Men & Boys' Fund
- Our Mission
- Advisory Board
- The Need
- Simple Concept, Big Impact
- Grants in Action
- Events and News
The Men & Boys’ Fund works to make it possible for men and boys to improve the quality of their lives, increase self-sufficiency and make a positive difference in their community. The Fund supports programs and initiatives that benefit men and boys in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.
Rich Carmelich, Chair
Larry Covino, Vice Chair
Dave Rackliffe, Secretary
Mark Zammett, Treasurer
Men and boys have specific important needs that are not being met:
- Many boys lack a positive male role model. Research shows that means they are:
- More likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol
- More prone to anger and violent behavior
- More apt to be affected and influenced by peer pressure
- More likely to perform poorly in school
- Many boys view doing well in school as a negative.
- High school is challenging for boys as seen in class ranking: 1/3 of top 10% are boys, while 2/3 of bottom 10% are boys as ranked by GPA.
- Men in need are less likely to ask for help.
- “Traditional masculinity” has been called harmful in an August 2018 report from the American Psychological Association
- Single-father households are growing. Nationwide, single father households have increased about nine-fold since 1960 now totaling more than 2.6 million. In Connecticut, 24% of single-parent households are headed by males.
- Nearly one in four people age 25–34 live at home. Lack of self-sufficiency for these males is a critical issue and negatively impacts their lack of purpose and value.
- 1 in 3 men over 25 with only a high school education are out of the labor force, which totals about 5 million men.
- Men account for 70% of opioid deaths in the US.
- The age-adjusted suicide rate for males (20.7/100K) is more than three times that for females (5.8/100,000).
- The percentage of men aged 25 to 54 who are unemployed has more than tripled since the late 1960s to 16 percent.
- 15% of males have no close friendships (2021 study), an increase from only 5% in 1990.
Sources available upon request.
Simple Concept, Big Impact
The Men & Boys' Fund seeks to:
Encourage: Philanthropic giving among men
Educate: Residents on the unmet needs of local men and boys
Support: Programs and immediate needs of men and boys
Create: Positive male role models and paths to gainful employment and self-sufficiency
In fulfilling immediate short-term needs and supporting long-term programs, the Men & Boys’ Fund seeks to partner with local organizations that are working to improve the lives of boys and men in the areas of education, health and wellness, leadership, life skills, and workforce readiness.
To learn more about the Men & Boys' Fund, visit Main Street Community Foundation's YouTube page to watch short videos on the history of the Fund, the need for the Fund and the hope for the future.
The Men & Boys’ Fund is a community-based endowment established in 2016 at Main Street Community Foundation to improve the lives of men and boys in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington, and Wolcott. The idea was brought to the Foundation by a group of local residents. The group then began holding several community meetings with local leaders, social service providers and businesses to discuss and identify the unmet needs of local men and boys. In 2017, the Men & Boys’ Fund held two community meetings, raised more than double the fundraising goal, awarded the Fund's first two programmatic grants and fulfilled eight immediate response requests.
Grants in Action
Since 2016, the Men & Boys' Fund has awarded over $63,000 in grants to organizations in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott. In 2023, $13,205 in grants was awarded to 6 organizations:
Boys & Girls Club of Bristol - $2,000
Passport to Manhood, a program that reinforces character, leadership and positive behavior in boys ages 8-17
Bristol Family Resource Centers - $3,000
Expansion of the WatchDOGs (Dads of Great Students) program to include South Side School and West Bristol School offering a series of 10 workshops to provide parenting education and increase fatherhood engagement
Bristol Public Schools - $1,500
Wolf’s Den after-school program at West Bristol School for young male students to promote social emotional growth, confidence and leadership
Community Counseling Centers of Central Connecticut - $2,190
Artful Self-Discovery program nurturing self-esteem, awareness and emotional bonds for boys through artistic exploration
Outside Perspectives - $3,000
Youth Excellence Project (YEP) providing at-risk male youth with adult mentorship in outdoor spaces to promote health and build resiliency to the challenges in life
The New England Carousel Museum - $1,515
Spring Afternoon STEAM program for boys to provide introduction to engineering concepts and team building skills
In addition, since 2016, the Men & Boys' Fund has fulfilled nearly two dozen immediate response requests with small amounts that made big differences:
- After a family crisis, a teenager received groceries and clothes
- A single dad whose job was eliminated received rent help
- A promising athlete from a financially challenged family gained a sports opportunity
- Without a home for 10+ years, a man received the funds to qualify for housing
- A young homeless man received and then gave the gift of music
- An outstanding student was rewarded with funds to attend a national leadership conference
- Students took another step toward independence with a donated stove to learn to cook on
- Homeless men received free haircuts and other personal care services
- A teenage boy paid for his driver’s permit so he could drive to his job
- A U.S. military veteran received rent assistance
- After a financial hardship, a family received rental assistance
- A high school graduate was able to buy clothes for his job interviews
- A student gained enough funds to attend an “invention convention”
- A single dad and his daughter received help to pay their utility deposit
Events and News
July 15, 2023 - Challenge grant announced to help build the Men & Boys' Fund endowment. Read more here.
