South Boston neighborhood notes
Ollie holiday helpers needed
The South Boston Neighborhood House (the Ollie) is the oldest continuously-operated community based non-profit in South Boston, and they’ve been going strong for 115 years. As a settlement house, they look to meet the needs of the community and offer programs for everyone in South Boston: infants, children, teens, families and seniors.
The Ollie is collecting gifts and toy donations to help make the holidays a bit merrier for more than 400 families (numbers increasing daily) suffering from the pandemic’s economic fallout.
This year, all gift and toy donations will be shipped to an offsite location to ensure safety.
Visit sbnh.org for more information or go to https://form.jotform.com/202826172358154 to donate money, gifts cards and/or items from their families’ wish list.
Build It! (on Zoom)
Children, ages 5 through 12 and their families, are invited to join Librarians Patty and Rebecca from 4 to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 to tackle a monthly building challenge. The participants will use supplies found in their homes, principles of engineering and a lot of ingenuity.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.
New Parent Group (on Zoom)
Looking for a way to meet other parents with infants? Need support from experts while navigating new challenges? Have questions about childhood development, parenting and early literacy?
Join the Boston Public Library’s New Parent group on Zoom. The group will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. on (most) Tuesdays for an informal – and informative – program for families with infants, birth to 12 months. The group will meet on Dec. 15 and Dec. 22.
There will be guest speakers visiting each week to speak about a variety of topics, including diapering, napping, feeding, early communication and general wellness for parents and infants. There will also be time before the guest speaker arrives so people can connect with other new parents and get early literacy recommendations from the librarians.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including a weekly speaker/topic and registration.
Facebook Live: Story and a snack
Follow along with the Boston Public Library staff from 3:30 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15 and Dec. 29 as they share stories and show people how to cook up a delicious snack.
Find them on www.facebook.com/BPLchildren.
‘The Heart of the Matter: Expressive Writing Workshop’
Faith Breisblatt, LCSW and Writer & Emily Duggan, poet and performer will facilitate The Heart of the Matter, an expressive writing workshop from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
In this workshop, participants will explore the ways in which we relate to ourselves, each other and our emotions as we manage the turmoil going on around us – from the pandemic, racial injustices and political upheaval, to mental-health concerns, interpersonal relationships and the unending search for hope, inspiration and love.
To achieve this exploration, they'll utilize a variety of creative writing forms, including erasure poetry, letter writing/direct address, personification, free verse and persona poetry.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.
2020 Marine Toys for Tots campaign
The US Marine Corps Reserve (Greater Boston) will be collecting new, unwrapped toys as Christmas gifts for those children less fortunate.
Toys can be dropped off at the Toys for Tots Warehouse at 21 Drydock Ave., 8th Floor, Boston; at any State Police barracks, fire stations or police departments; and at an array of host sites listed on their website.
Donations via check should be mailed to: Toys for Tots Coordinator, 21 Drydock Ave., Box 21-810W, Boston, MA 02210. You can also make a donation online.
All donations should be submitted through Tuesday, Dec. 15 to ensure enough time to complete sorting and distribution prior to Christmas.
Due to the size of the area they serve, they provide toys exclusively to churches, qualified charitable organizations and social service agencies. Individual families can register at any of the types of places listed above and request toys from the program.
Go to boston-ma.toysfortots.org for more information, including the link to donate and the list of host sites.
Researching your home
Learn about resources at the Boston Public Library and beyond that can assist people in discovering the history of their Boston home. This course will take place on Zoom from 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.
COVID-19 in Our Community: A Conversation
COVID-19 has affected our communities in a number of ways. While we are keeping physical distance to protect public health, let’s stay connected to what matters most.
Join the Boston Public Library and Local Voices Network from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16 to discuss how we feel about this challenging time and what we can do about the problems we are now facing.
For more information about LVN, visit to lvn.org.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and the link to register.
2020 Christmas Shop
Christmas Shop needs support to help bring hope and joy to those most in need during the holiday season.
– People can provide new gifts and clothing (no food items) to individuals and families in need in Boston - View Wish List online
– People can volunteer to help with sorting items and packing them for recipients (adults only).
Go to citymissionboston.org/christmas-shop for more information.
Kids, ages 8-12 years old, are invited to join librarians for puzzles, games and different projects from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17.
