Dear Margaret Fuller House Friends,
As we head into 2016, we have some terrific news: the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House has a new Executive Director! Christina Alexis comes to us with more than a decade of experience in the non-profit world, and with a deep appreciation for the history of the House and its role in The Port.
Christina steps into the position following the retirement of Barbara Kibler, whose leadership brought the MFNH from troubled times to the flourishing organization it is today. The Board of Directors is indebted to Barbara for her years of hard work and dedication, and looks forward to building on her legacy, and strengthening the House even further, through Christina’s leadership.
In selecting Christina, the Board completed a rigorous three-month process involving a seven-person board committee, as well as input from staff and community members. With experience in both the non-profit world as well as the private sector, Christina stood out for her vision, her leadership skills, her creativity, and her commitment to making our historic settlement house the very best partner to The Port it can be.
Christina’s experience in both management and fundraising make her well suited to lead the MFNH. At Northeastern University, where she began her career, Christina opened a new Alumni Center, and built the foundation for a successful alumni program. Over the next decade, she served in increasingly senior level roles, contributing her expertise to community service and health and human service organizations, including City Year, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Year Up. At the Dimock Center, where she served as Director of Development, External Relations, and Government Relations, Christina launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign.
The Board looks forward to formally introducing Christina to you, our community, in an event sometime this winter. In the meantime, please stop by and say hello. Christina’s first day as Executive Director is January 4. And with that, a new era at the historic Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House begins.
With all of our best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year – and many thanks, as always, for your support.
President of the Board
Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House
Over the course of 2 weeks, a group of aspiring leaders know as the Leaders in Training Crew over at the Margaret Fuller House planned, organized and hosted Margaret Fuller’s first ever teen party on July 23rd, 2015. With the help of Niah Carvalho, the assistant supervisor of the LITs, and Jenny Levine, the main supervisor of these leaders, they were able to raise nearly $800 at the famous “L.I.T Summer Bashment”. The LITs sold almost 100 tickets and had over 150 teens from all over Eastern Massachusetts paying to get in at the door to dance to the amazing mixes by Maxwell Elgart, also known as DJ Mad Max. They were also assisted by a few other counselors of the MFNH Summer Program staff with chaperoning. The bashment brought the teens of the community together in fun and turned out to be a booming success.
The reactions of the teenagers after the party were maybe the best part of it all. 15 year-old, Peterlee Dorlelan, said on the Facebook page for the event, “The party was a blast!” Karenah Harewood called it, “a LITuation” and said the “L.I.T crew did a great job.” Quincy West said, “this party was lit and it was a great turn up. You will be seeing me at the next one.”
So, why did the LITs throw this party anyways? Well, the young leaders were aspiring to go on many field trips to reward themselves for all the hard work they do around the MFNH such as working with the children in the summer program, cleaning the program and also assisting with all the major events of the organization. They wanted to be able to make money and have fun. Now that they’ve raised this money, they’re able to go on amazing trips and do amazing activities at places such as Laser Quest, Canobie Lake and maybe even Six Flags.
Written by Niah Carvalho
We’re the LITs (Leaders in Training) at the Margaret Fuller House. Specifically, there’s four of us writing this together, and our names are Christelle, Heizy, Mariysa, and Haley. We’re all 13 or 14, and some of us have been coming to the House since we were almost babies (or like 6 years old).
So Mark, our Director, asked us if we could write a little bit about what our experience at the Margaret Fuller House has been like. He wants to try to convince you that it’s worth it to give money to the Fuller House during the holidays. We have to agree! We came up with some questions we thought you might want to know about the Fuller House, and some answers we have to give.
What makes the Margaret Fuller House Special?
It has an old vibe, and is really a family place. It’s a house, and it really feels like a home. It’s also a place where it doesn’t matter about your skin color, or your background. Everyone is welcome here! It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you’re trying to get to. It’s a place where kids and adults can grow together.
What makes kids stay here so long and become leaders in training?
The kids actually want to come here. It has tons of opportunities, like Girls Group and Boys Group, Strong Women Strong Girls, STEAM Team and Leaders in Training. For the kids, it makes doors open for them. Unlike at school, the teachers actually act like they want to be here. If you make one mistake in school, suddenly that’s what you are. At Margaret Fuller House, they are forgiving. Every day is a new day. For LITs like us, it’s the kind of education you don’t really get in school.
Why should strangers give their money to the Margaret Fuller House?
If the strangers were in the same situation that many of the people here are in, they would want people to give to the house too.
If you want to DONATE, please go to: http://www.razoo.com/story/Mfnh-End-Of-Year-Wishes
So this is the first letter we’re writing. Mark asked us to send you one or two more before the holidays. We hope that you’ll really think about what we’ve been saying, and think about giving to the Fuller House!
Peace and Happy Holidays!
The Boston Globe featured our neighborhood- and the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House- on its Sunday front page this weekend. The article, entitled “Area Four Residents Live in the Shadow of the Future,” explores the stark inequalities in our neighborhood:
“As global pharmaceutical companies build new labs, Internet giants Google and Twitter expand, and startups snap up office space at ever-higher rents, families living in the shadow of the innovation economy are flocking to the local food pantry at three times the rate of a decade ago. The waiting list for public housing is double what it was five years ago. The beds in the Salvation Army homeless shelter on Massachusetts Avenue are always full.”
The article goes on to note:
“When executive director Barbara Kibler took over Margaret Fuller 11 years ago, the community center’s food pantry served about 400 people a month. Today, it’s about 1,200. On many days, the line stretches down Eaton Street.”
We have the power to meet the needs of our neighbors; we just need the funds. You’ll hear more from us during the holiday season- specifically, from some of the teens who grew up in the Margaret Fuller House, and so we thank you in advance for your generosity this season.
Thanks to the support of our neighbors and friends, we raised $7,000 and provided Thanksgiving meals to over 400 local families, a total of 22,000 pounds of food. We really had a successful Turkey Drive and we want to thank all of the fantastic volunteers who worked incredibly hard getting, moving, organizing, and giving out the food (and cleaning up)!!! It was such an impressive day and we hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.