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 Fall 2010
Quick Links
In This Issue
A Peek at Our Programs
Moving Up Together
Little People, Big Hearts
Spotlight on State Street
Spring Cleaning for Good
14th Annual
Frostbite Open
Photo of a golfer
Join us on November 3rd for Solutions at Work's Frostbite Open golf tournament.  The event will feature remarks by a SolutionsWear participant.  Proceeds will benefit Solutions at Work's programs.
Order your tickets today!
Support Us

Solutions at Work serves more than 6,000 homeless and low-income people annually.  Our programs are at maximum capacity and we are in the heartbreaking position of having to turn people away.
Please make a financial contribution today.  With your support, we will help even more people achieve self-sufficiency.

Wish List

Children's Clothing Exchange 
New undergarments and socks; Winter clothing for girls and boys in sizes 3T to 14 years; New diapers and wipes

Get Connected! 
PC's (especially laptops) running Windows 2000 or better, with 800Mhz or faster processor, 128MB of RAM, and power supply; Flat-panel monitors of any size, with power supply; Wi-Fi cards; CD-RW (ReWritable) drives; DVD-ROM drives; 20+ GB hard drives; Mouse pads; PS2/USB mice

Moving Up
"Uniforms" for our movers, preferably sweatshirts or T-shirts bearing Solutions at Work's logo

Professional attire in neutral colors like navy, black, and brown; Women's suits (sizes 0-4 and size 12+), nylons, purses, jewelry, and scarves; Men's suits (particularly big and tall), belts, cufflinks, dress shirts (sizes 14-14 1/2 and 17+), dress shoes, and ties; All-season coats, gloves, winter hats, new undergarments, and dress socks for both men and women; Full-sized toiletries; Volunteer tailor 

Speak Up!
Volunteer Coordinator

Spread the Word
Find us on Facebook
Join Solutions at Work's new Facebook Group and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.  Stay informed about our activities while helping us reach our goal of 100 members by the end of the year.
 Thank You!

The following corporations and foundations supported Solutions at Work between 1/1/10 and 9/30/10

Silver Partners | $5,000+
Clipper Ship Foundation

Bronze Partners | $2,500+
Cambridge Savings Bank
Cambridge Savings
  Charitable Foundation

Cambridge Trust Company
State Street Corporation 
Draper Laboratory

MIT Federal Credit Union
PJA Advertising

East Cambridge Savings      

Transatlantic Investment

Major In-Kind Supporters

Cambridge Housing


Click Click Love


Ikeda Center for Peace,

  Learning, and Dialogue

The Inn at Harvard

Metropolitan Moving and


Please contact
Executive Director Lauren Corduck at 617-492-0300 to explore partnership opportunities
Newsletter Team

We greatly appreciate the time and energy that the following volunteers devoted to developing this newsletter

Olivia Gatti
Marilyn Grant
Julie Hintlian
Meredith Klingerman
Joanne Lin
Mary Scherr

Nara Smith
Julie Sussman

From the Executive Director
Autumn Reconsidered

Photo of Executive Director Lauren Corduck
  Photo by

Before I joined the staff of Solutions at Work this past January, autumn was far and away my favorite season.  For many, fall's crisp air and high, billowy clouds signal the start of a new school year replete with old friends, new teachers, and fresh ideas to ponder.  It's a time to wrap a warm scarf around your neck, nurse a cup of coffee, and get lost in a book.   

Today, fall triggers little other than worry and concern for the homeless and low-income families and individuals who are bracing themselves for another New England winter.  Where will they sleep?  How will they stay warm?  What will they eat?  As the leaves on the trees change color, the questions multiply and the anxiety builds.

With your continued support, Solutions at Work will provide moving services, material goods, and transitional employment to approximately 6,000 homeless and low-income people over the coming year.  Together, we will alleviate the anxiety they feel as the days shorten and the weather cools, allowing them the luxury of enjoying more of the wonderful things this season has to offer.

Best Wishes,
Lauren Corduck's signature

Lauren Corduck

A Peek at Our Programs
Highlights from the First Half of 2010

Children's Clothing Exchange

- Hosted 1,585 visits from families who exchanged clothing, books, toys, and gear.

- Distributed 3,000+ books to young readers.

