Beverly Bootstraps was first established in 1992 as a Food Pantry in the basement of the First Baptist Church. With the generous support of our donors, volunteers and the community at large, we have grown to be a leading social service agency on the North Shore. We are unique in our approach to the issues of hunger. While recognizing that people need food in hand to stem immediate hunger, our clients also need the opportunity to be embraced by the community, educated about the resources available and empowered to improve their own lives. As we continue to grow, our commitment to the community remains the same: to provide critical resources to families and individuals so that they may achieve self-sufficiency. We accomplish this while maintaining our commitment to fiscal responsibility and serving as trusted stewards of the organization.
In response to the needs of our community, the parishioners at First Baptist Church started a small food pantry.
A community outreach program was started to address the root causes of hunger and assist clients in achieving self-sufficiency.
Our Adopt-A-Family holiday program was started to help provide gifts to low-income children. Since then, this program has grown tremendously and provides gifts to over 650 children annually.
We began to provide low-income children with the school supplies needed to start the school year. The Back-To-School Backpack program is now an annual event in which donors help local children in need.
The Thrift Shop was opened to offer affordable clothing and goods to clients and residents.
Offices and Services moved to 371 Cabot Street, where all programs could be managed from one location and the Thrift Shop moved to 198 Rantoul Street.
The Board of Directors officially voted to offer services to both Beverly and Manchester residents.
As need grew during and after The Great Recession, the number of clients served through our programs tripled.
The Board of Directors voted in a strategic plan identifying the need for a new facility.
Offices and Services were relocated to 35 Park Street after the new building was purchased and renovated and the Thrift Shop fully expanded.
Beverly Bootstraps celebrates 25 years of providing critical resources to families and individuals so they may achieve self-sufficiency.
Beverly Bootstraps began a collaboration with Acord Food Pantry to provide on-site Case Management to the residents of Essex, Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich and Topsfield.
Sue Gabriel, Executive Director
Sue’s path to the helm of Beverly Bootstraps includes almost 30 years in the non-profit sector. Since 2008, Sue has led Beverly Bootstraps from a grass-roots organization to a mid-sized non-profit. Sue’s career includes various leadership roles including Director of Development for Beverly School for the Deaf, sole proprietor of Marketing Success and Director of Tourism for Thoroughbred Country in South Carolina. Sue is involved with many local organizations. She is a Trustee of Beverly’s Affordable Housing Trust, Board Member for the Beverly Rotary Club, Advisory Member of Greater Boston Food Bank and Trustee to Fisher and Fuel Trust. Sue resides in Beverly, MA with her husband and three children.
Heather Johnston, Director of Development & External Affairs
As Director of Development & External Affairs, Heather oversees all fundraising efforts, marketing/communications, and volunteer activities. Heather has over 20 years of experience in non-profit management and has held various leadership roles for Easter Seals NH, Wide Horizons for Children, and Anna Jaques Hospital. In addition, Heather has been actively involved in a variety of volunteer leadership roles, including President of the New England Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and has been on the national board of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. Heather is actively involved in many local organizations throughout the Greater Beverly community. Heather holds a B.S. in Business with an Economics/Finance Minor. Heather resides in Beverly with her husband and two daughters.
Gregory Ezell, Program Director - Basic Needs
As Program Director – Basic Needs, Gregory oversees the creation, implementation and continuation of our Client Support and Food Assistance programming. Gregory has worked for Beverly Bootstraps for over a decade with a majority of his time in their Client Support department, working directly with clients and their families. He has over 15 years in the non-profit and human services field including working with the Department of Youth Services, Department of Mental Health and Department of Children and Families. Gregory resides in Beverly with his wife and two daughters.
Julia Andrews, Program Director - Education
Julia Andrews brings 20 years of teaching and leadership experience to her role as Program Director – Education. The richness of her academic and professional background has enabled her unique insight and a holistic perspective into the myriad needs of Beverly Bootstraps’ diverse populations, which she draws from in the design and oversight of the organization’s education programs. Julia holds a BSc in Psychology and a Master’s in Education. She has worked as a specialist in curriculum development, behavior management and supported families as an advocate for students with special needs. She also served as a mentor for student teachers – a role that now allows her to skillfully guide Bootstraps’ intern programs.
Edwin Silva, Thrift Shop Manager
As Thrift Shop Manager, Edwin oversees all retail aspects of our Thrift Shop as well as Thrift Shop donations and personnel/volunteers. Edwin has over 25 years of experience in Retail/Food management and has held various management roles for McDonalds, Boston Market, GameStop and most recently Dollar General. Edwin has volunteered with his church and many other organizations. Edwin holds an A.A. degree in Hospitality/Retail management. Edwin resides in Revere with his son and family.
Donna Onacki, Finance Director
Donna has over 30 years of experience in both profit and non-profit finance and marketing. She has held various leadership roles including the Controller for E.L. Harvey & Sons of Westborough, MA and as a small business consultant. Donna is involved with Seacoast Families First and Southeast Land Trust in New Hampshire where she resides with her husband. She has a Bachelors in Finance/Economics from Bentley College and Masters in Instructional Technology from Lesley University.
2020 Board of Directors
Thank you to our dedicated Board of Directors for their time and support.
