LeeAnn Suen, MArch I 2017
Summer 2015
Organization: Harvard Square Youth Housing Initiative, Cambridge, MA
Sponsor: Greater Boston Community Service Fellowship

“I’m entering the last four weeks of my CSFP fellowship and I’m making a list of everything I hope to accomplish before it’s over! It does feel like I am running out of time, and I’m anxious to buckle down and sprint to the finish.

We’re getting down to the last week during which it will be possible to close on building donations. Acoustical Ceiling Tile, cabinetry, bathroom accessories, and lockers are still slightly out of reach, but I’ll be spending this week spreading my net wide and trying to reel in some real commitments. Our search for building materials has exposed me to the Boston community of building salvage and demolition, including organizations like Boston Building Resources and Harvard’s own Recycling Center. This search has paralleled our Maintenance Director Abby’s efforts to begin to determine supply chain flows for on-going needs like food and toiletries. It’s at once encouraging and disheartening to know just how much we can recover for high-end, high-value uses that would otherwise go to waste.

Since Commencement, we have been also gathering office supplies, bed linens, winter clothes, and cooking equipment from the community. We are happy to say that we’ve received so many donations that our volunteer office was filled! But we’re even happier now that on Friday we finally moved our first round of linen, furniture, and supply donations to our storage space, and we’ll be able to start setting up our volunteer office to be an enjoyable, productive space for the student committees who will work here in the fall.

Finally, we’re also beginning our interior design process with our Designs 4 Dignity team, and we’ll be coordinating the design, donation elements, and volunteer efforts that will result in everything from the signage on the walls to the color of the chairs in the mainspace to the artwork that will decorate the space. We’re following leads with local furniture dealers, artists, and volunteer organizations to help develop the possibilities for the space.”