ViewPoint

Nov 05

Changing Lives Before Lunch at the Horizons for Homeless Children Women’s Breakfast

By Jill Saftel

Here at Version 2.0, we’re lucky to work with some of the best and brightest in Boston and beyond. While many of our clients are driving innovation in the tech sector, we also work with organizations doing extremely important work in our communities, including Horizons for Homeless Children.

Horizons is Massachusetts’ leading organization devoted exclusively to serving children experiencing homelessness. The team at Horizons focuses their efforts on helping young children mitigate the trauma and stress associated with homelessness through its three early education centers in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain and Dorchester, more than 90 shelter-based Playspaces across the state, and a family partnerships program to help parents reclaim their independence.

On Oct. 17th, several V2ers had the chance to attend the annual Horizons Women’s Breakfast, one of the organization’s key fundraising events. This year’s event, at The Westin Copley Place, was extremely successful for Horizons—not only did the event sell out in August, the fastest sellout ever, it also raised more than $900,000, a record for this event.

The Women’s Breakfast is one of my favorite events of the year—rarely do we have the opportunity to attend an event that’s so moving and inspiring first-thing in the morning and take that energy back to the office. Here are a few highlights from this year’s event.

Learning about the Mission

Attendance at the Women’s Breakfast continues to grow, and with it, the community and network invested in Horizons’ mission. Each year, the breakfast offers a perfect opportunity to hear not only from Horizons’ fantastic president and CEO Kate Barrand but also from the mother of a child who attends Horizons programming. Hearing firsthand the impact the services Horizons provides to children and their families experiencing homelessness have not only reinforces why the organization’s services are so crucial, but also provides great inspiration for media outreach to help spread awareness about Horizons and its mission.

Hearing from Incredible Speakers

The Women’s Breakfast is known for its incredible speakers, like Maya Angelou and New York Times bestselling author Jeannette Walls, and this year was no different. Tara Westover, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Educated,” sat down for a conversation with Emmy-winning reporter and anchor on NBC Sports Boston Trenni Kusnierek. The conversation focused on Tara’s experience growing up with Mormon survivalist parents opposed to public education, and her journey from working in her father’s junkyard to stepping foot in a classroom for the first time at age seventeen. They also touched on the themes that connect Tara’s life and Horizons’ work, like the importance of mentors and education.

Tara went on to graduate magna cum laude from Brigham Young University, become a visiting fellow at Harvard University and earn a PhD in history. Her story is such a nice complement to Horizons’ efforts to improve the lives of young homeless children in Massachusetts and help their families succeed by providing high-quality early education, opportunities for play, and comprehensive family support services.

Gaining Perspective

Amid the hustle and bustle of the workweek, it can be easy to stress over small inconveniences and challenges. Working with Horizons and attending events like this puts things in perspective, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with an organization doing such important work here in Boston and across Massachusetts.

To learn more about Horizons for Homeless Children and how you can get involved, visit www.horizonschildren.org.

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