winthrop Beach at Crest Ave., near the green rails

-The breakfast at First Church following the Sunrise Service is cancelled this year.

Easter Sunday at First Church – April 4, 11:00am

-Service of Holy Communion

-Easter fellowship hour in the rear parking lot following the service.

Applications Available for Internships at Sheriff’s Dept.

Applications are once again being accepted for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Summer Enrichment Program (SEP).

The SEP — which is a seven-week internship that begins on Wednesday, July 7 and ends on Friday, August 23 — is inviting twenty participants, selected from a group of high school students, to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department to learn more about careers in law enforcement.

Participants will work 21 hours a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 8am – 4pm, and will be compensated at a rate of $13.50 per-hour. During each week of the internship, members will participate in a “meet and greet” with members of the law enforcement community.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the implementation of strict health and safety protocols, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department’s (SCSD) interns will participate in either REMOTE, HYBRID or IN-PERSON activities.

Goldberg’s Office Awards Over $1.8 Million in Veteran Bonuses

The State Treasurer’s Veterans’ Bonus Division is pleased to announce that in 2020 they processed nearly 4,000 bonuses and awarded $1,850,451 in benefits to Veterans across Massachusetts. In addition, the division oversaw the creation of a new COVID-19 Bonus for Massachusetts National Guard members, activated in response to the state of emergency declared by the governor on March 10th, 2020. This initiative paid out $838,000 to over 1,500 service members beginning in November.

“In 2019, our team successfully transitioned the Welcome Home bonus to an online platform, which allowed us to successfully manage the increased number of applications during the pandemic,” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. “Our servicemembers selflessly give so much to others that we wanted to ensure that each and every one of them had the opportunity to promptly receive their bonus payouts during a time of economic uncertainty.”

“We were thrilled when the legislature passed our COVID bonus for National Guard personnel that supported the Massachusetts’ response to the pandemic,” said Steve Croteau, Manager of the Veterans’ Bonus Division. “This bonus helped relieve some financial stress and allowed the National Guard members to focus on their mission.”

“This bonus was honestly a surprise but greatly appreciated. Aiding in the COVID response took up almost half of my year living away from my family. I think I can speak for myself as well as my fellow soldiers, this money makes us feel appreciated,” said a Massachusetts Veteran after receiving their bonus. “I will be saving my money for a time where COVID is less of an issue and I can go on a relaxing vacation with my family.”

 The Veterans’ Bonus Division distributes bonuses for eligible active duty, discharged, and deceased Massachusetts veterans who served during various conflicts. The State Treasurers Office has administered the state bonus program since the World War I bonus in 1919 was awarded to Massachusetts individuals who served in the armed forces during that period. To learn more about the Veterans’ Bonus Division, visit VetsBonusMA.com. 

ABCD and The Greater Boston Food Bank announce a joint initiative 

 Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) and The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) jointly announced a groundbreaking $2 million initiative, designed to provide thousands of families affected by COVID-19 with more fresh fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious perishable foods. As experts in the field have noted, the demand for emergency food in Eastern Massachusetts has increased by 66% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus AID, Relief, and Economic Security Act), ABCD will work with GBFB to fund  2.5 million pounds of fresh foods to communities in need through local food pantries, which are affiliated with GBFB. Approximately  260,000 individuals across Greater Boston will benefit over the next six months.

 ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew and GBFB CEO Catherine D’Amato noted that this innovation builds on decades of partnership between the two organizations, each with deep, grassroots, community collaborations. In February, GBFB served over 172,000 households with over 2.4 million pounds of food throughout its food pantry network, which includes 8 ABCD sites. Over the past year, ABCD provided more than 100,000 households with a wide range of services designed to fight the current emergency, and to equip families with tools to thrive in the future.

“Our doors have been open. We’ve been providing food, diapers, rental assistance, fuel assistance and other emergency help from day one of the pandemic. By expanding this important partnership, the Fresh Foods project will keep hungry people healthier during an already difficult time,” said John J. Drew, ABCD President/CEO. “The need is urgent and our ability to help is immediate.”

“Partnerships are key in the work to end hunger in our communities, and ABCD has been one partner that is essential in GBFB’s COVID-19 response,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO, The Greater Boston Food Bank. “Beyond partnering since 1989 as a pantry food distributor in the Greater Boston area, they have stepped up to provide critical funding to enable GBFB to distribute healthy and nutritious food for all partners in this region during this challenging pandemic.”

The response from communities has been enthusiastic. “ABCD has been a critical partner in keeping folks in Malden, and across the region, housed, fed, and safe throughout the pandemic and long before,” said Representative Steven Ultrino (D – Malden) “I’m incredibly excited about this new collaboration between ABCD and The Greater Boston Food Bank, and look forward to continuing our work with them to ensure that every member of our community can keep food on the table for themselves and their families.”

ABCD and GBFB will also work together to identify barriers to better nutrition for low-income families. Both GBFB and ABCD are committed to seeking durable systems change which will enhance the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the resources struggling families rely on.

“Our families were letting us know that finding food and supplies was becoming more difficult in the grocery stores as COVID got worse,” said Jenny Sugilio, Acting Director at ABCD Parker Hill/Fenway Neighborhood Service Center. “We had to do something about it! No one should be allowed to go hungry.

MVES Receives Grant  To Support Older Adults and Their Pets 

Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) received a $4,000 emergency pet food grant through a partnership between Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities®.  Funding was used to meet an increased demand for MVES’ pet-related services and overcome infrastructure challenges amid COVID-19. MVES care managers chose consumers who needed the help the most. Through this generous grant, 20 consumers and more than 30 pet companions were helped.

 “While our mission remains focused on the independence and dignity of older adults, often times, their best friends may be their pets. For that reason, being able to provide food resources for both people and their pet pals can make a positive difference,” said Mystic Valley Elder Services CEO Daniel O’Leary.

Amid stay-at-home guidance and other health and safety measures in place to protect against COVID-19, millions of older adults are experiencing the impacts of loneliness and diminished social connection. While pet ownership is known to lower instances of illness and reported feelings of loneliness among older adults and is particularly crucial during this challenging time, many face difficulties with procuring groceries, like pet food and supplies, on their own.

According to a Grace, whose mother Betty is a MVES consumer and a recipient of the grant, the gift of dog food for her pet has helped her family in several ways. “Because my mother is 97 years old, and I too am a senior, we will not have to go out now to get food for our dog. We have been trying to keep our public outings to a minimum during COVID,” explains Grace.  “Because our dog is on a special diet, her pet food costs a little more. This grant helped save about $170 over the next 3 months.  The saving will go toward pet insurance and our dog’s needs. There is even a little left over for a toy or two!  So the savings are a great help.”

“As so many older adults became homebound practically overnight in the face of the pandemic, they also became shut off from critical social connections,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. “Meals on Wheels programs have been working around the clock to serve an influx of seniors in need of support over the past year, which includes preserving the proven powerful relationships they have with their pets. This generous funding from PetSmart Charities makes that possible.”

Grace and Betty’s dog is a 4-year-old rescue dog who has been with them for about a year and half. She is part Chihuahua and part terroir.  “When we were asked by the MVES care manager what kind of food our dog ate, I was surprised. She then explained the grant to me and how my mother could benefit from it. At first, I thought we would receive a bag of dog food. Never did I image we would receive two large boxes of food!” says Grace.  “Yes, there are savings, but more than that, it is the thought of the organization to realize that pets are one of the nearest and dearest things to folks, especially during the Pandemic.” 

To learn more about MVES services and how you can donate to those in need, please call us at 781-324-7705 or visit www.mves.org.

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