Mary Immaculate grant aids Hands to Help’s work

Merrimack College's Hands to Help neighborhood resource center will use a grant from Mary Immaculate Health/Care Services of Lawrence to deliver “basic needs kits” to area homeless.

The grant will also fund scholarships for English as a Second Language classes, financial literacy classes and youth activities.

“We have already started distributing the needs packs and are looking forward to awarding the scholarships to future applications,” said Alisha Reppucci, director of Hands to Help. The kits include essentials such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, water bottles, gloves, and hats.

Hands to Help was established in June by Merrimack College and St. Mary of the Assumption, an Augustinian parish in Lawrence. The center provides job preparation and resume building, kindergarten through high school tutoring, tax assistance, ESL conversation exchange classes, college application workshops, open gym nights and general assistance, with space and support from St. Mary’s and volunteer efforts of Merrimack students and faculty.

Mary Immaculate Health/Care Services was recently awarded the St. Marguerite d’Youville grant in the amount of $10,000, which it used to support Hands to Help.

In announcing the grant, Gerard J. Foley, president and CEO of Mary Immaculate Health/Care Services, said, “This grant accomplishes so much. With our community partners, we are able to help those in need. Because Merrimack College students volunteer their time and talent to staff the center, we are also able to train and support the next generation of community leaders.  We are so proud to be able to carry on the tradition of the Grey Nuns who founded our organization nearly 150 years ago.”

The St. Marguerite d’Youville grant is named in honor of the Grey Nuns’ foundress, St. Marguerite d’Youville.  The grants are intended to support a specific project or community benefit which, in keeping with the spirit of the Grey Nuns to assist the poor and underserved.  The funds are administered by Covenant Health and are made available to member organizations such as Mary Immaculate Health/Care Services. 

“Hands to Help would like to thank Debbie Scionti and Karen Sullivan from Mary Immaculate Health/Care Services for their generous help during the application process. We would also like to thank Kathy Redmond from Merrimack College for her assistance with this grant proposal,” Reppucci said. 



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