Monthly Archives: July 2014

Category: Corporate Citizenship

Year Up – A Rewarding Experience

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Today we have the final installment of our Year Up video series. In part one, Terry Stiles introduced you to Year Up and Boston Financial’s partnership with the program. In part two, Terry talked about a Year Up intern who became a Boston Financial employee. Today, Terry shares her experience as a Year Up manager and how rewarding it has been for her, her intern, and for Boston Financial. Watch the video below…

Watch part one of the video series here.

Watch part two of the video series here.

Category: Corporate Citizenship

Above Par

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blog3For over 150 children and families impacted by cancer, the Expect Miracles Foundation Annual Kids Golf Day turned Fenway Park into a mini fairway and proved to be above par. The courageous children who attended have been patients at Mass General Hospital, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, the Jimmy Fund Clinic, and other community hospitals. They are currently being treated for cancer, in remission, cancer survivors, or have a family member affected by the disease.

As part of Boston Financial’s associate volunteer program, Jeff Edelson, Ken Hu and I recently had the opportunity to spend  an unforgettable day with these kids and families – and what better place to make memories than iconic Fenway Park! Like most people, any volunteer experience usually leaves me with sense of gratitude. However, the personal connections made during this event left me with a profound sense of perspective.

I spent some of the day with one particular family that seemed like your “every day” family, although one child had special needs and the other was battling cancer. Their parents were fun and well spirited, but I sensed an overwhelming feeling of worry and fear as the future is somewhat uncertain for both of their children. I wondered what their daily life is like – dreaded trips to the hospital for treatments, anxiously waiting for news from the doctor, praying their insurance coverage will be enough – all while trying to keep life as regular as possible with summer barbeques, beach days and little league games.

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As I drove home, I contemplated beeping my car horn a couple of times at pre-occupied drivers not paying attention to the road. But it dawned on me that those drivers, just “every day” people on the outside, may have something weighing on their mind. The day at Fenway reminded me not to sweat the small stuff and to count my blessings, but it also reminded me to be considerate and patient, as I truly don’t know what problems others may have on their mind. A valuable lesson learned that day, one that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

With their focus on citizenship, Boston Financial offers many volunteer opportunities. As I have experienced many times, the rewards are countless. So I encourage you – give up a few hours of your time – it may change your life forever.

Category: Corporate Citizenship

Year Up – Taking on Something New

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Year Up is one of the organizations that Boston Financial supports through its commitment to corporate citizenship. Year Up is a one-year intensive training program that provides urban young adults with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits, corporate internships, and support. Boston Financial has been an employer with the program since 2009, taking on a number of interns during each cycle of the program.

In part one of a three part video series, Boston Financial’s Terry Stiles talks about how she was moved by the Year Up program and her decision to become a Year Up manager. Watch the video below…

Watch part two of the video series here.

Category: Corporate Citizenship

Building Stronger Community Ties

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With five offices spanning the East and Midwest, Boston Financial is diverse. Each office has its unique traits reflective of the area and people, but we come together as one organization. In this way, we’re a lot like a family.

When designing the Associate Volunteer Program, Boston Financial kept this in mind. Our program reflects the needs of the local community yet still aligns with the organization’s broader areas of charitable focus. Sourcing the volunteer activities at each of our locations helps ensure the activities resonate with associates across our organization. Another way we foster associate participation is by enlisting associates to help identify volunteer activities.

For instance, I work in our Rockland, Maine office, and I’m part of an associate team that meets weekly to review volunteer opportunities. The team regularly solicits associates in our Rockland office on their interests as it relates to volunteer activities. The team also meets monthly with management to present our recommendations for upcoming activities.

Earlier this year, the team surveyed associates. Based on their feedback, the team identified five volunteer activities, some of which we’ve already implemented. The goodwill gained among Rockland associates is shared throughout the organization. Associates blog and share photos about their volunteer experiences on our social intranet.

Sourcing the activities locally and sharing our experiences gives us a chance to connect on a deeper level with the local community. To give you an idea, here are some of our recent activities:

people-around-parking-gateParking Cars For Charity: Each summer, Rockland is home to some of the most renowned festivals along the East Coast. The festivals include the annual two-day North Atlantic Blues Festival; The Maine Lobster Festival, a five- day event attracting over 75,000 visitors; and the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbor show. All the festivals take place along Rockland’s picturesque harbor.

With our Rockland Office right on the harbor, our parking lot is prime parking for the festivals. During the festivals, Boston Financial gives local charities the use of our parking lot. The organizations charge a fee to park in the lot, raising money for their organizations. Boston Financial associates also work the parking lot, helping the organizations park cars and collect money.

Bowling for Kids Sake: Rockland associates engage regularly with the Big Brother Big Sister of Mid-Coast Maine as Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Corporately, we also participate in fundraising and volunteer activities with the organization throughout the year. At a recent event, associates bowled to raise money for the organization. At another event, associates collected board games, arts and craft supplies, sports equipment, and card games for the organization’s afternoon school programs.

Giving Back Through the Humane Society: At the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, associates clean, walk and give attention to the animals at the shelter. In addition to our corporate sponsored events, many of our associates volunteer at the Humane Society on their own time.

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I like working for a company that empowers its associates to make a difference. It inspires me to do more. Whether it’s giving input on ideas, identifying volunteer opportunities, or giving associates time off to volunteer, we all have a say in how we give back.