“The time is always right to do right” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
At Boston Financial, “[doing] right” is embedded in our corporate values. Our business goals reinforce our commitment to serve our clients, our associates and our communities. Each day, through an active volunteer and charitable contribution policy, Boston Financial is engaged in bettering those communities in which our company is located and our associates work and live. Whether through small acts or larger contributions, our motto captures the ripple effect of any action: “It only takes one person to make a difference – You!”
Terry Metzger, chief executive officer of Boston Financial, is dedicated to making a difference. As a current member of the Board of Directors of The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (United Way), and the Immediate Past Campaign Chair of the Campaign Cabinet of the United Way’s annual fundraising drive, he is a passionate advocate of programs that promote civic and community development, education, and youth development. Terry commented: “Positively influencing the community and others takes relatively little effort but the results can be so large. Donations of time and care can be just as valuable as financial contributions. No matter how we help — by cleaning a playground, reading a book, serving food, or providing care — we all benefit and become better colleagues and citizens.”
Through our Associate Volunteer Program, Boston Financial employees are granted up to eight hours a year for charitable activities. In specific programs such as Cradles to Crayons, Partners in Education, Father Bill’s Meal-A-Month and others, Boston Financial brings volunteer needs directly to our associates. Boston Financial coordinates the opportunities for our associates to choose from, based on the organization, time and place where they want to help. Whether one-on-one or group-based, our staff is encouraged to find a need that embodies their values.
Cradles to Crayons is one organization that realizes broad support from Boston Financial. Providing homeless or low-income children from birth through age 12 with the items they need at home, at school and at play, Cradles to Crayons focuses on connecting those who have with those children who need. Boston Financial provides funding to the organization, but in addition, staff conduct drives to collect new and nearly new clothing and toys, and then volunteer to sort and package items for distribution.
For those who prefer to contribute financially to any eligible organization, the Boston Financial Matching Gift Program ensures donations have an even greater impact. In conjunction with the United Way, Boston Financial also allows employees to deduct contributions from their regular paychecks and direct these payments to charities of choice.
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” — Winston Churchill
These words ring true for Boston Financial associate Brian Shea, Senior Learning Consultant. Through his volunteer work with the United Way, Brian learned that making a difference for others also made a difference for him. “I’ve had exposure to many of the organizations supported by the United Way, and have even become a board member of one. As a result, I developed skills and abilities I never knew I had,” Brian said.
These thoughts are a common refrain among Boston Financial volunteers. By using their talents in different environments and in new situations, associates gain a greater sense of their own skills and capabilities. They also meet people in other business areas across Boston Financial, allowing them to learn more about our firm and network. Proving the quote above from Winston Churchill, our associates find that making a difference in other people’s lives is perhaps the greatest reward of all. The result truly is a “win-win-win” — for clients, our community and our associates.
“It’s a hand up, not a hand out” —Year Up
Boston Financial’s involvement with Year Up is another example of how we work within our community to effect change. A non-profit organization operating in cities across the U.S., Year Up has a mission of closing the opportunity divide by providing young adults with hands-on skills training and corporate internships. Founded in 2000, Year Up’s vision is that in the future, every urban young adult will have access to the education, experiences, and guidance required to realize his or her true potential.
Melanie Schnelle, a Boston Financial associate who was recently named Outstanding Manager by Year Up, commented that, “Year Up is proud to say that their efforts are a hand up, not a hand out.” By working closely with Year Up mentees, learning more about their skills and interests, Melanie has also improved her management skills. Listening and providing guidance has helped these young adults find possible career paths, and it reinforces skills needed by Melanie and other managers.
Boston Financial believes that being a better business partner requires us to do more than just provide services and solutions to our clients. When we also become engaged members of the community, and when we provide our employees with the skills, knowledge and experience they need, we make a lasting positive difference. “[Doing] right” at Boston Financial truly is about work and the ability to bring our values to work.