Boston, Massachusetts, September 15, 2009 – East End House in Cambridge will receive a much-deserved facelift from more than 150 employees of ARAMARK, the global provider of professional services, on Tuesday, September 22. East End House, a multi-service community center and social service agency, provides programs for approximately 3,700 individuals and families throughout the greater Boston area each year.
The day of service is part of ARAMARK Building Community, a company-wide initiative that fosters long-term support for local community centers in more than 25 cities. The service day also continues the partnership between the Massachusetts Association of Settlement Houses (MASH), a network of eight community centers serving Greater Boston communities, and ARAMARK that was launched in 2008. Through this relationship, East End House will receive a substantial transformation, including a redesign of its backyard space and a new vegetable garden to supply fresh food for its consumers and at special events.
“We are continually assessing the needs of our community members,” said Michael Delia, CEO of East End House, Inc. “The generosity and support from ARAMARK will allow us to focus on the wide variety of programs and services we offer to meet these needs, while creating an uplifting space that represents the mission of our agency. The partnership will also give us the opportunity to leverage the unique resources and skills of ARAMARK and develop innovative programming and services on an ongoing basis.”
The current economic landscape places more importance on community centers than ever before. Community centers are on the front lines, addressing some of our nation’s most pressing social issues, including poverty, education, unemployment, obesity, youth development and caring for aging seniors.
Approximately 65 percent of East End House constituents live at or below the Federal Poverty Level and 63 percent rely on a single income. Programs at the East End House target individuals of all ages and have evolved with the needs of the community for 135 years.
“At a time when many may be considering cutting back on volunteer resources, ARAMARK Building Community demonstrates our continued community commitment,” said Frank Mendicino, president of ARAMARK strategic assets and local ARAMARK Building Community executive sponsor. “At ARAMARK, we enrich our communities by harnessing the diverse skills of our employees to help strengthen local neighborhood centers who are doing the hard work to ensure individuals have the resources and tools they need to support their families and gain self-sufficiency in Boston and around the world.”
Working side-by-side with City Year Boston, a group dedicated to engaging youth in full-time community service and ARAMARK’s volunteerism partner, ARAMARK employees will complete 7 service projects including landscaping the building’s exterior and building planter boxes, repainting interior walls and bathrooms, building new storage shelves, bookcases and benches and painting inspirational murals.
This project continues ARAMARK’s ongoing relationship with MASH that began last year with the Elizabeth Peabody House. Employee volunteers enhanced the center’s facilities and during the holiday season, delivered hundreds of donated Thanksgiving baskets with turkeys to families in need and hosted a holiday party where they supplied a holiday meal, took photos of the children with Santa and contributed gifts. As part of this long-term commitment, ARAMARK volunteers will come back to the East End House and other MASH member organizations to offer expertise and resources related to help prepare and connect people to jobs, provide nutrition and wellness education and ensure access to basic human services such as food and clothing to strengthen and the organization and its programs.
According to a November 2008 poll conducted by International Communications Research* on behalf of ARAMARK, 61 percent of Americans believe that the role community centers play will be more important than ever in the current economic climate. Of the services that community centers provide, respondents believe that access to basics like food and clothing, affordable childcare and preschool, job training and after school programs are the most important services offered, though the order of what is most important varies by age, region, education and race. Respondents also believe that community centers have a great opportunity to generate support from non-members by educating the general public about the services they provide in their local neighborhoods.
*The study was conducted for ARAMARK via telephone by International Communications Research, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted November 7-11, 2008 among a representative sample of 1017 adults aged 18 years or older. The margin of error is +/-3.07% at the 95% confidence level. More information about ICR can be obtained by visiting www.icrsurvey.com
About East End House, Inc
East End House (www.eastendhouse.org) is a dynamic community center that provides vital services to community members of all ages and abilities. Since opening its doors in 1875, East End House has been helping families and individuals meet basic needs and neighbors come together in the spirit of community. East End House currently offers nationally accredited Child Care and School Age Programs at affordable rates so parents can work safe in the knowledge their children are safe and learning; an out of school time program for Middle School youth to meet a pressing need for engaging activities for this age group; a Mentoring Program that provides middle school youth with extra support from a caring adult; an Emergency Food Program that provides nutritional assistance to families and individuals struggling to put food on the table; Senior Programs that decrease social isolation; and Volunteer Programs that give youth valuable learning experiences and bring neighbors together.
About ARAMARK Building Community
ARAMARK Building Community enriches the lives of families in need by supporting local community centers to help people of all generations learn, earn and thrive. ARAMARK recognizes the important role community centers play in addressing the comprehensive needs of individuals and families and is providing a range of resources including grants, volunteers and in-kind contributions. Through ARAMARK Building Community, volunteers use their expertise to help youth and adults develop critical, employable work skills and connect them to career opportunities; support families with nutrition and wellness education; provide basic needs like food and clothing; and help identified partners run cleaner, safer and more efficient facilities to enhance and strengthen the Center’s programs on an ongoing basis.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine's 2009 list of "World's Most Admired Companies," ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramarknews.