Men & Boys' Fund

 

Our Mission

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.

Advisory Board

Rodger Stotz, Chair
Doug DiPaola, Vice-Chair
Rob Sanderford, Secretary
Larry Covino, Treasurer
Chris Amorosino
Whit Betts
Rob Caiaze
Rich Carmelich
Chris Cassin
Hal Kilby
Steve LePage
Samantha Rajotte, ex officio

The Need

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.

Sources available upon request. 

Simple Concept, Big Impact

The Men & Boys' Fund seeks to:

Increase: Resources and programs specifically geared toward men and boys
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.

History

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 programatic grants and fulfilled eight immediate response requests. In 2018, the Fund doubled both the number of grants and the total amount given.

Impact

In 2017, $3,200 in program grants were awarded:

  • A $1,200 grant enabled the Parent and Child Center at Bristol Hospital to hire a male facilitator for Full Circle, a program for single fathers
  • A $2,000 grant to Bristol Youth Services allowed the agency to expand Skills to Pay the Bills, a program that teaches at-risk young men life skills and independent living skills

In 2018, $6,000 in program grants were awarded:

  • $2,000 to Bristol Youth Services’ Skills to Pay the Bills program
  • $2,000 the Parent and Child Center at Bristol Hospital to support the Full Circle program
  • $1,500 to the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center to support the Passport to Manhood program
  • $500 to the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut for summer camp scholarships for boys

In addition, the Men & Boys' Fund filled 14 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 recieved help to pay their utility deposit

Events

Burlington Community Briefing
On Wednesday, January 30th at the Burlington Public Library, the Men & Boys’ Fund will hold a community briefing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Attendees will hear about the needs of local men and boys, the impact the Fund has made, and how the Fund hopes to put more men and boys on the path to success. Light refreshments will be served. Snow date is January 31. Please RSVP by January 25, 2019 by calling Julie Matthews at Main Street Community Foundation at 860.583.6363. 

The featured speaker will be Christopher Marinelli, a young man who struggled through foster care among other things while growing up in the area. The event will showcase how resources like the Fund can help men and boys like Chris.

Join Us

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
Donate

Donate

To make a donation directly to the Men & Boys' Fund, please click here.
To contribute to any other funds, please visit our Donate now page.

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