Ashli Edwards, Kellie Fitzgerald, Erin Fontaine, YaQiao Li, Latrisha Searcy
This paper discusses the management of the non-profit organization Community Servings, while working with Holiday Basket Program. The motivation is to partner with Holiday Baskets Program to collaborate and develop relationships between the Simmons College community by initiating a donation drive on campus. It will analyze several components of the serving learning project by summarizing who is Community Servings and how Simmons College Holiday Baskets team interacted with the organization for the drive.
Community Servings: Holiday Baskets Program
Community Servings, is a Massachusetts non-profit organization located in Jamaica Plain which provides home-delivered nutritious meals to people suffering from life-threatening or chronic illnesses. Community Servings was founded in 1989 by a coalition of HIV/AIDS activists, “faith groups, and community organizations to provide home-delivered meals to individuals living” (About Us, History) with the disease. Today, Community Servings has expanded delivering meals to 1300 people per year with over 1500 volunteers.
Community Servings’ core mission is to feed critically and chronically ill people. It goals are to help their “clients maintain their health and dignity and preserve the integrity of their families through free, culturally appropriate, home-delivered meals, nutrition education, and other community programs.” The organization continues to tailor the right dietary needs of their patrons. They continue to bring culturally appropriate food because they believe that food not only provides nutritional value but it also brings together a diverse network of individuals. It stimulates local economies which generate positive externalities for the local community; program helps former inmates in transition, the unemployed, and students. There are several programs throughout Community Servings like Meals Program for the Critically Ill, Nutrition Education and Counseling Program, Food Service Job-Training Program, Volunteer Program, Meals for Many Social Enterprise Program, Technical Assistance Program, Local Foods Program, and Step Forward Program each aiding to the various stakeholders in organization.
Community Servings is made up of various stakeholders. The involvement of stakeholders is a key part of organization. The investment of the stakeholders is necessary to build relationships with the community. Community Servings stakeholders can be defined as people or organizations that are concerned about, affected by, invested, or are involved in organization. This consists of staff, board of directors, volunteers, chefs, students, corporate sponsors, and Simmons College Holiday Baskets team, the unemployed, rehabilitated ex-cons, and critically ill clients whom they all serve. Every stakeholder involved is being emotionally and intellectually rewarded for their commitment to the organization because it helps so many people in the community by buying into what the organization stands for while gaining a sense of ownership as well. A sense of community is developed through their actions of the various stakeholders. Currently, there are over 40 staff members and 50 volunteers who help the organization to prepare, package, and deliver 750 meals daily.
While working for Community Servings, we focused on the Holiday Baskets Program. The Holiday Baskets program started in 1990 to give gifts during the holiday season to those below the poverty level or suffering with chronic illnesses. Every year, their clients write wish lists for themselves or their families and then Community Servings will pair the wish lists with a holiday basket maker, who is willing to shop for the presents. The Holiday Baskets vision is to help clients, who have little to spend on items like toiletries, cleaning products, and clothing during the