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Our children say “thank you” for making it possible
Just before the start of the new school year, Longview Farm in Walpole opened the doors to its new educational center and residences. The Knight Children’s Center, our oldest program in Jamaica Plain, shifted its operations to the new campus, and what was once a vision became reality.
The renovation and expansion of this therapeutic residential and special education program was funded by the largest-ever capital fundraising effort in The Home’s history: The Third Century Campaign. The goal of the $23 million campaign was to provide some of the most vulnerable children in our care with a vastly improved environment where they can live, learn, and heal. The new campus certainly accomplishes this goal, providing an ideal setting for the children to thrive.
Set on 166 acres of beautiful land, the site enhancements include four cottage-style residences and a 31,000 square foot addition to the school. The buildings, reflecting the rural setting with use of classic New England architecture, not only create an environment that is warm and friendly, but also meet the clinical needs of the children. Every detail was considered, from technology in the classrooms to dedicated areas such as reading resource rooms and speech therapy spaces.
The gorgeous new buildings are a dramatic contrast to the Knight Children’s Center, which was in disrepair and too expensive to renovate. The children who moved to Longview were amazed by the “newness” of everything. A loyal supporter, Virginia Griffin, gave each child new pajamas and a stuffed animal, and the staff made name signs for their rooms to help welcome them. The adolescent boys already living at Longview were also excited to settle into their new rooms and start the school year in the new school building.
Walking around campus, it is already easy to see the impact of this campaign on the children who are living and learning here each day. The state-of-the-art facilities, combined with the peaceful setting and the opportunities it provides to experience the outdoors, will work together to help them succeed. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of donors like you who contributed to the campaign.
We’re almost there, but not done yet! There is still just over $600,000 left to raise. Please consider helping future generations of children by contributing to the campaign.
The closing of the Knight Children’s Center in Jamaica Plain is the end of a long chapter in The Home’s history.
At the time of its opening in 1915, the building at 161 South Huntington Avenue was considered state-of-the-art, offering all the services needed for the care and protection of the children it served: education, therapeutic residence, physical and behavioral well-being, together with foster care and adoption programs. Every inch of the three-story building was carefully planned, from the Recitation Room to the Officers’ Dining Room, and even a small hospital.
In receiving the keys at the dedication ceremony of the Knight Children’s Center on June 15, 1915, Dr. Frederic H. Knight said “Times change, methods constantly change, but the spirit of the institution abides and will permeate, we trust, every part of the work of which this building is to be the center.” During its nearly 100-year history, countless boys and girls have come and gone through the doors of this once-magnificent building, and many things have changed, but this quote still rings true: our commitment to helping children has never wavered.
ASCL students volunteer in Cape Verde during the holidays
A community service trip to Cape Verde during last year’s holiday break was full of opportunities and firsts for seven youth in The Home’s Academic Support for College & Life (ASCL) program. The trip was part of their experience as students of this unique collaboration between The Home and Bridgewater State University that provides a four-year college program for youth aging out of state systems of care.
For many of the youth, who have no family or place to call home, this trip gave them somewhere to go when the dorms closed during the holidays. It was the first time most of them had ever been on a plane, let alone out of the country. Yet, the greatest benefit of the trip for the youth was the opportunity to give back to others, from orphans to the elderly, through various volunteer projects.
A highlight of the trip was a meeting with the First Lady of Cape Verde at the President’s Mansion. The visit was such a success that the First Lady expressed her wish that ASCL return during the upcoming holiday break with the new cohort of students who began this fall. The youth have already had the chance to meet the President of the Republic of Cape Verde, Jorge Carlos Fonseca, while he was visiting Bridgewater State University in September.
Your support of The Home makes trips like this possible. Thanks to you, these youth, who often show up at the program with their belongings in garbage bags, now have suitcases — and memories and experiences that will shape their futures.
"I just moved into an emergency shelter with my four kids. They wouldn’t have had backpacks this year if it weren’t for you.”
— A mother served by our Safe at Home program
This is just one example of the hundreds of families impacted by this year’s Back-to-School Drive. Thank you to everyone who contributed, making it our most successful drive yet! From companies and girl scout troops to individuals, your support helped us to ensure that students from across The Home’s programs had the supplies needed to start the school year. More than 1,000 backpacks, along with hundreds of notebooks, pencils, crayons, and binders, were collected and distributed to the kids in our special education and community-based programs.
Many of the youth in The Home’s care come from families who are struggling to make ends meet. Oftentimes, parents feel guilty that they cannot provide their children with some of the most basic needs, including school supplies. Your generosity not only makes our kids feel good, but gives parents one less thing to worry about.
It was a busy and successful golf season for The Home! Almost 70 golfers played 36 holes at our 18th annual Generous Masters Golf Tournament, held at Black Rock Country Club at the end of July. This event continues to be one of our most successful fundraisers, raising $133,000. Special thanks to our loyal “generous masters” and the efforts of co-chairs John Hennessey, Mike Dunn, and George Keches.
In September, The Home held its 5th annual Home in One event at Brae Burn Country Club, with 80 women hitting the golf course, tennis courts or the studio for some yoga (pictured at right) and Zumba. The networking reception included a fun new twist, with exhibitors selling jewelry, running shoes and much more! The highlight of the night was a presentation to honoree Clemmie Cash, who brought this event to life five years ago. It was a fantastic day, raising almost $90,000, thanks to the support of everyone involved, including co-chairs Emily McCavanagh and Molly Diggins.
Thanks to the talent and generosity of students from Noble and Greenough School, The Home has some fabulous artwork hanging around our programs. Students in the after-school program created graphic panels depicting the seasons in New England for a family space at one of our residential sites. A group of “service camp” students also painted some beautiful pieces for various therapy rooms.
Tyco was one of several companies to participate in Fun Field Fridays at some of our residential programs this summer. Tyco employees provided the supplies and organized a number of fun activities to engage with the kids, including face painting, science projects and tie-dye t-shirts.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage kicked off its new 6 for 60 program this fall, donating a $60 gift card to The Home’s Big Wishes Gift Drive for every touchdown that the Boston College Eagles score during the 2012 football season. Each gift card donated is also being matched by Walsh Brothers Construction. This creative partnership was developed by Coldwell Banker to help meet the challenge of providing gifts to older youth in our care. Go Eagles!