This program is a great way to spend an hour and virtually hang out with kids around Boston.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.
SNOWPORT | Winter Wonder Walks
Escape to a winter wonderland filled with safe, seasonal daily activities. Follow the trail of festive holiday trees, try your hand at curling and other complimentary winter games on Seaport Common, and keep an eye out for Seaport’s newest friend, Betty the Yeti.
And there is no better time to experience the magic than during their Winter Wonder Walks from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
Experience it all at #SNOWPORT, all season long through Saturday, Dec. 19. *Curling will continue through Feb. 28 (info and reservations at bostonseaport.xyz/events).
Go to eventbrite.com/e/snowport-winter-wonder-walks-tickets-126100045631 for more information and registration.
City Mission is collecting new, unused coats in all children’s sizes and all teen sizes (including adult men’s and women’s) that will be given directly to Boston schools and organizations that serve low-income families.
Coats can be donated in one of the following ways:
– Buy a coat and deliver it to your organization’s coat drive then dropped off at the Coat Collection Center
– Order online and send directly to the Coat Collection Center (See Wish Lists)
The address is: Coat Collection Center, First Parish Westwood, Attn: City Mission, 252 Nahatan St. Westwood, MA 02090.
Go to citymissionboston.org/coat-boston for more information.
Peace by Piece online
Peace by Piece (hosted by the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 340 Dorchester St.) will be held online from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month (except for holidays).
Peace by Piece (for post-traumatic healing) provides free monthly trauma support programming using a community-based approach to foster recovery and healing from all sources of post-traumatic stress, grief, or losses of all types. This program – facilitated by Rev. Katie Cole and the Peace by Piece Team – is open for all adults from all backgrounds, faiths and orientations around the Greater Boston area – all are welcome.
Visit fourthboston.org/peace, phone 617-701-6281, call or text at 919-924-1170, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, including the Zoom information.
Facebook Live Story Time: Tuesday Tales
Join the Children’s Library team for a live-streamed story time for children, ages 2 to 4 years old, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays through Dec. 29 at www.facebook.com/BPLchildren.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information.
Pajama Story Time
Grab your coziest PJs and a favorite stuffed animal and join Librarian Rebecca for end-of-day stories, songs and movement from 6 to 6:45 p.m. on Thursdays. Wind down with a cozy craft inspired by the reading. This story time is ideal for toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary kids.
Email Librarian Rebecca (email@example.com) with your child's name and age to register and receive a link to the Boston Public Library’s Zoom room.
BHN scavenger hunts
“Explore Boston Harbor: A Waterfront-Wide Scavenger Hunt,” presented by Boston Harbor Now and their partners, will run through winter in four locations: Charlestown, Downtown Boston, East Boston and South Boston.
Go to edventurebuilder.com/BHN to start the hunt.
Online Homework Assistance Program
The Boston Public Library Homework Assistance Program is available from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. Open to K-8, no registration required.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston @ Home
Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston provides all after-school programs such as academics, arts and music, character & leadership and healthy lifestyles on their Facebook and YouTube platforms in an interactive setting.
Go to bgcb.org for more information and registration.
The Boston Cyclists Union
The Boston Cyclists Union invites people to get involved and join a working group or committee.
Volunteer working groups (Activist Group and Programming Group) meet monthly and play an important role in planning and organizing the Bike Union programs and campaigns. Participation in these groups offers a more active, “on-the-ground” influence than traditional volunteer opportunities.
The three board committees (Development, Finance and Operations, and Governance) support the staff in long-term planning and strategy. Each committee meets monthly.
All meetings are open to all interested parties. Dates and locations along with other information can be found on their website at https://bostoncyclistsunion.org.
Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information
Boston Eats will continue to provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth –
18 years of age and under – through Thursday, Dec. 31. No ID or registration required.
Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations and other information. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens is also included.
Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.
If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.
Support Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston provides a comprehensive array of services for people in need.
Please consider donating food, gift cards or hygiene products to keep their food pantries and basic needs operations open and fully stocked.
Phone their administrative offices at 617-464-8500 for donation guidelines.
Visit www.ccab.org for a list of places that they service along with more information.
