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The Home For Little Wanderers Celebrates 10 Years Of Voices & Visions
Gala raises $1.1 million to help kids thrive and succeed
BOSTON (May 21, 2014) — Almost 800 guests turned out to celebrate The Home for Little Wanderers’ 10th Annual Voices & Visions Gala at the Seaport World Trade Center on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The evening raised $1.1 million for the nation’s oldest and one of Boston’s most beloved child welfare agencies. Highlights of the gala included a display of artwork created by the young artists in our programs and recognition of this year’s honoree Joanne Y. Jaxtimer, Regional Executive at BNY Mellon.
Jaxtimer was honored for her tremendous support in fostering diversity in the GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning) community, and assisting vulnerable youth aging out of foster care who are making the transition into adulthood. Under her leadership, The Home has received more than $330,000 from the BNY Mellon’s charitable giving initiatives. The Home’s own GLBTQ program, Waltham House, and its aging out programs —Roxbury Village and the Young Adult Resources Network — have all benefited from the bank’s generosity in these areas.
“Under Joanne’s leadership, The Home has been able to thrive and succeed, even during challenging economic times. Voices & Visions has continued to grow and gain increasing support from local business leaders and corporations, becoming one of the Boston-area’s largest annual fundraisers,” said Joan Wallace-Benjamin, President and CEO, The Home for Little Wanderers. “Joanne has inspired her employees and friends to give back to the community through various platforms by fostering diversity and assisting vulnerable youth transitioning out of the foster care system. The Home is grateful her ongoing tremendous support and the BNY Mellon’s commitment to charitable giving.”
In addition to honoring Jaxtimer, Voices & Visions featured a powerful exhibit of visual arts and creative writing by children in the organization’s therapeutic residential, special education, and community based programs. Created through an innovative year-long art project, youth helped select the theme of this year’s artwork, “I Dream a World,” which served as the backdrop for the gala. The children brought the theme to life by depicting some of their own aspirations for a brighter, greener, and more tolerant world.
“Voices & Visions allows us to celebrate the imaginative spirit of children and everyone who is making a difference in their lives,” explained Yolanda Cloete, Director of The Home’s Longview Farm Campus in Walpole. “When children are introduced to the creative process of art and writing, it has proven to be extremely therapeutic. It not only teaches children about various art forms, but also provides safe outlets for demonstrating complex feelings. Both are valuable tools in the healing process, especially for children who have experienced traumatic events, such as abuse and neglect, early in their lives.”
Other highlights from Voices & Visions 2014 included the recognition of this year’s Sabino Marinella Awardees. Tim and Lauren Miner, with their family, were recognized for being advocates to keep sibling groups in the foster care system together and raising awareness about this need in suburban communities. This annual award, which celebrates personal achievement, is named in memory of a longtime friend, supporter and board member of The Home.
According Wallace-Benjamin, “It is the generous support of donors, our staff, and volunteers in the community who have allowed The Home for Little Wanderers to continue our legacy of helping kids thrive and succeed.”
All proceeds from Voices & Visions 2014 will enable The Home to continue providing innovative programs and services to more than 7,000 children and their families across Boston and Eastern Massachusetts each year.
About Voices & Visions
Voices & Visions is a culmination of a year-long innovative arts program. The event features the creative art and writing by youth from throughout The Home for Little Wanderers’ programs in Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. Debuting more than 20 years ago as a small display of children’s artwork by the young residents at our well-known Knight Children’s Center ― which moved from Jamaica Plain in 2012 ― Voices & Visions has evolved into The Home’s signature fundraising gala. The project integrates the written word and visual arts — “voices and visions” that lend both name and substance to this moving event. In addition to teaching children about various art forms, it provides safe outlets for complex feelings and has proven to be a valuable tool in the healing process for those who have experienced traumatic events early in their lives. This year’s theme “I Dream a World,” was inspired by the Langston Hughes poem and depicts children’s aspirations for a brighter, greener, and more tolerant world.