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Timeline

After more than 37 years of friendship, we're still making connections.

Who We Are

Timeline

2021 

  • Adapted all programming to ensure continuity of connection between volunteers and their older adult matches. 
  • Holds 6th annual Walk to End Elder Isolation: A Virtual Gathering featuring a special appearance by the UK Minister of Loneliness and garnering increased individual and corporate financial support. 
  • FriendshipWorks held its 3rd Low-Vision Forum bringing together specialists in the field. It was the 1st online forum allowing for greater participation. 
  • MusicWorks continued its outdoor concerts in collaboration with Goddard House Community Initiatives and developed its first-ever cable TV music program available to viewers in Boston and Brookline. 
  •  Expanded to online educational and support programming to the Low-Vision and LGBT communities. 

2020 

  • Holds 5th annual Walk to End Elder Isolation: A Virtual Gathering with more than 300 online guests, 644 Walk participants, 38 teams, 17 sponsors. 
  • Working in collaboration with Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, FriendshipWorks expands Friendly Visiting into Cambridge and Somerville. 
  • FriendshipWorks pivots in-person programming to serve elders in new and creative ways during the pandemic through online, phone, and outdoor efforts. 
  • MusicWorks offers first outdoor and phone concerts in in collaboration with Goddard House Community Initiatives. 
  • Serves on Task Force to End Loneliness and Build Community - a collaboration of many elder organizations facilitated by AARP Massachusetts. 
  • FriendshipWorks and the LGBT Aging Project partner to connect LGBT elders with caring volunteers for weekly telephone visits. 

2019 

  • Commemorates its 35th year of service to elders in Boston and receives the Governor’s Citation for service. 
  • Celebrates 35th My Friend, My World Gala in November with more than 300 attendees. FriendshipWorks honored Boston Medical Center with the Catalyst Award and Sandy Albright with the Friendship Award. 
  • FriendshipWorks is selected to light Boston’s Prudential Tower in December. 
  • Doubles its service and impact – a 5-year goal set in 2014. 

2018 

  • Winner of 2018 In Good Company: the Optimal Aging Challenge for FriendshipWorks’ proposal: High Tech/High Touch. The program offers creative ways to use technology to enhance the lives of elders. 
  • FriendshipWorks expands its Friendly Visiting program in Newton in partnership with the Newton City Council on Aging. 
  • Holds 2nd Low-Vision Forum hosted by Schepens Eye Research Institute, Seeing Beyond Isolation: Elder Low Vision Forum 
  • Launches LGBT Intergenerational Storytelling Group culminating in a book of memories and possibilities. 

2017 

  • Successfully holds 2nd annual walk-a-thon: FriendshipWalks, raising over $65,000. 
  • Brings together professionals in the elder and human service communities to hold 1st forum hosted by the New England College of Optometry, on serving elders with low vision or blindness. Low Vision: Will You Know it When You See it? 
  • Begins Relaxing Through the Arts, a nursing home outreach program that connects residents with the natural world and with each other through art projects, haiku poetry, and conversation. 

2016 

  • Holds first walk-a-thon: FriendshipWalks, raising over $60,000. 
  • Opens a neighborhood office in the South End, located within Union United Methodist Church. 

2015 

  • Opens a neighborhood office in Allston/Brighton. 
  • MusicWorks, a pilot program to bring the joy of music to residents through singing, playing, and dancing, is launched in partnership with Goddard House Community Initiatives. 

2014 

  • Celebrates its 30th year with its My Friend, My World Gala. Judy Collins joins us as our guest artist. Almost 400 people attended and FriendshipWorks honored the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the Catalyst Award and Enid Shapiro with the Friendship Award. 
  • Friendly Helping program established. Volunteers provide short-term assistance to elders who have a specific need, but no one to help. 
  • Implements a 5-year Strategic Plan to double the services and impact of FriendshipWorks within the elder community of Boston and Brookline. 

2013 

  • Expands the Friendly Visiting Program, hiring two full-time program coordinators. 
  • Launches a vision impairment specialty. Creates and facilitates the Far-Sighted Committee bringing together representatives from the medical, elder services, sighted individuals, and individuals who are blind. 
  • Initiates formal consultations with communities outside the Boston area to support the creation of interfaith volunteer caregiving programs. 

