December 23, 2017

Inbox [Dec. 23-30]: News and notes from city of Worcester, Webster Five, Fidelity Bank and You Inc.

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Webster Five

Courtesy of Webster Five

From left, Don Doyle, President/CEO, Webster Five; Sean Harris, Supported Employment & Education Specialist, The Bridge of Central Mass; Amelia Dillon, Supported Employment & Education Director, The Bridge of Central Mass.; Ken Bates, Executive Director, The Bridge of Central Mass.; and Sam Bitar, Executive Director of the Webster Five Foundation/VP Business Systems Manager, Webster Five.

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Worcester offers online survey to help update Hazard Mitigation Plan

Work is underway to update the city of Worcester’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, which will help guide local efforts to reduce damage from future natural disasters. The city invites residents, business operators, property owners, and other interested parties to add their insight and local knowledge to the planning process by completing a brief online survey, which is available on the city website or at

All are encouraged to participate – this is an opportunity for members of the public to help provide input to make our community more resilient to floods, droughts, winter storms and other natural hazards. Completing the online survey will help the city to better identify hazards, prioritize mitigation strategies, and communicate with local residents and businesses.

The survey is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. As the planning process proceeds over the next several months, at least two public meetings will be held to present and seek additional public input into the draft and final plans. Final adoption of the plan is contingent on approval from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and requires acceptance by the City Council.

Worcester’s Hazard Mitigation Plan is being developed by a team of city officials and staff with technical assistance from the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) and input from other key stakeholders.

“As we have seen during recent storms in Puerto Rico, Texas and elsewhere, the best time to protect the community is before a disaster,” said Adam Menard, a planner with CMRPC. “Public participation in the survey will help Worcester develop appropriate strategies to mitigate the impacts of future natural disasters.”

“Keeping the residents of Worcester safe is always our top priority, and having an up-to-date Hazard Mitigation Plan is vital to fulfilling that mission,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “The city of Worcester is committed to coordinating efforts … to help minimize the effects of natural disasters locally. We encourage residents to participate in the survey and have their voices heard as part of this important planning process.”

Read the full article on the city of Worcester website

Bridge of Central Massachusetts receives $10K donation from Webster Five

Webster Five Foundation announced that as part of its Web of Caring to Make a Difference program, it has donated $10,000 to the Bridge of Central Massachusetts. The donation was a $5,000 matching grant, allowing the Bridge of Central Massachusetts to receive an additional $5,000 because it raised equivalent funds from other financial institutions. The donation will help fund the Bridge’s Youth Employment Project.

The Bridge of Central Massachusetts is a human-services agency serving Webster and 16 other communities, mostly in Central Massachusetts. It provides compassionate, evidence-based services for people with mental-health challenges, developmental disabilities, autism, brain injuries, homelessness and substance abuse disorders. The Bridge Youth Employment Project helps children and young adults by providing job-seeking skills development and by assisting those with mental-health challenges to overcome barriers to employment.

“We are incredibly thankful for Webster Five’s generosity. The donation has enabled us to extend the reach of our programs and provide greater assistance to our local youth,” said Bridge of Central Massachusetts President and CEO Ken Bates.

Said Donald F. Doyle, president and CEO of Webster Five, “The Bridge of Central Massachusetts continues to have such a positive impact on the local community and we are truly honored to contribute to an organization that is making such a difference.”

Fidelity Bank workers choose Veterans Inc. for holiday donation

Fidelity Bank is helping full-service office staff at its Worcester branch ring in the holiday season with a gift of $500 to spend on the organization of their choice. Staff have chosen to support Worcester-based Veterans Inc., a national private nonprofit focused on eradicating homelessness among veterans of the U.S. military by providing shelter and support programs for veterans and their families.

Leominster-based Fidelity Bank has 10 full-service offices in Central Massachusetts, with plans to add a second branch in Worcester in 2018. It pioneered the LifeDesign philosophy that encourages employees to use their hearts and minds. Funding for the Veterans Inc. gift comes from the bank’s LifeDesign Community Dividend, funds that are set aside annually to improve the quality of life of communities through supporting local organizations.

“The annual gifts to our full-service offices are one of the best ways we use our LifeDesign Community Dividend,” said Fidelity Bank chairman and CEO Ed Manzi. “Each year, I enjoy learning about the important local causes the branches decide to support.”

Last year, Fidelity Bank donated a total of $290,000 to more than 100 worthy community organizations through the LifeDesign Community Dividend.

You Inc. teen support group begins Jan. 17

You Inc. will host a “Firm Steps!” support group for youths between 13 and 16 years of age, beginning Jan. 17. Teens will explore different activities such as social skills discussions, arts and crafts and more from 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesdays at the Worcester Family Resource Center, 484 Main St., Suite 450, Worcester.

For more information, contact Alex Martinez at 508-796-1411, ext. 420.

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