Your Gift Goes a Long Way

Most people would agree that there are few things in life that touch us more than seeing a happy child — opening gifts on their birthday, riding a bike, or eagerly waiting for their bus to take them to school. Feeling safe and worry-free, they are able to thrive as any child should. And as supporters of The Home, you know the joy that comes with knowing you have helped put a smile on a child’s face.

The many programs at The Home that you support allow us to provide services and resources to children and families in crisis and suffering from hardship. One such program is Safe at Home, where clinicians and therapists reach out to those families where they need it most — in the home. The program provides services including counseling, family stabilization, and parenting support. But, that isn’t always enough. Oftentimes our clinicians encounter homes that are lacking in essentials such as clothing, beds and other basics, compounding their stress and inhibiting their ability to focus on treatment.

When this happens, our staff is able to turn to resources that are only available because of you. It is with your donations that supplemental services, such as our gift card donation program, allow clinicians to help children and families with urgent and usually very basic needs.

Here are some examples of how families have benefited from your support:


David, a young father, bought an air mattress, sheets, pillow, and comforter for his eight-year-old daughter Lyla who had been sleeping on the floor. They had been denied emergency shelter and were living in over-crowded conditions.


Christopher's last minute acceptance to summer camp was greatly enhanced when a gift card enabled him to buy essential camp items such as shorts, t-shirts, socks and personal care supplies. With his basic needs met, he was able to fully enjoy his camp experience.


On Makaya’s 11th birthday there were no gifts or celebrations from her family due to financial hardship. A gift card allowed her to select some items for herself, including new sneakers and hair accessories.


When a four-month-old girl was being reunified with her parents, they were able to buy her a crib to sleep in.


Michael, 18, is now ready to face a New England winter thanks to an observant social worker who noticed that he did not have a winter coat. He was able to use a gift card for the coat and also bought some gloves and a scarf.

One family bought hampers, plastic drawers, storage bins and waste baskets to bring organization to their crowded home. The family reports feeling less stressed and the kids are also learning to help out with chores.

These are just a few cases of how you have helped The Home provide services that go above and beyond the scope of our state contracts. Individuals and families are benefiting every day, and their spirit and hope is renewed knowing that people out there care. Thank you for making this possible.

All names and photos have been changed to protect the identities and privacy of our clients.

From the President

Dear Friends,

November is National Adoption Month and I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have given a loving home to a child in need. The work we do every day here at The Home reminds us how necessary a stable, nurturing environment is to the healthy development of children.

We had a busy summer here at The Home; we were able to give the kids in our care some fun things to enjoy — visits to the beach, educational trips, camping, etc. These things are taken for granted in most homes, but here we can’t do it without the extra help we receive from generous donors like you.

Our two annual golf fundraisers were held this fall — Generous Masters and Home in One; together they drew 144 participants and raised a total of $186,000 for our programs and services. Our Back to School appeal was hugely successful again this year — 650 children had new backpacks and supplies, thanks to the many corporations and individuals who organized drives and made donations.

As we count down to the holiday season, I’d like to say how much we appreciate everything our donors and volunteers do for us all year round. We are grateful to the many individuals, corporations large and small, and foundations for making a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve. My wish is a happy and healthy season for all kids and grown-ups everywhere.


Joan Wallace-Benjamin



Speaking Up for Homeless Youth

Imagine being 17 years old and shuffled among 13 different foster homes and two group homes in less than three years. Add to that some time living alone on the street and you have the story of one youth in our Young Adult Resource Network (YARN) program, who found the courage to speak up at a recent State House hearing on the Unaccompanied Youth Homelessness bill. 

Sandra*, who left home after she told her mother she was transgender, was one of the youngest panel members at the hearing and later was asked by the State House News Service to tell her story. “When I was going through that situation I felt like no one understood, no one cared,” she told the reporter. Other speakers said they felt safer sleeping on the streets to avoid the violence, drug abuse and theft that take place in shelters. Sexual violence is often the reason young people leave home and then they become victims all over again in the adult shelters. The purpose of the bill that was being heard is to create special youth shelters and funding for programs fighting homelessness among young people.

The Home works to help these youth through programs like YARN and Roxbury Village, which provides safe housing for homeless youth who often come from the foster care system and are facing adulthood with very few resources. Learn more in the infographic below.

*Name and photo have been changed to protect the identity and privacy of our client.


With a Little Help From Our Friends

Dunkin' Donuts

Thanks to our friends at Dunkin’ Donuts, kids were able to experience the thrill of watching live sports. Through programs like Dunkin’ Dugout and Kid Zone, 15 kids from our programs have been “taken out to the ballgame” to see the Boston Red Sox in action. Soon, 24 lucky kids will be sitting courtside at TD Garden where they will not only watch the Celtics play the Milwaukee Bucks, but also get to meet a Hall of Famer.


A group of energetic and generous volunteers from Marsh USA embarked on a beautification outing at our Harrington House. Several volunteers spent a summer day weeding flower beds, pruning trees in the back lot and picking up debris around the grounds. Through the kindness of others, our kids not only get to enjoy their beautiful new grounds but also receive a meaningful lesson in the art of giving.


Longview Farm Campus boasts a beautiful music room that was made possible by Natixis Global Asset Management. In celebration of this year’s Berklee Bean Town Jazz Festival, Natixis and The Home worked collaboratively to plan a special music class with Berklee students where youth were given an opportunity to express their creativity through music, song and games. From the smiles on their faces and children asking “when are you coming back again?” it was clear that we have some future musicians in our midst.


Together for 50 Years

This year, WilmerHale celebrates its 50-year pro bono relationship with The Home. From providing adoption-related legal assistance to our clients in the 1960s and ʼ70s, to the real estate work done for our various campuses today, WilmerHale has been a true friend and partner to The Home. In addition to legal services, the firm’s attorneys and staff have donated thousands of dollars to our annual Big Wishes holiday campaign.

“The Home for Little Wanderers and WilmerHale are two of Boston’s most notable institutions serving the community,” said Public Service Manager Anne Bowie, who spent seven years as The Home’s adoption clinical coordinator prior to joining WilmerHale in 2005. “It is a pleasure for me to be affiliated with both. The firm’s pro bono legal services support the important work of The Home by strengthening its infrastructure — for example, with real estate assistance — but our lawyers also support its services to youth and families through overarching child welfare policy work.”

The firm is currently helping The Home with construction and development activities surrounding the renovation of our Southeast Campus in Plymouth.

Everyone at The Home, including the children and families we serve, is very grateful for the continuing partnership with WilmerHale and for the firm’s generous support of our work.


Mike DonovanRemembering a Friend and Mentor

It was with deep sadness that The Home learned of the passing of Michael Donovan on August 27, 2013.  Michael first became involved with our Waltham House program as a volunteer with State Street Bank, visiting the program during summer BBQs and pizza parties. After a few visits Michael and his best friend Jay Wayshak decided more needed to be done, so they developed the Waltham House Committee. This committee helped organize the Waltham House Casino Night and 10-year Anniversary Celebration. Although Michael was involved in fundraising for the program, his most important contribution was being a mentor to two Waltham House youth. Michael’s dedication as a mentor remained strong and he continued his support for many years after the youth left Waltham House.

On learning of Michael’s passing, one youth wrote, “Mike Donovan mentored me through a hard time in my life and I am a better person because of him — I know he will continue to guide me through any trials I face in the future.” Michael’s infectious smile, great laugh and heart of gold will be missed by many.