We dedicate this first Maverick Landing Community Service (MLCS) blog entry to the volunteers who have given their weekend and considerable amounts of sleep to work on our new website.
It’s been a journey for us to get here. Seventeen months ago, when I arrived at MLCS, a multi-service organization (MSO) in the heart of Maverick Square in East Boston, the organization had been relying on a reserve that had about 2 years left of operational money. To many in the nonprofit sector, this might seem an enviable position–if not for the fact that we were relatively unknown and had some infrastructure to build. I had programs that needed work and ones that needed to come into existence.
Our 13-station computer lab had seen better days. On the wall was a poster foretelling the dangers of Y2K.
No Es Fácil— is the phrase that comes to mind. My parents, who emigrated from Cuba to Lawrence, MA in the 1970s to work in the mills, often used it. We had no server. No email list. No marketing materials. Translation: It’s not easy.
We did what needed to be done. We scaled back, rolled up our sleeves, and mined our emails.
We adopted a new mission as part of a strategic planning process completed in the spring of 2016—one that has us moving towards a goal and client-centered orientation. Bridgespan makes the case that multi-service organizations are important institutions that can have an incredible impact when client-centered, but that are difficult to resource. Using their Putting Clients at the Center: A Planning Guide for Multi-Service Organizations and armed with a three-year strategic plan, we are now doing the work of leaning into our mission. We have strengthened our programs and are creating new vibrant offerings that will help children, youth and families to narrow the opportunity gap and the digital divide.
And here we are, in the heart of this incredibly and beautifully diverse community—a poor community and a rich one —one who speaks over 40 languages and still dares to dream.
Thank you to 48in48 and to the kind volunteers from United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Technology Underwriting the Greater Good (TUGG), SapientRazorfish, Slalom Consulting, Havas Media, and Digitas Boston. for creating the platform through which we will keep rising.
P.S. Please pardon our appearance as we shiny up over the next couple of weeks.