Yawkey Foundation makes $5 million donation to Catholic Charities

SOUTH BOSTON — A highlight of the 2004 Catholic Charities Spring Celebration was the presentation of a $5 million donation from the Yawkey Foundation to help fund a new multi-service community center in Dorchester. The gift was presented to Catholic Charities by John Harrington, executive director of the Yawkey Foundation.

"The Yawkey Foundation Board has been following the progress of this planned project for more than two years," commented Harrington. "We are delighted to award this grant to Catholic Charities for this center. The programs will bring tremendous benefits to children and families in Dorchester and its surrounding communities."

Father J. Bryan Hehir, president and treasurer of Catholic Charities in Boston, praised the Yawkey Foundation for their “generous, collaborative and visionary” contribution.

"This generous and important gift from the Yawkey Foundation will serve as the cornerstone to make the construction of this centralized, multi-service community center a reality," said Father Hehir. "The expanding needs of young families, children, immigrants and others in our neighborhoods grows every day. Through this award, the Yawkey Foundation is showing its commitment to both the people we serve and the mission of Catholic Charities."

The new community center, to be named the Yawkey Center, will house the existing Haitian Multi-Service Center and the Greater Boston Community Service Center, both of which are longstanding children and family service centers located in Dorchester. It is expected to serve the needs of close to 30,000 people every year, with offerings to include expanded licensed and accredited childcare and new after-school programs for children and teens. The facility is slated to open in the fall of 2005.