2012 

  • With the success of its service models for older adults, and the need to address an increasingly aging population, FriendshipWorks’ Board of Directors begins exploring and planning for a 5-year initiative to double its services and impact. 

2011 

  • FriendshipWorks is awarded the Beverly Foundation STAR Award for Excellence. 
  • Organizes and facilitates the Jamaica Plain Elder Care Network’s series of bilingual workshops on senior transportation options 

2010 

  • MATCH-UP Interfaith Volunteers becomes FriendshipWorks. 
  • The National Center on Senior Transportation awards a grant funding research to evaluate the Medical Escort program. 
  • Facilitates the Congregational Connections for Elders, bringing together 13 faith communities to discuss keeping elders engaged in their congregations. 

2009 

  • MATCH-UP celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a symposium and celebration at Northeastern University. 

2008 

  • Executive Director Janet Seckel-Cerrotti serves as acting president of the National Volunteer Caregiving Network. 
  • MATCH-UP is highlighted in Promise to Mary, a book by Dr. Paul Jellinek about Faith in Action programs. 
  • MATCH-UP receives Beverly Foundation’s STAR Search Award for its senior transportation service. 
  • MATCH-UP is awarded Commonwealth Corps grant; adds 3 Commonwealth Corps Members in Jamaica Plain. 

2007 

  • Photojournalism exhibit displayed throughout Boston and at National Mall in Washington D.C. 
  • Recognition of services from Senator John Kerry. 
  • 1st AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer joins MATCH-UP. 

2005 

  • Celebrates 20 years of service. 
  • First Jamaica Plain Elder Care Network meeting. 
  • Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Commission on Elderly Affairs awards MATCH-UP the Edward L. Cooper Award for Outstanding Neighborhood Based Senior Service Agency. 

2004 

  • MATCH-UP chosen out of 1,000 Faith in Action programs to attend U.S. Congress Tricaucus meeting on minority services. 

2003 

  • Partners with Animal Rescue League and launches PetPals nursing home visitation program. 
  • Robert Wood Johnson grants funding to start Strong For Life exercise program. 

2002 

  • Granted a Certificate of Merit from MassAging for collaboration with Sherrill House. 

2001 

  • Partners with Sherrill House and launches Jamaica Plain Chapter focused on Spanish-speaking community. 

1999 

  • Celebrates 15th year and receives recognition from Governor Cellucci and Mayor Thomas Menino via proclamation of November 21 as MATCH-UP Interfaith Volunteers Recognition Day. 

1998 

  • Tufts Health Plan funds MATCH-UP’s access community education program: What’s Up Doc? 

1994 

  • Elders in the Arts benefit is held in celebration of MATCH-UP’s 10th Anniversary. 

1992 

  • MATCH-UP Interfaith Volunteers is incorporated. 

1991 

  • Boston Aging Concerns eliminates MATCH-UP from its budget; MATCH-UP is offered free housing at Hale House. 
  • Boston Foundation gives supporting grant to help MATCH-UP become a stand-alone agency. 
  • First MATCH-UP Board of Directors forms and bylaws created; Sister Madeline Gallagher is elected first Board President. 
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1989 

  • United Way funds $45,000 to Boston Aging Concerns and keeps MATCH-UP services in the community. 

1987 

  • Takes over transportation programs from Boston Aging Concerns. 
  • Becomes a founding member of the National Federation of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers whose goal it is to develop other interfaith volunteer caregiver programs throughout the country (the name is later changed to Faith in Action National Network). 

1984-1987 

  • Fordham University Third Age Center studies MATCH-UP and 24 fellow organizations. 
  • Robert Wood Johnson pilot programs; find it a very cost-effective and successful model. 

1984 

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides seed money to Back Bay Boston Aging Concerns for their friendly visiting program called MATCH-UP Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers. 
  • MATCH-UP partners with two Boston Housing Authority Buildings; residents are invited to weekly coffee hours. 
  • First Advisory Committee forms from participating congregations and organizations. 
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