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Back Bay Mission

A Special Message for Our Volunteers

By | Volunteering | No Comments

This week is National Volunteer Week, and nonprofit organizations across the country will be taking time to thank the people who make so much of their work possible: the people who spend countless hours working for the organizations they care about.

At Back Bay Mission, we know that we’re blessed to have the best volunteers in the world.

Over the last few years, thousands of people have come from more than 40 states to serve with us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. And, of course, countless people from the Gulf Coast have joined us to strengthen neighborhoods, seek justice, and transform lives.

You’ve rehabilitated homes. You’ve walked through the food pantry with people. You’ve cleaned showers and done laundry. You’ve provided a ministry of presence. You’ve organized shrimp boils, attended meetings, and served as our ambassador.

We know that we couldn’t do our work without you. During this National Volunteer Week, please take a moment to reflect on your time at Back Bay Mission and remember the people who you served. And please know that their lives are better because of you.

Thank you.

Introducing Our 2017 Shari Prestemon Social Justice Interns

By | Internships

Hi, my name is Katy Morton and I am absolutely delighted to be one of the chosen Shari Prestemon Social Justice interns for this year! I have been a professional social worker for several years, but have always been interested in social justice and service.

Throughout my time as a social worker, I have had the opportunity to work with, learn from, and advocate for, people from all walks of life. In 2014, I graduated with my BSW from Temple University, and went on to get my MSW from West Chester University in 2015. Since graduation, I have worked in politics, policy research and advocacy, nonprofit, case management, service coordination, and many other things in between.

I have worked in gold-leaf-plated rooms of the capitol building, struggling nonprofits who can barely afford office supplies, and tiny offices where there is hardly enough space to meet with clients. I have worked with people in prisons, savagely impoverished neighborhoods, homes infested with bedbugs, and sterile hospital rooms. I have learned patience, respect, and the importance of listening. Every person, no matter how small or insignificant society may view them as, has a story to tell and a lesson to teach.

I have been lucky enough to grow up from infancy in an incredibly supportive UCC church that has helped to instill within me the values of social justice and service. Since I can remember, I have always been surrounded by an amazing support system that has encouraged me and helped me nurture my dream to serve others. As a teenager, I watched in horror as the south was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to do something, but felt helpless. One Sunday, my pastors began to talk about the possibility of getting together a group to go to Mississippi to help rebuild homes, with an organization called Back Bay Mission. My pastor spoke about how this organization had lost nearly everything in the storm and flood waters, yet volunteers and employees had been working tirelessly around the clock to provide comfort and help to begin to rebuild.

I was fortunate enough to be included on this amazing trip, and had an experience that I would never forget. From the beginning, Shari’s hospitality and warmth were a stark contrast to the destruction and desolation left from Katrina. I learned a great deal on my trip, but the one thing I will never forget was the sense of community and pulling together for a common good that I experienced at Back Bay Mission. This sense of community is clearly still alive and well at Back Bay and I cannot wait to be a part of it this.


My name is Naimoi Gonzalez. I am 27 years old and I am originally from Bethlehem, PA. I recently graduated with an MDiv from, Brite Divinity School in May 2016. I am currently working on an MA in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at George Mason University. My current academic interests center on examining the interconnection between government and institutional injustice and terrorism and other forms of non-state violence. I plan on applying to PhD programs in the fall.

I applied to Back Bay Mission because I am interested in the nonprofit sector and this internship provides me with an opportunity to learn about the different facets that go into running a successful nonprofit organization. Moreover, I am interested in finding ways to integrate with faith with my social justice values.

Back Bay Mission’s Partnership with Goodwill

By | Uncategorized

Back Bay Mission spent a recent Tuesday afternoon volunteering at a local Goodwill retail store and learning about the ways that the Mission partners with Goodwill to provide help to the people we serve. You can see the photos of our afternoon at Goodwill here.

We thought we’d share more about how we work with our friends at Goodwill.

When Back Bay Mission receives clothing donations, we keep what we can in our own clothes closet. This is a small space, however, and we aren’t able to keep everything that is donated. We donate what we can’t keep to Goodwill.

When our clients need clothing that we don’t have in stock – for example, clothing for a job interview or for a child’s first day of school – we provide vouchers that can be used at a local Goodwill. Clients can use these vouchers to purchase up to $25 worth of clothing that they need… and $25 goes a long way at Goodwill.

In the future, we hope to partner with Goodwill on workforce development.

Back Bay Mission works in partnership with many organizations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Together, we’re strengthening neighborhoods, seeking justice, and transforming lives!

Entering the Guess the Birdies Contest? The Deadline Is Tonight!

By | Giving Opportunities

Last week, we told you about the Guess the Birdies contest through Birdies for Charity. A pledge to Back Bay Mission through Birdies for Charity is a great way to strengthen neighborhoods, seek justice, and transform lives. It’s also a great way to see your gift make a bigger impact. And, of course, the Guess the Birdies contest is also a chance to win a prize from the Scarlet Pearl Resort.