- Gave 100 winter coats to local children.

- Collected 500+ articles of clothing, shoes, and toys for an orphanage in Haiti.


Get Connected!

- Distributed 20 refurbished computers.

- Provided computers to a fire victim and to a single woman who was hospitalized due to depression after the death of her child.


Moving Up

- Performed 273 moves.

- Engaged five interns through Project 90, a job training program run by Project Place.

- Distributed about 400 bags of food a month for the

Somerville Senior Center to elderly residents of the Center's affordable housing complexes.



- Distributed 511 suits to 333 men and women from 43 Greater Boston communities.

- Received a donation of hundreds of new men's suits from Men's Wearhouse.

- Fulfilled requests from 49 partner agencies to serve their clients.


Speak Up!

- Barbara Lanum, Moving Up Program Manager, shared her personal experience with homelessness with guests at our Spring Dance.

- A member of Solutions at Work's Board of Directors who has been homeless three times spoke to the First Church in Cambridge's congregants. 

- We partnered with the City Mission Society's Boston Urban Outreach Program to give suburban youth a better understanding of homelessness.

Moving Up Together
by Julie Hintlian
I recently had the opportunity to get to know Travian ("TJ") Williams, who currently works as a mover at Solutions at Work and has also experienced homelessness himself.

TJ was homeless for about six months two years ago.  In the winter, when it was below freezing out, all of the warm places to sleep were considered trespassing, and oftentimes the authorities would find him and kick him out and he risked getting arrested.  He chose not to stay in homeless shelters because overall he thought the conditions outside were better than those in the shelters.

TJ had many friends in the area who offered their places for him to stay.  He would accept from time to time but never wanted to overstay his welcome.  He also wanted to save up the offers for nights when it was unbearable to sleep outside.  TJ is very independent and self-sufficient; he never wanted to rely on others.

Travian Williams
Travian Williams
(photo by
Solutions at Work played a tremendous role in TJ's transition out of homelessness.  They offered him a job and also referred him to other organizations that could help him.  Right from the start Solutions at Work gave him a chance and trusted him.  This has meant a lot to TJ.  Ever since, he has respected that trust and worked to maintain it.  "I feel indebted to Solutions at Work because they have done so much for me," TJ remarked.

TJ thoroughly enjoys working as a mover for Solutions at Work's Moving Up program. 
His jobs typically involve moving homeless people's belongings from shelters into affordable housing.  Along the way, TJ and his coworkers often stop at area furniture banks to help their clients select free furnishings for their new homes.  TJ enjoys that his job is different every day; he is always working in different locations and meeting new people.  He feels a deep sense of satisfaction after a hard day's work.  "I genuinely like to work," TJ emphatically stated.

Through working in the Moving Up program TJ has learned to deal with many different personalities.  Clients are often anxious, since moving is a stressful process, especially if they have physical or mental health issues.  TJ is a very patient person and one of his strongest skills is his ability to calm people down.  Barbara Lanum, TJ's manager, relies on him to deal with frantic and sometimes erratic clients.  He explains, "Clients can lose their temper, but you can't."  One of the key parts of TJ's job is making people feel comfortable so he can help them.
Quote from Travian Williams.
Moving furniture is just one part of TJ's job description.  Another component is adjusting to his clients and learning how to deal with them.  It can be difficult to go into some of the locations and see the living conditions.  For example, many of TJ's clients are unable to part with belongings that they have been hoarding for years. Other clients are not capable of packing their belongings.  TJ asserts, "Solutions says 'Yes' when others say 'No.'  You just have to go in there and look past the conditions.  The mindset needs to be getting the job done and you need to stick to that."  He also stresses that helping someone is always rewarding, and it is worth whatever struggle.

Being a mover for the Moving Up Program has also helped TJ realize how fortunate he is.  He helped move a veteran who was homeless for 25 years and was thrilled to be moving into an apartment.  He even saved up enough money to buy a flat-screen TV.  "I really can't complain.  I was homeless for a few months; this guy was homeless for 25 years!  I didn't have it that bad," TJ comments.  Seeing how appreciative this man was for moving into housing made TJ even more grateful for everything he has.

