September 25, 2018
St. Mary’s Center Gets $1M Grant, Its Largest Corporate Gift

October 17, 2017 — St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, a Boston nonprofit that provides programs for women and children who have experienced trauma and are living in poverty, last week announced that it received a $1 million matching grant from Amazon, the largest single corporate gift in its history.

St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children said the grant and matching funds, which could yield a total of $2 million, will enable it to expand its reach into the community by providing preventative services, housing support, and job training for families on the brink of homelessness.

“We are so grateful to partner with Amazon for this match offer to work to prevent homelessness in our community and the company’s efforts to inspire others to join in by doubling their support of the families we serve,” said Deirdre Houtmeyers, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Center. “Everyone has a role in ending homelessness. Giving to St. Mary’s Center today will change lives for generations to come.”

St. Mary’s Center said the funds help create a Community Resource Center on its campus. The new program and its staff will support families transitioning to permanent housing as well as provide proactive support to families on the brink of homelessness.

“More than 1,000 Amazonians call Boston home, and we are so impressed and moved by the incredible, positive transformations happening at St. Mary’s Center,” said Jay Carney, Amazon senior vice president of global corporate affairs. “We are excited to expand our support for organizations that provide emergency services for homeless women, children, and families – this time at St. Mary’s Center, a comprehensive and evidence-based organization.”

In addition to Amazon’s $1 million match, dozens of Amazon employees are working to support families of St. Mary’s Center. Last week, an Amazon van traveled up the East Coast, stopping in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, Boston, and Cambridge, to collect donations from employees to give to St. Mary’s Center families.

“St. Mary’s Center is a very special place to me and to our community,” said Mayor of Boston Martin J. Walsh, who was born at the former St. Margaret’s Hospital, where St. Mary’s Center is located. “St. Mary’s Center does life-saving work for women, children, and families in need, and this partnership with Amazon gives St. Mary’s the opportunity to further strengthen families and prevent homelessness.”

Founded in 1993, St. Mary’s Center traces its roots to 1874 when an abandoned baby left on the doorstep of a Boston church eventually led to the creation of St. Mary’s Infant Asylum at the agency’s current Dorchester location.

Today, St. Mary’s Center has more than 100 employees and hundreds of volunteers and supports more than 600 children and families through emergency shelter, job and employment training, and educational, clinical, and preventive services.

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