This is just a friendly reminder that if you’re planning on entering the Guess the Birdies Contest, the deadline is tonight!

Make a Pledge through Birdies for Charity, and You Can Win, Too

By | Giving Opportunities

The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic is coming up soon. While we’ve been telling you about your chance to make a bigger impact through your pledge, you can also win a prize through Birdies for Charity!

Whether you make a pledge through Birdies for Charity or not, you can enter the Guess the Birdies contest (you do have to complete the form, though). If you correctly guess the number of birdies made this year, you could win a two night hotel stay, dinner for two at the Scarlet Grille, and a round of miniature golf for two at Lava Links, all compliments of the Scarlet Pearl Resort.

You must make your entry to the Guess the Birdies contest by midnight on March 30, 2017.

Birdies for Charity is a great opportunity to make a gift to Back Bay Mission, a chance to have that gift make a bigger impact, and a chance to win a two night stay with the Scarlet Pearl Resort. Make your pledge today!

Scheduled Downtime

By | Uncategorized

The Back Bay Mission website will be unavailable on Monday, March 13th, while we perform some routine maintenance. We plan for the maintenance to begin between 9 and 9:30am on Monday. We do not know how long the website will be down, but hope that it will be up again quickly.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Church Relations Associate Christopher Marlin-Warfield Consecrated as Diakonal Minister

By | Uncategorized

Our congratulations to Church Relations Associate Christopher Marlin-Warfield, who was consecrated as a diakonal minister last weekend! Diakonal ministry is a special designation granted by the United Church of Christ’s Council for Health and Human Services Ministries (CHHSM) and characterized by a call and commitment to servant leadership.

CHHSM’s diakonal ministers carry on a legacy found in the United Church of Christ’s – and its predecessor denominations’ – commitment to care for the poor, sick, and disabled. Diakonal ministers have served in hospitals, orphanages, homes for the aging, and other ministries of the United Church of Christ for generations.

CHHSM requires a yearlong preparatory program for diakonal ministers: the Nollau Institute. Led by a core team of four faculty members, the Nollau Institute draws upon the best in adult education and leadership training to invite participants into certain practices and disciplines in the context of a community of leaders who encourage and hold each participant accountable. The Institute is named after Louis Edward Nollau, a 19th century missionary, preacher and founder of several St. Louis-area CHHSM ministries. The Institute emphasizes the kind of integrated leadership that its namesake modeled: professional excellence rooted in faith-based purpose.

Congratulations, Chris!

Have You Made Your Birdies for Charity Pledge?

By | Giving Opportunities

Birdies for Charity is a great way to strengthen neighborhoods, seek justice, and transform lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It’s also a great way to increase the impact of your gift!

When you make a pledge through the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Birdies for Charity website, you increase the Mission’s chances of receiving Birdies for Charity Bonus Bucks! The charity with the most money collected through Birdies for Charity on May 5, 2017, will see up to an additional $7,500! The charity with the second most, $5,000. The charity with the third most, $2,500.

Your gift to Back Bay Mission always makes a difference in the lives of the people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Your gift through Birdies for Charity can make an even bigger difference!

Make your pledge today.

Applications for the Shari Prestemon Social Justice Internship Are Due Tomorrow!

By | Internships, Volunteering

Are you a young adult between the ages of 19 and 35? Are you passionate about social justice? Would you like to spend ten weeks this summer living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and working closely with staff at Back Bay Mission?

The Shari Prestemon Social Justice Internship is an amazing opportunity for you! During this ten week internship, you’ll work closely with Mission staff, and learn about social service and justice work on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. You can learn more, and download the application, here.

But there’s no time to waste. Applications are due tomorrow!

It’s Time for Birdies for Charity!

By | Giving Opportunities

Are you thinking about giving to Back Bay Mission and wanting to make your gift have more impact? Birdies for Charity is a great opportunity for you!

From now until midnight on May 5, 2017, you can make a pledge or gift through the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.

Pledges must be at least $0.03 per birdie. Your gift will be equal to your per-birdie pledge times the number of birdies made during the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. The Classic is expecting between 700 and 800 birdies to be made this year. In 2016, there were 678 birdies made. If you had pledged $0.03 per birdie in 2016, your gift would have been $20.34.

Gifts must be at least $10 and can be made directly on the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Birdies for Charity website.

Now, here’s the part where your impact can be greater. It we’re among the three top charities – based on the amount of money we’ve collected – as of midnight on May 5, 2017, Birdies for Charity will match your gift! The first place charity is matched 100% up to $7,500. The second place charity is matched 100% up to $5,000. The third place charity is matched 100% up to $2,500. Any gift will make a tremendous difference in the life of someone on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Any match will make an even bigger difference!

Strengthen neighborhoods, seek justice, and transform lives… make your pledge or gift today!

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