Being involved with Solutions at Work has really built TJ's self-esteem.  He attributes a lot of his success to Barbara Lanum, his manager, who gave him a chance and helped him get on his feet.

Now TJ is financially stable and was able to move back in with his family.  He is involved with City Stage, a nonprofit theater company for children and teens in Boston.  In his free time he loves to snowboard and go to theater productions in the city.  He is also a member of the Movie Watchers Club and goes to the movies every week.

Little People, Big Hearts
By Mary Scherr

Debbi learned about the Children's Clothing Exchange from a friend.  She and her friend talked about the program with their children, Jake, 4, and Esther, 2, and suggested that perhaps they would like to donate some of their toys and books.

Esther and Jake
Esther and Jake donate a boxful of books and toys to the Children's Clothing Exchange.

Both mothers have encouraged their children early on to share what they "have more of" with other children who have less.  Jake and Esther totally "got it" when they accompanied their mothers to the clothing drive with their box of "stuff."
"All in all, it was a great experience for the children, and we plan to participate again," commented Debbi.  "The Children's Clothing Exchange shows such respect for its clients because it's set up as a store, not a charity."
Spotlight on State Street Corporation
by Meredith Klingerman
Solutions at Work is pleased to announce a new corporate partner: State Street Corporation.  State Street is one of the world's leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.  Headquartered in Boston, State Street operates in 25 countries and more than 100 markets worldwide.  Investing in its communities around the world is a fundamental value at State Street, especially in Massachusetts where the company has operated for more than 200 years.
Employee volunteerism is a cornerstone of State Street's corporate citizenship efforts.  Its more than 27,000 employees are an invaluable source of skills, talents, and time for nonprofit agencies.  Through the Global Outreach employee volunteer program, employees have contributed more than 350,000 volunteer hours to charities around the world since 2001.  The program is designed to help create stronger communities while advancing business goals by fostering teamwork among employees.  In Massachusetts, State Street also offers a volunteer program for "alumni" (retirees and former employees of the company).
Global Outreach offers a menu of five service models, including mentoring, consulting, building, giving, and serving.  Consulting projects are growing in popularity, especially in Massachusetts, and involve employees donating their skills and expertise to help nonprofit organizations meet specific challenges.  Recently, a group of State Street volunteers came forward to help develop Solutions at Work's newsletter.  The team  interviews Solutions at Work's program participants,  donors, volunteers, and staff and writes articles.
"Solutions at Work is delighted to welcome State Street Corporation as a new partner," said Lauren Corduck, Executive Director of Solutions at Work.  "Our relationship with State Street is multifaceted, blending the three pillars of a robust partnership: time, talent, and financial support."  Solutions at Work and State Street look forward to developing additional ways to engage employees in meaningful volunteer opportunities.
Spring Cleaning for Good
by Mary Scherr

Adam Yawnick, Treasurer of Solutions at Work and District General Manager of CORT Furniture, his wife Aimée, Owner of Core Growth & Development, and Adam's twelve-year-old son, Jace, organized a very successful clothing drive for Solutions at Work's Children's Clothing Exchange and SolutionsWear held at Starbucks in Needham, Massachusetts, in April.

Adam and Aimée Yawnick show off the
truckload of clothing they collected for the
Children's Clothing Exchange
and SolutionsWear.

Starbucks gave everyone who donated clothing a complimentary cup of coffee.  Aimée had been a Starbucks employee, so the company's response to getting on board was "instant and very helpful," Adam said.  Aimée also did extensive business and social networking to introduce Solutions at Work to Needham and get the community involved.

Adam recounted that the response from residents in Needham and other towns -- including Boston -- was remarkable. "It was not just the full truck of clothing we collected, but the time and interest many took to learn about the organization."

Jace also contributed to the drive's success.  He went door to door in their neighborhood handing out flyers, and received not only generous clothing donations, but also many words of encouragement and appreciation.  One young girl he met donated some clothing as well as $10 of her own money. 

"It may sound like a clich
é," Aimée summed up, "but the community spirit was inspiring for such a hands-on, small-scale clothing drive.  When we delivered the truckload of clothing to Solutions at Work and carried in each box, we all realized the beneficial impact this project would have in many people's lives."

Fall 2010 Newsletter © Solutions at Work

1151 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 492-0300 . Email: