[The following was submitted by North Shore Community Action Programs.]
One hundred people turned out Nov. 14 for the Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony celebrating the 47th year of North Shore Community Action Programs (NSCAP). The anti-poverty agency presented its annual Senator Frederick E. Berry Community Service Award to Beverly Bootstraps, an organization that, in the words of Acting Executive Director Laura M. MacNeil, has had “a big impact on the citizens of Beverly.”
The Senator Frederick E. Berry Community Service Award was established in recognition of Senator Berry’s inspiring leadership and his dedication to improving the lives of low-income families and individuals. Senator Berry will retire at the end of this year, after representing Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem, and Topsfield in the Massachusetts State Senate for 30 years. He has served as Majority Leader since 2003.
“Senator Berry is a testament to a life committed to serving others and giving back to his community,” said MacNeil in the award presentation. “He served as a VISTA volunteer as a young man. His work at the State House has focused on education, human services, and children. We all know his charitable work on the North Shore – collecting food for the local pantries and through his charitable foundation which has helped so many nonprofits, including NSCAP.”
In selecting Beverly Bootstraps as this year’s Berry Award recipient, NSCAP recognized the agency’s significant impact on the community with programs serving people learning English, working towards their GED, seeking computer training and job readiness training.
MacNeil highlighted the organization’s food pantry and related food programs (community gardens, mobile food market and a summer lunch program), its thrift store, and a variety of programs for children, including after school homework help, literacy and summer camp.
MacNeil also recognized the valued ongoing partnership between the two agencies, noting that Beverly Bootstraps is a satellite location for NSCAP’s tax return preparation program, funded through the United Way, and provides intake for people renewing their fuel assistance applications.
“Everyone in this room knows Beverly Bootstraps,” she said. To honor Senator Berry and support Beverly Bootstraps’s mission, NSCAP staff and board contributed non-perishable food items for the food pantry.
In addition to presenting the Senator Frederick E. Berry Community Service Award, NSCAP honored volunteers who have made significant contributions to NSCAP programs.
Honorees included Elaine McCormick who volunteers with the income tax program, Nick Seager of SwervePoint for donations to Transition to Work and Steve Wasserman for long-time service to the board of directors. NSCAP also recognized 19 staff members for service milestones ranging from five to 25 years.
NSCAP provides innovative social services that help low-income families and individuals find the stability they need to rise out of poverty. Founded in 1965, NSCAP is the designated anti-poverty agency serving Salem, Peabody, Beverly, Danvers and surrounding communities.
Last year, NSCAP served 12,444 people with programs and services that provide housing and homelessness prevention, economic stability, education and training, fuel assistance and reduced energy costs and home care for elders.