See Press Release Below:
DORCHESTER, MA (DECEMBER 16) – The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic but the Harp + Bard Restaurant & Bar in Dorchester is raising money and collecting new toys for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester (BGCD).
For the past seven years, the Harp + Bard restaurant has hosted an “Ugly Sweater Party” for the Club, where BGCD staffers have helped raise as much as $9,000 at the annual event.
This year, the restaurant isn’t able to host the event because of Covid but is asking people to make donations to BGCD or bring in new and unwrapped gifts for youngsters.
Donations can be made using a mobile phone to scan a QR Code on cards placed at each table at the Harp + Bard, located at 1099 Dorchester Ave. Donations can also be made by visiting https://give.bgcdorchester.org/holidays. Or, people can bring an unwrapped gift to leave in a drop-off box at the Harp + Bard. Checks are also welcome.
“It’s all about giving back to the community,” said Maura Galvin, general manager of the Harp + Bard. “Right now more than ever, it’s a difficult time for everyone. To be able to provide some happier times, especially during the holiday season, is really important. Christmas is huge for kids and doing this brings a lot of happiness to us.”
Maura said she looks forward to hosting the event each year. “We’ve been going this strong for so many years that I have to do something,” Maura said. “It just wouldn’t be the same.”
Chad Hassey, director of teen development and programming at BGCD, said Maura and her father, Mike Galvin, owner of the Harp + Bard, as well as the restaurant’s staff, have stepped up in a big way for the Club’s families.
“The ugly sweater party has been a staple in our partnership with the Harp + Bard over the past seven years,” Hassey said. “They have helped us raise over $50,000, collect hundreds of toys and support families with winter clothing. Now, when times are tough, for everyone especially the restaurant business, they have selflessly stepped up once again, only thinking about what they can do for the families of the BGCD. They’re truly the definition of a community and they will always have a special place within the BGCD family.”
In March BGCD quickly adapted to COVID-19 restrictions, innovating new ways to serve youth and families across Dorchester and beyond. BGCD has since distributed nearly 15,000 “Grab & Go Meals” and hosted more than 400 Virtual Program videos and Zoom lessons. BGCD also delivered diapers and formula to hundreds of parents and has continued to be a vital resource for families. The Club reopened in July for a successful summer program serving 245 children and providing 100 teens with summer jobs. Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester is providing safe, supportive and supervised space to assist families in our community during the time children are learning remotely. BGCD has also created “Learning Hubs” to support cohorts of K-8 students during typical school day hours. The Learning Hub program includes meals, technology assistance, academic support and guidance. Hubs are led by BGCD staff with a focus on supporting the children’s social emotional well-being as they adapt to virtual learning. BGCD is such an important resource in the fight against learning loss and a resource for families in great need.
About The Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester is dedicated to making a positive impact on youth and families in our community. Inside our three clubhouses, we are a place for Dorchester’s young people to learn, explore talents, play and make friends. Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester serves over 4,000 children between the ages of two months and 18 years each year. During the school year, we serve approximately 250 meals every weekday. For more information visit: https://www.bgcdorchester.org/. Follow BGCD on Twitter @BGCDorchester and on Facebook and Instagram.