This week the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC) received one of 34 grants from Mayor Martin Walsh’s Offices of Health and Human Services and Public Safety 2021 Youth Development Fund.
EBECC will use the funding to assist at-risk Latino students struggling in school through integrated academic and psycho-social programming, which promotes healthy lifestyles, problem solving skills and independent thinking.
“A fundamental part of our residents’ public health and public safety is expanding existing services and implementing additional strategies to increase the accessibility of youth programming and violence prevention,” said Mayor Walsh. “It’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed added burdens on the wellbeing of residents, beyond their health. That’s why I’m proud to work with these organizations who will complement the City’s ongoing efforts, and I want to thank all of these partner organizations for their collaboration in these vital efforts.”
The grant money to the EBECC is part of $885,000 in funding, 34 community-based organizations to support and increase youth development and violence prevention programming.
Mayor Walsh has doubled funding for the Youth Development Fund each year for the past three years. For Fiscal Year 2019, Mayor Walsh invested $250,000 into the Youth Development Fund, $500,000 was allotted for Fiscal Year 2020, and for Fiscal Year 2021, Mayor Walsh has committed $1,000,000.
As the funding will help support EBECC’s to assist at-risk Latino students, EBECC CEO Frank Ramirez made an appeal for additional community support for the nonprofit’s other programs.
“America is resilient and we find hope and meaning even under adverse circumstances,” said Ramirez. “From Pearl Harbor to the September 11 attacks, we came out from the pain and sorrow of such events with our spirit intact, stronger to rebuild, grow and look to a brighter future. COVID-19 has presented to us a new reality. Illness and death, no large family gathering, avoiding traveling to visit loved ones and friends, distancing and one of the most difficult distancing measures for a Latin guy like me, no hugs. But let’s not forget those who are struggling to get through this season. Our creeds, our beliefs bring us triumphant time to celebrate our brother/sisterhood during the season, and we hope the holidays brought you thoughts of giving to those in need, and the profound satisfaction of helping transform lives and this community. In East Boston, EBECC has been helping neighbors come together to achieve a better quality of life for the last 41 years.”
Ramirez said while providing regular services during the pandemic, EBECC has distributed masks and sanitizing kits, personally referred clients to testing sites, to food distribution programs, and contacted housing and heating help services for families affected by unemployment.
“Facing tremendous constraints, EBECC continues promoting the advancement of immigrants of all ages through education, services, advocacy, community organizing, and leadership development,” said Ramirez. “Just last year, EBECC has assisted over 5,000 Latino immigrant families and youth in East Boston to learn English; to integrate into a new society or reunite with their families; and to acquire skills to become leaders. How much value do you think there is in helping immigrants to be safe, succeed and enrich our communities?”
Ramirez said the following contributions to the EBECC can help the agency tremendously in fulfilling its goals in the community;
• $1,500 for youth to participate in life skills training, leadership development workshops and computer classes
• $1,000 for a father to have the legal support that allows him to be reunited with his family
• $300 for distant learning, educational materials and supplies to help women and mothers learn basic English
• $150 to help promote the participation of Latino immigrant parents in East Boston to improve the Boston Public Schools
• $50 to help prepare a confident group of women and youth to speak to elected officials administrators about community issues or concerns.
“As EBECC’s CEO, I am proud to stand by an organization that provides the Latino community in East Boston with quality and invaluable services to help them realize their hopes for a better life,” said Ramirez. “Please join me in supporting EBECC’s mission by making a donation at the level of your choice to help youth, women and families from East Boston. On behalf of EBECC, I thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.”
To donate on line go to https://ebecc.networkforgood.com/projects/55255-fulfillment-of-families-together.