We were honored to nominate and have our long-time supporter, Jerry Ferrera, recognized by the Patriots Charitable Foundation as a 2017 Myra Kraft Community MVP.
Recognition Luncheon at Gillette Stadium
On Thursday, June 8, 2017 Jerry and 25 other individuals were recognized at Gillette Stadium for their volunteer efforts n their communities. In addition to personal recognition by Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation President Joshua Kraft, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation awarded $10,000 to St. Francis House in honor of Jerry’s longstanding volunteerism.
“Here at St. Francis House, we would not be able to provide 600 meals each day of the year, or help clothe 250 guests each week, without the tremendous support of our volunteers,” said Maggie Burns, Vice President of Philanthropy and External Affairs. “Jerry has been a member of our volunteer community for over 27 years in many different ways. We’re thrilled that the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation has chosen to recognize Jerry’s ongoing service to Boston’s homeless with the Myra Kraft Community MVP award.”
Jerry’s involvement at St. Francis House
For 27 years Jerry Ferrera has volunteered at St. Francis House and has served in many capacities.
With a background in law, Jerry began his volunteer service helping guests who had immigration issues. During a sabbatical from Bentley University, he appeared in Boston Immigration Court representing homeless adults with immigration issues. He also worked with Bentley students on special projects regarding other homeless immigrants at St. Francis House.
But, Jerry has served in other departments as well.
He remembers early on reporting to the kitchen in order to serve meals. The cook, however, was unable to come in that day. With kitchen staff frantic, he was asked if he knew how to make spaghetti. Although he did not, he said yes. With a strong sense of satisfaction he fondly recalls a very palatable meal being served that day.
Jerry has also volunteered for our Moving Ahead Program, helping MAP students prepare for jobs by giving mock interviews. He likes encouraging guests to believe in their unique talents and helps them to project a professional image during the job interview.
However, he finds the most satisfaction volunteering in our Fresh Threads program.
Recalling a male guest coming in to get clothing who had a badly worn belt, Jerry had asked if he could get him a replacement, but the guest replied, “It still works. Give it to someone who really needs it.”
Jerry is often inspired by the humility and generosity of our guests.
Jerry shares, “It’s a chance to talk to them one-on-one and to make them happy. They can come in with anger and despair, but their whole demeanor can change when you give them an article of clothing and tell them how good it looks on them. They have a lot of patience, waiting in line to get a clothing ticket, they have a lot of patience to be served. I tell them my mission is to make them happy. I don’t think very many people talk to them that way.”
For Jerry his work at St. Francis House is very personal, “We have been so lucky. And as you get older, you are grateful for everything.”