To commemorate its 60th anniversary, the Beacon Hill Circle for Charity awarded $60,000 in grants to charitable agencies serving needy women and children in Greater Boston. It is the most that the organization has given away in a single year since its founding in 1963.
The Circle raises funds by giving tours of the neighborhood that include visits inside several of its members’ homes. It is a business plan that has proven to be tried and true over its many years.
Guests arrive at the Boston Common by bus and are welcomed by Circle members who give a brief history of the Common, Public Garden and Beacon Hill. Then, divided into small groups of no more than 15, guides lead them through the neighborhood, stopping inside three members’ homes to learn about its architecture, furniture, artwork, past occupants and any changes made during the home’s lifespan.
“This experience within the national historic district of Beacon Hill offers a unique glimpse into the architecture, design, and history external and internal how we live in these historic homes today. There is simply no other place like Beacon Hill,“ said Charlotte Thibodeau, who was elected the 31st Circle president at its 60th annual meeting earlier this month. “We live 21st century lives between our 150-year-old walls.”
The funds are being distributed in grants to 15 organizations that provide immediate, basic assistance to women and families, said grants chair Sharon Nolan at last month’s annual meeting. The nonprofits range from those that help with hunger needs to housing help for domestic violence victims and homeless women.
Thibodeau said she hopes to see the tours continue with robust numbers this year. “The more tours we have, the more generous we can be to the Boston area ‘s women and children charities,” she said.