Her Causes Are Our Causes

Those who knew Christine knew that her heart was as big as her smile. She spread joy wherever she went with her optimism, good cheer and kindness to family, friends, coworkers and strangers alike. She was so generous and caring that it was difficult to select causes for this foundation to support. We could almost hear her saying, “But you forgot abandoned pets! And the elderly! And national parks!” But to begin, we have selected a few causes from different phases of her life that we feel she would be most passionate about and that would make her smile that beautiful smile and say, “This is great!”

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Scholarships

Oliver Ames High School Scholarship

Christine was known for her friendliness throughout her high school years – with her soccer and basketball teammates, her teachers, siblings of friends and random kids in the hallways. Then, and throughout her life, she had the ability to make everyone she interacted with feel special. This scholarship, given to a graduate of her alma mater in Easton, MA, will be awarded to someone who spread kindness and cheer at Oliver Ames High School and shares her generosity of spirit and passion for humanitarian causes.

Details to come for application information.

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Veterans

Mind-Body Wellness for Veterans

Christine’s passion for yoga and mind-body health began in Boston while she was working with female veterans suffering from PTSD and substance abuse at the Brockton VA. She earned her yoga teaching certification at Kripalu and integrated yoga into her practice, later bringing that passion to her work with veterans on the West Coast. Through yoga she taught veterans mindfulness, self-control and stress relief to help them improve their overall well-being. To reflect Christine’s dedication to veterans on both coasts, we have selected two initial programs to support through the foundation:

New England Vets – Smith Farm in Easton’s Borderland State Park

Smith Farm, in Christine’s hometown and favorite park, focuses on providing holistic trauma recovery to veterans with PTSD. At this innovative center that encourages creativity and mindfulness, veterans will be able to engage in yoga, tai chi, reiki, meditation, horticultural therapy and art therapy, among other activities, receiving what experts hope will be best-in-class therapy in a serene, beautiful setting. Outdoor programs have already begun, but the organization is raising money to finish renovation work on an old farmhouse on the property. This will provide a peaceful indoor setting for wellness classes, retreats and events for veterans, first responders and their families. As part of its programming, Smith Farm has an integrated wellness partnership with the Brockton VA, where Christine first combined yoga and therapy – yet another reason this organization is fits so well with the foundation in her name.

California Vets –  Martinez Post-Deployment Assessment Treatment Program

The Martinez Post-Deployment Assessment Treatment Program, modeled like The Pathway Home, met with Christine and team just weeks before her death to plan a partnership. Since then, this partnership has taken hold, and several of Pathway Home’s graduates have gone to the Martinez PDAT Program, including one who is interning there now on his path to becoming a psychologist treating veterans with PTSD. This partnership ensures that veterans will have an effective residential treatment program in the area. Funds will help the program build connections and partnerships between the VA’s and community groups, Rotary Clubs, foundations and the business and education community. These relationships are vital to the community reintegration, education and career development of vets that Christine dedicated her life to, and that are essential to helping veterans with PTSD recalibrate to, and rejoin, civilian life.

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Wellness

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Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

In 2002, Christine took on a role with the Development and Research departments at BHCHP. Working with an incredible team, she soon immersed herself in this organization dedicated to serving Boston’s most vulnerable patients. While there, she worked tirelessly to update and publish a manual of communicable diseases and common problems for homeless people, which is still used today at similar centers nationwide. Most importantly, she felt the spark of her true calling to social work. She completed her Master’s in Social Work at Boston College while continuing to work part-time until graduation. It is no surprise that she remained in touch with many of her co-workers after her move to California. In September 2018, BHCHP dedicated a clinic in her name at the New England Center for Veterans, a remarkable but fitting honor for a person whose dedication, talent, and joyful personality had such an impact on the organization and its people. Donations through the foundation will help BHCHP continue to serve the homeless of Boston, supporting their physical and emotional well-being through basic services that most of us take for granted – and offering them a chance to rebuild their dignity and find hope for the future.

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