June 9, 2023 - Grantees Featured at Men & Boys' Fund MVP Breakfast. Read more here.
May 5, 2023 - Breakfast Event to Support Local Grants and Feature ESPN Radio Host Read more here.
December 7, 2022 - MSCF announces the 2022 grant distributions from the Men & Boys' Fund! Read more here.
November 2022 - Dine to Donate! Bell City Diner in Bristol held a fundraiser from November 7-10 with 10% of the proceeds benefitting the Men & Boys' Fund. Thank you for the support! Click here for more information.
October 1, 2022 - A $5,000 challenge grant was announced to further build the Men & Boys' Fund's endowment - and the goal was achieved! Read more here.
April 27, 2022 - MSCF's Men & Boys' Fund to celebrate the fifth anniversary at June event. Read more here.
November 8, 2021 - MSCF announces the 2021 grant distributions from the Men & Boys' Fund! Read more here.
June 2021 - Men & Boys' Fund hosts an event to bring fathers and families together. Read more here.
November 24, 2020 - Productions for Change awards the Men & Boys' Fund a $1,000 grant to create a fundraising video. Read more here.
November 2020 - THANKS TO YOU. The Men & Boys' Fund wants to thank you for your generosity over the past four years and ask you to consider extending your support. Watch the short video here.
October 20, 2020 - The Men & Boys' Fund announced its 2020 grant distributions! Read more here.
The Men & Boys' Fund hosted the MVP Breakfast on June 8, 2023, at 8am at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bristol. Over 115 people joined guest speaker Freddie Coleman, a national radio host for ESPN, for a morning of motivation and inspiration. Thank you to all who attended and all MVPs (Men of Value and Purpose) as we aim to build an even greater future to ensure the Fund can continue to address unmet needs of local men and boys.
Proceeds from the event support grants to programs assisting men and boys in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.
Save the date for the 2024 event: June 6!
A Big Thank You to the 2023 MVP Breakfast Sponsors!
Barnes Group Foundation
The Brewer Family Foundation
D'Amato Construction Company, Inc.
Whit and Jarre Betts
Chelsea Groton Bank
Thomaston Savings Bank
The Joe & Kay Calvanese Foundation
Prudence Crandall Center
Rob and Janice Sanderford
Rodger and Sharon Stotz
Torrington Savings Bank
Z4 Consulting Inc.
Michael and Jeanine Audette
BEST - Bristol Eliminating Substance Use Together
Kimberly and Richard Carmelich
Christopher and Catherine Cassin
City of Bristol
The Covino Family
Greater Bristol Branch of the NAACP
Mary Ellen "Mell" Hobson
Robert and Beth Lincoln
Micari Financial Group, LLC
Mark and Kim Moriarty
Dave and Doreen Rackliffe
Susan and Ronald Sadecki
Tracy, Driscoll & Co Inc.
The Ultimate Companies, Inc.
Mark and Lorna Zammett
□ Call 860.583.6363 to arrange a 10-minute phone conversation with a Men & Boys’ Fund Advisory Board member to learn more
□ Be added to our email and/or mailing list
□ Attend a Men & Boys’ Fund event
□ Schedule a Men & Boys’ Fund representative to speak to your local organization or group
□ Volunteer to serve on one of the Fund’s committees: Distribution, Community Engagement, Asset Development and Event Planning
□ Visit our Facebook page