Neighbor Brigade establishes community-specific networks of volunteers that can be mobilized to help residents facing sudden crisis manage day-to-day tasks such as meal preparation, rides, and basic household chores. Using web-based coordination tools, we manage recipient requests and the recruitment of volunteers to fulfill those requests sensitively, quickly and free of charge.
At Neighbor Brigade we value and respect our employees, volunteers, clients and supporters regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socio-economic status, education or ability. We value diversity, equity and inclusion and strive to make it part of our daily work and not just as an initiative. We are committed to doing better every day by making sure that all voices are heard.
Neighbor Brigade is committed to not only offering services that are inclusive to all of our diverse neighbors throughout our chapter communities but to also work towards closing the gap in equitable access to health and crisis resources which can be a key factor in one’s health outcome.
In the pursuit of this, we want to spend time in this upcoming year deepening the capacity of Neighbor Brigade’s Staff, Board and Chapter Leader Volunteers to foster a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable lens on how we approach the work with each other and within our communities. We recognize that we have work to do in this area in all facets of our organization including our current structures and practices.
To assure that our values are aligned with our policies and procedures, Neighbor Brigade strives to:
See diversity, equity, and inclusion as connected to our mission and critical to ensuring the well-being of our staff and the communities we serve.
Acknowledge and strive to dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities, in particular health inequities, impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
Commit time and financial resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee, and advisory bodies.
- Lead with respect and acceptance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.
The first phase of this work will be to focus on how we, most especially our Chapter Leaders, engage with our clients both through outreach initiatives and provided services. We recognize that Staff and Chapter Leaders are the gatekeepers to access of Neighbor Brigade’s free services and are the ones responsible for assuring clients’ needs are met and that all community members are aware of Neighbor Brigade’s services. Sensitivity and awareness towards both our own internal bias as well as relevant accommodations needed based on culture, race, language, gender identification, cognitive and physical abilities, age and religion are all factors that are critical to understand in order to meet the needs of community members.
Small and local businesses that we do business with:
- Beyond Measure Productions
- Blaq Star Soaps
- Frugal Bookstore
Owned by females of color-
- MAPA Translations
- Shadida Solutions
- Bites of Boston
- Lynch Art
- Top Cat Promotions
After suffering her first bout with cancer in 2002, Pam Washek decided to turn her pain into purpose by helping others experiencing similar crises. She and her friend and fellow cancer survivor Jean Seiden first established the Wayland Angels to “pay forward” the acts of kindness they received from their own neighbors during their cancer treatments. In 2010, Pam transitioned Wayland Angels into the formally incorporated nonprofit Neighbor Brigade, a vehicle to give people in communities beyond Wayland a means to support their fellow neighbors when serious illness or other tragedy strikes.
Pam understood our shared human need for community and our need to care for and be cared by one another. She believed it was imperative not only for those who need the assistance, but for volunteers’ benefit as well.
Pam lost her battle with cancer in 2012, but her legacy lives on in Neighbor Brigade.
Here is a look at our recent years, in review. Click an image to learn more about how many people we have assisted and how we try to improve our communities.
"I went through a really hard time back to back, first a car accident and then COVID. My kids needed them just as much as I needed them and the services they provide is a little bit more hands-on than just a referral. They are very wonderful people to work with, the volunteers were so kind it’s as if they became family during the hardest time and that was so human." -Maynard Client, 2020
"It is amazing to see a friendly face and have a helping hand when you fall ill and have no one to help or talk to. Please consider the impact you have on a person’s health and wellbeing by interacting with your neighbor in need. It will likely come back to you in spades." —Ashland, MA Client 2019
"Neighbor Brigade has been truly a blessing for us at a very challenging and difficult time! Dealing with serious injuries from an accident which impacted my mobility, while simultaneously receiving radiation treatments for cancer, has been beyond overwhelming. The Neighbor Brigade provided me with rides to appointments (as I was unable to drive) and several meals (that were ready when I returned home from my treatments) all from caring volunteers who were happy to assist me. Thank you all so much!" — Natick, MA Client 2018
"I broke my ankle and was in a wheelchair. I have a 16-year-old son and a 92-year-old mother. I do the shopping and the cooking. My girlfriend told me about Neighbor Brigade. I was a little apprehensive about doing this as I am very independent, but it was an absolute Godsend to have them come. It relieved such pressure off me to know my family had hot meals and every person who came to the door was kind and sweet and it just made you feel good to know that people care and truly want to help." — Braintree, MA Client 2017
Colin Coleman– President
Partner, Partridge, Snow & Hahn Law Firm
Heather Rafey – Treasurer
International Development Consultant
Ababa Abiem – Director
Case Manager Resource Specialist, Boston Medical Center
Laryssa Calhoun - Director
Regional Sales Director for a Software Consulting Company
Mark Corner – Director
Susan Green – Director
Paul Manikas – Director
Sr. Industry Solution Executive, Microsoft
Amy Mason – Director
Event & Program Manager, IMPACT Melanoma
Polly is a native of Weston, Massachusetts and a graduate of Concord Academy and Boston College with a BA in Secondary Education and Spanish. Her degree in Spanish allowed her to travel many parts of the world including Costa Rica where her nonprofit career launched as executive director of the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center. While there she managed a variety of programs that strengthened the organizational capacity of local communities and gave youth the necessary tools and resources to succeed. Deeply and continuously inspired by her brother’s life experiences as a young man with Down Syndrome she used her development and management skills to found her own nonprofit organization, HILLS, Inc. based in Denver, Colorado where Polly was the executive director for 8 years. In 2018 HILLS merged with the nonprofit agency FRIENDS of Broomfield where the HILLS programs continue to be a top resource for people with developmental disabilities while providing much needed respite care for families. Polly currently resides in Maynard, MA where she continues her passion for nonprofit organizations that have a strong and meaningful impact on our diverse communities in Massachusetts. Polly may be reached at email@example.com.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Mark proudly joined the Neighbor Brigade staff in January 2019 and has over 6 years of experience in non-profit fundraising. A native of Burlington, Massachusetts, Mark graduated from St. Charles Seminary College with a Bachelor’s degree and earned a Master of Arts degree from St. John’s Seminary. Mark is also a military veteran, having served for 10 years as an Officer and Captain in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. He was recognized for his outstanding service by being awarded two Massachusetts Service Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and two Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals. Mark works to develop the fundraising goals and programs of Neighbor Brigade so that the organization can flourish, grow, and reach all those in need of its services. Mark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rose is originally from Haiti and grew up in the city of Cambridge, MA. She holds a Master’s degree in Management from Emmanuel College and has a Bachelor’s degree from Simmons College. She has extensive experience in government contracting and grants management from various foundations and government sponsors. She believes in the importance of giving back to her community. She currently resides on the South Shore with her family. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and doing DIY projects. Rose can be contacted at email@example.com.
DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Tim is from Framingham, MA and currently resides in Westborough, MA. He has a Bachelor's in Information Technology from Northeastern University, along with years of experience and self taught technical skills. On top of his current role with us here at Neighbor Brigade, he is an IT Systems Engineer for a local manufacturing company. Tim is incredibly passionate about our cause, and is proud to be able to use his skillset to help others in need in his local community. Tim is responsible for all things technical, from managing our website to back end user support. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.