Too Many Cooks? Not This Time.
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Too Many Cooks? Not This Time.

Boston associates help prepare a meal for an area after-school program

When Grand Circle Foundation co-chair Alan Lewis was a young boy growing up in inner-city Boston, he found a haven at West End House Boys & Girls Club. As an adult, he has been a strong supporter of the organization, and its executive director, Andrea Howard, serves on the Foundation's Community Advisory Group.

So it should come as no surprise that the West End House is also a beneficiary of the community service team at Grand Circle's Boston headquarters.

Founded in 1906, West End House today provides a diverse population of disadvantaged children in the Boston area with a rich array of services, including leadership and life skills, academic support and college preparation, fitness and nutrition, and the arts. The organization's 1,500 members, who range in age from third grade through high school seniors, also receive a snack and a hot meal daily. "For a lot of kids, what they eat here is the one healthy meal of their week," according to Andrea Howard.

On March 7, a team of eight associates from Grand Circle's Boston headquarters ventured to West End House on a second annual event to help prepare food that would be needed for the following day. They were met by the director of development for West End House, Lorraine Spreen, who gave them a guided tour of the facility and its programs. Even though they arrived after the workday, the Grand Circle team found that the club was still busy with students. "They were all still there, some of them until 8:00," reports the leader of the community service team, Jessica Sprague, who works in Grand Circle's travel support help group. "It's a wonderful after-school program."

She explains further that West End House insists on nutritious food for its members, with everything made fresh on site with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other healthful ingredients. On that evening, the Grand Circle team helped cut up fruit for fruit salad and prepare carrots, onions, and celery for the next day's fish chowder.

"When you learn what it provides to kids, calling it a club is an understatement," says Jessica, who makes a point of leading a community service event each year. "You don't know how rewarding it is. It just makes you want to do more!"

Featured in our March 2012 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.