social capital noun. the value of our social networks & relationships

SCI and Other Local Groups Supporting Migrants

Published by David Crowley on

As part of a large community effort, SCI is proud to be one of the many Woburn organizations, churches, and volunteers playing a role in providing food, clothing, and care to refugee families who are currently being housed by the state in our community. This is in keeping with SCI’s long tradition of leveraging our relationships to address emerging needs.  

We recognize a common humanity that supersedes all borders and every person deserves compassion and kindness, and to live without fear. While there are important resource and policy issues to be addressed, as noted in this recent New York Times article, our focus is on helping the many people in need of support after their long journey seeking a safe place to live and support their families.

a committee meeting of people working to support refugee families in Woburn. About a dozen people seated around a long rectangle table.
A meeting of members of the committee supporting the refugee families, including Vitalie Memeus, 2nd from the right.

Our staff team has responded to this challenge to provide what support we can. Most notably, our SCI VEAP Outreach Coordinator, Vitalie Memeus, has called on her own experience moving here from Haiti, and she is using her language and compassion to help the families get what they need and feel safe. Many other Haitian volunteers have joined the effort, which has been crucial to the overall community volunteer effort to be effective. Vitalie and some of the VEAP leaders have also been providing support to families staying in the Everett area, another community served by the SCI VEAP initiative.

In addition, Leah Mulrenan has jumped in to help manage the many people who are seeking to volunteer and donate in support of this effort. She is sending regular updates to people who sign up to help on this page

At SCI, we are always thinking about ways to come together across differences and through shared experiences. As we watch these families come to our home town and see the response of our community, we are seeing that the combination of these connections is making a real impact. In addition, we are exploring ways that addressing needs of the new immigrants, such as improving public transportation options, can help the entire community.

In addition to Vitalie’s on the ground work with the families, our staff is collecting your email addresses and sending out updates when there is a volunteer need! And volunteers of all backgrounds have answered those calls in record time. We have an incredible group of volunteers that are able to provide translation for families, a crucial need. And when donated items are needed, the response has been quick and generous. Volunteers of all ages have shown up to sort, drive, and do what is needed!

To see how to help visit with this need, visit:

SCI has the staff capacity to respond to challenges like this thanks to grant funding and individual donations. To make a donation to support SCI’s work, visit this page.

We are grateful to the countless number of people and organizations in our city, and others in our network of supporters, who have offered donations, assistance, and moral support.

David Crowley

David Crowley founded SCI in Woburn, his hometown, in 2002. Under his leadership, SCI has grown to serve 20 communities in the region while continuing to make a difference in Woburn. Prior to SCI, David was the Executive Director of Boston-based Generations Inc. (now Literations). He has been involved in AmeriCorps since the program began in 2003, and served as the founding Director of the Kentucky Community Service Commission, which oversees the program for the state. David currently serves as Steering Committee Chair for the CHNA 15 regional healthy communities network. David graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government. Unsure of his long term plans, and after many service activities in college, David set out to do a year of service in rural Kentucky, which began his career in service! In his free time, he enjoys cooking for his family, reading and walking nearby Horn Pond. He also shares his kitchen creations on his food & wine blog, Cooking Chat.