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New Year Resolution: Turning Dinner Parties into Giving Parties

New Year Resolution: Turning Dinner Parties into Giving Parties
Thursday, January 8, 2015

Talk about a great New Year’s resolution: a group of friends makes a year-long commitment to monthly dinners where they learn about local nonprofit work and giving opportunities. The result can make a huge difference for our communities, as it did last month when The Charity Girls of Northeast Massachusetts awarded $17,000 in grants and had a whole lot of fun together all year long!

Five years ago, Jude Martino of Newbury began The Charity Girls as a creative way to support nonprofit organizations in her community, modeled after a similar group in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Over dinner each month at one of their homes, the traditional giving circle provides members the opportunity to raise money together, decide on the use of those funds, make donations to charities of their choice, and enjoy a great home cooked meal!

Ccomprised of two dozen women from the greater North Shore and Merrimack Valley, the innovative philanthropic group established a fund at ECCF in 2009 to manage the administrative details of their collective giving. Since then, The Charity Girls fund has distributed $75,000 to twenty different nonprofit organizations doing good work in the greater Boston region.

“We’re so pleased to be able to distribute grants that enhance the programs of several organizations North of Boston,” Jude said. “Participating in this group provides a tangible opportunity for us to positively impact our communities."

Over a celebratory dinner in Boxford just before the December holidays, The Charity Girls gathered with grant recipients to award their checks (and snapped this photo!). Their selected 2014 nonprofit organizations included: Windrush Farm in North Andover; Peer Health Exchange, Boston Chapter; The MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen; The Community Giving Tree in Boxford; the Tri-Town Council in Topsfield/Boxford/Middleton; CitySprouts in Cambridge, and the Dave Welbourn Fund for Innovation and Collaboration at ECCF.

"We had a great time (at our last dinner)! We really benefit from our collaboration with ECCF,” said Martha Muldoon. “Thanks so much to ECCF for providing us with the infrastructure that enables us to make this all work so well.  We look forward to launching our sixth year partnering with ECCF to make a difference in the lives of many people on the Northshore!” 

Many thanks and Happy New Year to all of The Charity Girls of Northeast Massachusetts, included (in order of hometown) here:
Amesbury, Tatiana Burgos Espinal, Mary Hichborn; Boxford, Pauline Allyn, AJ Aubrey, Trish Callahan, Jeanne Chapman, Diana Dusel, Gina Dussi, Sue Fowler, Karen Moriarty, Nancy Tagerman, Susan Thibodeau; Bradford, Lauren Anderson; Georgetown, Evie Marquis; Hampton, NH; Marie Zappala-Stewart; Newbury, Jude Martino, Francee Quinlan; Newburyport, Carolyn Davis, Ellen Jameson, Gretchen Maguire, Martha Muldoon, Jane Tuohy; North Andover, Joyce Crum, Judy Gross; North Reading, Susan Ivester; Peabody, Joy Toro; Rowley, Jo-Anne Gibely; Westford, Sue Todd.

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