GMPI banks on spirit of giving
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Region – Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Greater Marlborough Programs Inc. (GMPI) now serves over 300 families with developmentally disabled children and adults in Hudson, Marlborough, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, and other Metrowest communities. For the past several years, the nonprofit agency’s holiday program known as Spirit of Giving has helped these individuals appreciate the pleasure of sharing.
Thanks to a partnership this year with the United Way of Tri-County (UWTC) and Marlborough Savings Bank (MSB), more individuals were able to give to others and enjoy receiving gifts.
Last year, GMPI used funds raised to donate to five Metrowest shelters. This year, GMPI decided to sponsor 25 children of families in need for UWTC’s Hope for the Holidays program. Meanwhile, GMPI identified 18 of their children and adults in need for its own Spirit of Giving. The increased gifting was made possible because MSB employees offered to donate presents for the GMPI individuals.
Tracy Bartucca, assistant vice president consumer lending officer, helped organize the project among her MSB colleagues with Deb Campbell, senior vice president of branch administration.
“It was an overwhelming response from employees,” Bartucca said. “Someone suggested that in lieu of the Yankee Swap we typically do with employees, everybody would give a cash donation for Spirit of Giving. Everyone went along with the idea.”
With the monetary donations collected, the MSB employees shopped for gifts and delivered them to the GMPI office on Mechanic Street in Marlborough. Bartucca noted that she and other MSB staff have come to know a number of GMPI individuals over the years.
“This will bring joy to the holiday season that may not have been there for them,” she said. “I know a lot of them function at a lower age level and still believe in Santa. These gifts will mean a lot to them.”
Denise Vojackova-Karami, GMPI vice president of developmental services, expressed the agency’s gratitude for assistance from MSB employees.
“A lot of our people don’t have families, so it’s important to have the extended family through the community like MSB,” she said. “It’s all about community integration.”
Vojackova-Karami feels the Spirit of Giving program is aptly named.
“The holidays can be stressful because we deal with so many families who have many challenges; not just financial, but working with their disabled children,” she said. “Helping them to make their holiday special is the spirit of giving. That’s the spirit that we, as an agency, envision not just around the holidays, but 12 months a year.”
For more information about GMPI, visit gmpinc.org.
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