This article was adapted from the Boston BullPen April newsletter.
More than a year ago, JF&CS developed a partnership with Boston BullPen Project, a nonprofit that works to identify and fill urgent needs with financial support. Originally planned to be limited to our Schechter Holocaust Services program, it soon became apparent that there were other areas with high client needs where time is often of the essence. So, our partnership with Boston BullPen Project evolved, and BullPen now provides assistance to clients across our programs.
Lora Tarlin, director of Schechter Holocaust Services, explained that there are several criteria that JF&CS considers before making a request for help on behalf of a client. It should be a one-time ask and something that allows and empowers the recipient to move on from a difficult situation, to better themselves, to keep their family together or to ensure that the problem is solved going forward.
BullPen uses much of the same criteria when considering the request and works quickly to make a decision and facilitate a process of payment or other help. Tarlin said BullPen is a unique funder because the requests are usually answered so quickly, which helps to ease our clients’ anxiety.
Filling a Variety of Needs
In the more than year-long partnership with JF&CS, BullPen has fulfilled requests for help with rent, utilities, essential furniture, DACA renewal, driving lessons and other expenses.
“I think the idea that BullPen will help to give someone a bed or lessons to drive a car or anything that will better their lives is unique,” said Tarlin. “And not many foundations will help within four hours’ time!”
One of our clients who received help from BullPen explained the significance of their assistance:
“My daughter and I have passed through many challenges over the past six years. Every year, our situation improves. Yet, occasionally we encounter a devastating setback. Boston BullPen helped get us back on track with rent and thereby helped build our landlord’s confidence in our ability to pay rent going forward.”
The Chance to Pay It Forward
Every recipient of BullPen’s help also receives a gift card that they can use to “pay it forward” to a friend or family member in need, creating a ripple of philanthropy. Tarlin finds this to be another unique aspect of the partnership.
“The concept of paying it forward is something that empowers our clients,” she said. “It makes them feel good!”
As the partnership between JF&CS and Boston BullPen Project continues to grow, we look forward to facilitating more opportunities for our clients to get the help they need while giving back to others in their community.
Boston BullPen Project recently helped one of our clients after her baby was born prematurely at just 27 weeks. Read Naomi’s story here.
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