A volunteer organization, the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) is highly involved in the everyday…More issues residents care about -- from graffiti, to bike lanes, to new buildings and developments in the neighborhood.
With more than 2,000 members, a 50-member board of directors and a 13-member executive committee, the neighborhood association also takes positions on city decisions and projects, and acts as a voice for Back Bay residents. Members also host a variety of social and charity events, including the Alley Rally where volunteers clean up city streets, and the annual Taste of Back Bay fundraiser every spring.
Rotary Club of Boston 64 Arlington St, Boston, MA02116 The Rotary Club of Boston is part of a larger community of the Rotary Club International. For more than a 100 years, the…More members of "Boston's premier civic club" have lent themselves to duties such as volunteering and spreading the goodwill. The Rotary Club is also a big network of "civic minded people" who pay $25 for the weekly meetings to talk about where and how the Rotary Club itself can advance them to their next destination to spread the word.
Serving all 351 cities and towns in the state, the Massachusetts Cultural Council promotes all things related to the…More arts, sciences and humanities. The state agency works with 2,400 volunteers, grant organizations, nonprofits, schools, city and town officials and individuals to support everything from new hotels and restaurants, community festivals, educational field trips, local artists and creative jobs. A large portion of its funding goes to other cultural councils in the state.
Two important initiatives are the Artists' Fellowship Program, which awards grants to local artists to help them further develop their talents and The Adams Arts Program, which fosters economic development through arts and culture. It's provided funding for organizations and events like ArtsUnion in Union Square in Somerville, the Boston Cyberarts Festival and the Cambridge Science Festival.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council also has a strong focus on children. The Yellow School Bus program helps schools cover transportation costs for educational field trips to places like museums, historic sites and theater performances. And Youth Reach uses art to help support at-risk adolescents.
Boston's YWCA – the first to be opened in the U.S. – has a long history of social activism and advocacy.…More Today, the YMCA is more active than ever, offering a number of programs and classes with the aim of empowering women, fighting against racial prejudice, and alleviating the plight of urban youth.
These programs include the Youth/Police Dialogues (a campaign to build trust between young people and policemen, in the hopes of curbing urban violence), women's health classes, financial literacy workshops, community outreach, professional development/career counseling, Stand Against Racism, and the Academy of Women Achievers (an evolving list, begun in 1995, to honor particular women for their civic and professional achievements).
The YMCA also provides affordable, temporary housing for women and students, and they advocate politically on behalf of women, youth, minorities, and the poor. This YMCA is located at 140 Clarendon St., which is a newly renovated historical headquarters. The YMCA relies heavily upon an activist volunteer base, and opportunities for service abound.
This neighborhood playground at the corner of Clarendon Street and Commonwealth Avenue is usually hopping no matter…More what time of day. It's a popular spot for families and young mothers to congregate with their kids, and a great resource for many local schools, including Commonwealth School, that take students there daily for recess. The playground gets especially crowded in the mid-morning and early afternoon.
Kids can enjoy two play structures with large and small slides, swings, a sandbox, and an open area ideal for games like soccer or tag. Considered a community treasure, the playground is also a hot spot for social events hosted by the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay, which puts on activites like the annual family Halloween and Opening Day parties.
In 2007 the playground underwent a $120,000 renovation to its amphitheatre seating area, and the NABB's Playground Committee works closely with the Boston Parks & Recreation Department to determine future renovations to the playground, as well as contribute to its upkeep and maintanence. The Playground Committee is also always looking for volunteers.
The Women's Lunch Place 67 Newbury St, Boston, MA02116 The Women's Lunch Place has been serving hot meals to Boston's poor and homeless women for more than 25 years. Located…More in the basement of the Church of the Covenant, this non-profit organization is a daytime shelter focused specifically on providing a safe environment for women to eat, take naps, shower, wash clothes, make phone calls, search for jobs, and seek both legal and medical assistance. The organization is comprised of a small, full-time staff and a large group of volunteers, including medical doctors and psychiatrists. Group activities such as art projects, exercise, and trips to beach are also an important part of the program. The Women's Lunch Place is privately funded and collaborates with a number of other agencies, including DMH, often receiving support from local businesses and restaurants. Once a month, it celebrates birthdays with a special donation of gifts from Tiffany's.