- Mark Munoz, President
- Melissa Dane, Vice President
- Allan Huntley, Treasurer
- Jeffrey Roberts, Clerk
- Edward Cahill
- Laurence Chase
- Amanda Dobbins
- Joey Gustafson
- Mark Paluzzi
- Meredith Sobol
- Michael Wheeler
- Sarah Willwerth-Dyer
Friends of Beverly Bootstraps
This group of former board members and members of board appointed committees have accepted our invitation to join this group of dedicated individuals and be recognized for their involvement in guiding us to be the organization we are today.
Advisors are community members with specific expertise asked by the Board of Directors to advise Board Committees. Advisors attend committee meetings and the Annual Board Meeting in November. Advisors serve one-year, renewable terms that begin in January. Thank you to our 2019 Advisors.
- Rebecca Beckman
- David Haley
- Nicole Ireland
- Marilyn Schlein Kramer
- Jeremy McElwain
- Mimi McFadden
- Bernadette Orr
- Marty Smith
- Michelle Thissell
- Jessica Waggett
- Lisa Willwerth
Acord Food Pantry
Beverly Bootstraps is collaborating with the Acord Food Pantry to provide on-site Case Management services to individuals and families visiting the Acord Pantry.
Beverly Bootstraps has partnered with Apple Village to offer family and elderly housing residents a seasonal Mobile Market that provides free fresh produce and vegetables on a weekly basis.
Beverly Council on Aging/Senior Center
In an effort to increase access to produce and staple food items to the elderly living on fixed incomes, Beverly Bootstraps has partnered with the Beverly Council on Aging to bring a seasonal Mobile Market to the Senior Center every other week.
Beverly Hospital, a Member of Lahey Health
Beverly Hospital works to improve the health of their emergency room patients by providing a bag of staple foods if needed, as well as referring them to Beverly Bootstraps for further assistance.
Beverly Housing Authority
Beverly Bootstraps has partnered with Beverly Housing Authority to offer family and elderly housing residents a seasonal Mobile Market that provides free, fresh produce and vegetables on a weekly basis.
Beverly Public Schools
Beverly Bootstraps works closely with the Beverly Public Schools to coordinate many of our Youth and Family Services, including our Back-To-School Backpack program and Kids Eat Healthy Initiative. Additionally, we work with the schools to identify children with barriers to academic success and in need of tutoring in our After-School Homework Clubs.
Beverly Resource Group
Beverly Resource Group is a collaboration of community partners who come together to discuss resources available, promote financial stability and improve the quality of life of low-income Beverly residents. Our Case Management staff plays an active role in the Beverly Resource Group steering committee.
City of Beverly
Our staff works with city departments to coordinate services and support the community as effectively as possible.
Beverly Bootstraps has partnered with Fairweather Apartments to offer elderly residents a seasonal Mobile Market that provides free, fresh produce and vegetables every other week.
Local Houses of Worship
Beverly Bootstraps collaborates with local houses of worship to provide free, daily community meals to those in need in Beverly.
North Shore Adult Education Partnership (NSAEP)
The North Shore Adult Education Partnership is a network of educators, employers and service providers who work with adult students in Salem, Peabody, Beverly and Danvers. NSAEP members collaborate to plan region-wide, coordinate joint advocacy and visibility and integrate approaches for adult education.
North Shore Community Action
North Shore Community Action Program (NSCAP) provides low-income individuals and families access and support for fuel assistance. Our Case Management staff works closely with NSCAP to provide local residents with this service.
North Shore Community College
Through a partnership with North Shore Community College, the Greater Boston Food Bank and The Open Door, we bring food directly to the Danvers campus on a monthly basis during the school year. Students struggling with hunger can easily access healthy produce and needed staple food items by visiting the Mobile Market.
North Shore Hunger Network
The North Shore Hunger Network is a collaboration of food pantries on the North Shore, working together to alleviate the impact of hunger in communities North of Boston. Our Food Assistance staff plays an integral role in this group.
Share Our Strength
Share Our Strength provides cooking classes that help parents and caregivers struggling with limited food budgets learn how to shop for and cook healthy, affordable meals. Beverly Bootstraps partners with them to bring these classes to our clients twice a year.
Turtle Creek/Turtle Woods
Beverly Bootstraps has partnered with Turtle Creek and Turtle Woods to offer elderly residents a seasonal Mobile Market that provides free, fresh produce and vegetables on a weekly basis.
For some helpful information on how to interpret a non-profit’s financials, read this story.
Beverly Bootstraps has a long-standing relationship with several local colleges, including Endicott College, Gordon College, Salem State University and North Shore Community College. We collaborate to provide students with practical education and real-life experience by working in their chosen fields. We offer internships throughout all of our programs including Case Management, Food Assistance, and Adult & Youth Education and Administration. Because of the nature of our services and need for client confidentiality, we are not able to accept high school interns.
Read the latest on all the wonderful things Beverly Bootstraps is doing to support the members of our local communities.
Beverly Bootstraps has always been committed to social justice. Helping people who might not have their basic needs met or an opportunity to avail themselves of education, for whatever reason or life story, is at the core of our mission.
We proudly serve, work with and employ individuals regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, or nationality. Further, we ask our community and world to do better and work towards justice and equal opportunities.