SCES staffers give generously through 2019 CHA gift drive

Staffers from Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services recently donated roughly 140 gifts to benefit local families in need, through a joint gift drive with Cambridge Health Alliance.

Staffers from Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SECS) recently donated gifts for more than two dozen local children in need.

Coordinated in partnership with Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), the gift drive will provide more than 140 gifts for children from 13 local families, said SCES Clinical Director and drive organizer Annie Fowler. She said it was a team effort, with nearly 30 employees participating.

“It’s really been great how our agency has embraced this gift drive,” said Fowler. “Our team has really supported this effort, and it’s great seeing everyone pitching in to make a difference.”

Now in its fifth year, the drive grew out of ongoing collaborations between SCES and CHA’s Complex Care Management teams, which combine the perspectives of nurses, social workers, and community health workers to provide better care. Fowler meets with CHA staffers regularly through the program, and said the collaboration grew out of discussions with CHA’s pediatric social workers.

“They said November is always a hard time, because they see so many families either miss the deadline for toy donation programs, or they’re just over the eligibility guidelines,” said Fowler. “I remembered we’d had a toy drive in the past and told them we’d try to help out.”

Since then, CHA social workers have identified families that could use help and provided their wish lists to SCES staffers. Typical gifts include winter coats, clothing, and toys.

The following SCES staff contributed to the drive: Annie Fowler, Alison Payne, the SCES Nutrition Department, Ellyn Torres, Megan Krey, Nathaniel Meyer, Kathleen Gillespie, Paul Hollings, Amy Goodwin, Kashia Point du Jour, Shamone Allien, Nicole Poirier, Helia Kinney, Tania Pina, Stephanie Becker, Barbara D’Eramo, Elise Farrell, Allison Freeburn, Charlie O’Brien, Nancy Quigg-Gonsalves, Rachel Berry, Donna Vaskelis, Allison Alaimo, Lee Ann Lowe, Courtney Johnson, Ronald Lim, Nina Cohen, Pat Benson and Margarida Mendonca.

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older people in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact the SCES Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601 for free advice and guidance.