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 serves Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.
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.
- 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.
- Nearly one in four people age 25–34 live at home. Self-sufficiency is a critical issue.
- In 2014 only 40 percent of men age 30 earned more than their fathers did at the same age compared to 92 percent in 1970.
- 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 not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s to 16 percent.
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 $22,700 in grants to organizations in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott. In 2020, $7,000 in grants were awarded to 5 organizations:
Boys & Girls Club of Bristol - $1,000
Unrestricted operating support in response to COVID-19
The Children's Law Center - $2,000
Legal representation for male children in family court from the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott
City of Bristol Youth and Community Services, Parent & Child Center - $2,000
Full Circle program for fathers
Environmental Learning Centers of CT - $1,000
Summer camperships for boys from the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott
Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center - $1,000
Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies for men and boys
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
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.
FAMILY, FUN & FATHERS | Saturday, June 19 from 4-7pm | Lessard Lanes in Plainville
Play mini-golf and bowl, while celebrating families and supporting the Men & Boys' Fund at MSCF! Tickets are $20 per adult and $15 per child under age 16; the event will be limited to 100 attendees. To purchase tickets, send payment to Main Street Community Foundation, PO Box 2702, Bristol CT 06010, or click here to purchase online.
Click here for the event flyer, which has more information!
Check back here for more upcoming events!
□ 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