Support St. Monica’s Good Samaritan Ministry
The Good Samaritan Ministry (which encompasses the Peace Ministry, Recovery Ministry, and Food Security Ministry) at St. Monica-St. Augustine Church, 331 Old Colony Ave. in South Boston supports individuals and families who are often overlooked by others. Violence, addiction, poverty, oppression, chronic mental illness and other injustices often isolate victims and survivors from the blessings of a safe and welcoming community.
During this chaotic crisis, St. Monica’s Kitchen continues to offer groceries and provide the monthly Peace Breakfast to those in need. They anticipate the problem of hunger to increase as many more of their neighbors experience a food emergency.
To make a financial/food/supplies donation to support this ministry, contact Deacon Paul at 617-268-8100 or visit “St. Monica’s Kitchen” at sbscatholic.org.
Support South Boston Neighborhood House (The Ollie)
The South Boston Neighborhood House is the oldest continuously-operated community based non-profit in South Boston, and they’ve been going strong for 115 years! As a settlement house, they look to meet the needs of the community and offer programs for everyone in South Boston: infants, children, teens, families, and seniors.
Financial Impact of COVID on SBNH is significant – and they are working hard to bridge the gap: Tuition revenue decreases (due to serving fewer children); Expense increases (cleaning supplies, PPE, additional staff to handle new protocols); Fundraising more challenging and limited due to the economy.
Please support The Ollie’s efforts by making financial/supplies donations and by volunteering your time and talents (there are countless ways to do so).
Visit sbnh.org for more information, including the links to donate and a list of volunteer opportunities.
SB Neighborhood Aid Network launches new projects
The South Boston Neighborhood Aid Network has two new projects to help neighbors in need throughout the fall and winter seasons:
1) Southie Emergency Assistance Fund will provide small amounts of cash assistance to Southie residents to help pay rent, utility bills, or other critical expenses. SBNDC will take applications and manage the funds. (Select the Southie Emergency Assistance Fund from the drop-down menu)
2) Southie Care Kits will include information about how to locate and access established resources within the local community, while providing a few essential items, such as face masks, hand sanitizer, a food store gift card, and other hygiene and household items to help families cover the gap. Each kit costs $40-50 to put together and people can sponsor a kit with a donation. (Select Southie Care Kits from the drop-down menu)
Volunteers are needed to: Assemble and/or deliver Care Kits; Help process Assistance Fund applications; Join a committee or project team to help our Aid Network keep this momentum and help as many of our neighbors as possible. To sign up as a volunteer, visit bit.ly/sbnan-volunteer-signup.
The core mission of the SB Neighborhood Aid Network is to help South Boston residents in need get connected to the established services and programs available to help them, such as food pantries, and to provide immediate assistance, such as groceries and cleaning supplies, when needed.
South Boston residents in need of help or information can access the Aid Network in the following ways: Call or text the Hotline at 617-221-7594 (leave a voicemail); Submit an online form at bit.ly/sbnan-help-request; Email SBNeighborhoodAid@gmail.com.
Visit sbneighborhoodaid.com and/or their Facebook page for more information, including links to donate and volunteer.
Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum update
The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, 306 Congress St. is open Thursdays through Sundays following the safety guidelines:
Tours are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The gift shop and Abigail’s Tea Room is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit bostonteapartyship.com for more information.
Boston Children’s Museum is open
The Boston Children’s Museum has re-opened following health and safety guidelines.
Museum hours: Wednesdays through Sundays with two time slots for visits from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets must be pre-purchased.
Most exhibits will be opened with a few exceptions. The Art Lab will be open with familiar and new programs. The Shop at BCM will be open during Museum hours.
TJX $1 Friday night will be back in the future.
Visit bostonchildrensmuseum.org for more information.
Boston Children’s Museum virtual tour and resources
Children can plot their next museum adventure by navigating past fun spots like the three-story New Balance Foundation Climb on the first floor and the Construction Zone on the third floor.
Among the resources are BCM Home Edition with 26 activities that families can do together and 100 Ways to Play – from cooking and crafting (such as origami, beading, paper dolls and accessories), to imagination and observation games, to exploring and movement activities.
The “Big & Little” podcast for adults, about families, kids, and our world, explores relevant topics ranging from play, learning, creativity, resilience, and health through interviews with people from varied professions and who have different perspectives and experiences.
Visit bostonchildrensmuseum.org and/or follow their social media accounts for more information.