Giving Tuesday Comes to Wheelock

December 03, 2013

Givint Tuesday PodcastWheelock students gave spoken word performances during a live, national podcast in honor of Giving Tuesday, a national movement designed to boost charity donations and volunteerism. Also in support of Giving Tuesday, Wheelock College focused attention on a fundraising campaign by the Mattahunt Community Center.

Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In partnership, Giving Tuesday LIVE (#GTL LIVE) was a half-day online summit of GT programming featuring uniquely designed dialogues interspliced with celebrity and artist performances that help explore the great spirit around this new day of philanthropy.

Hear a recording of the podcast, including moving spoken word performances by Wheelock students Lissa Piercy, Guillermo Caballero, Al'Amin Cissi, and the other members of Flatline Poetry: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/41341921 (the students appear at the 1 hour/14 minute mark.)

The fundraising campaign for the Mattahunt Community Center will allow the center, located in Boston's Mattapan neighborhood, to provide comprehensive programming for all residents of the Mattapan community, from infants to older adults. The Center currently has just one full-time staff person and currently relies largely on local organizations to come in and provide programs. The Center hopes to meet the needs of this community by providing youth-based sports development, theater and the arts, academic support, aquatics for all ages, workforce development, pathways to college readiness, health and wellness initiatives for all ages, and to build pride and belonging within the Mattapan community.

Funds will be used to hire programming staff, re-vitalize the infrastructure of the center (sports fields, theater), purchase essential supplies and equipment, provide meals, provide transportation to residents, develop curriculum for educational programs, purchase books for a literacy program.

The Mattahunt Community Center was closed in 2010 as a result of budget cuts in the City of Boston. At the request of Mayor Menino, Wheelock College stepped in and agreed to manage the center in order to keep it from closing. Wheelock's mission is to improve the lives of children and families. Serving the Mattapan community is doing just that! This neighborhood is in desperate need of providing community based services. The center serves 180 families a day, and is physically located adjacent to the Mattahunt Elementary School.

Mattapan is a community of approximately 36,000 people, comprised primarily of minority (>90%) and low-income (~70%) residents. The needs of this community are overwhelming. 83% of children in the adjacent school are between one and three years behind grade level according to MCAS scores.

To learn more or give to the campaign (up until Feb. 1, 2014), visit http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/breathe-life-into-the-mattahunt-community-center

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