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 (now called Winter Wishes Holiday Gifts) was started to help provide gifts to low-income children. Since then, this program has grown tremendously and provides gifts to over 700 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.
The Board officially voted to expand service area to include Hamilton, Wenham and Essex in addition to Beverly and Manchester.
Sue Gabriel, Executive Director
Sue’s path to the helm of Beverly Bootstraps includes over 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 the President of the Beverly Rotary Club, a Trustee of Beverly’s Affordable Housing Trust, a Trustee to Fisher and Fuel Fund and a Corporator of Marblehead Bank. She has been an Advisor to the Greater Boston Food Bank and a member of the Northshore Hunger Network. Sue resides in Beverly, MA with her family.
Chris Nazareth, Director of Development and External Affairs
With over a decade of experience in the nonprofit field, Chris serves as Beverly Bootstraps’ Director of Development and External Affairs. A seasoned fundraiser, Chris has most recently spent time as the Associate Director of Development at Hearth, Inc., a homeless relief organization in Boston and as the Boston Director of City Service Mission, a national faith-based service and advocacy organization. As the Director of Development and External Affairs, Chris oversees everything from fundraising to marketing to volunteers. Chris and his family reside in Beverly.
Gregory Ezell, Director of Client Services
As Director of Client Services, 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 Haverhill with his wife and two daughters.
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.
Paul Cole, Director of Finance
Paul Cole has a varied and extensive background in nonprofit finance. He received his Masters of Financial Management from London School of Business and Finance and has worked in many areas of the world tracking grants and managing finances for nonprofits. He has also managed a nonprofit residential program where he gained experience working directly with clients. Paul is a Chartered Certified Accountant from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the UK. He resides in Dedham, MA with his family and enjoys playing soccer and taking long walks to clear the numbers from his head at the end of the day.
Rob Tilton, Director of Support Services
As Director of Support Services, Rob oversees the operation and maintenance of our 23,000 sq ft building and all equipment. He is also responsible for all the IT needs of the staff. A true fixer of all problems big and small, Rob does everything from maintaining our fleet of vehicles, to ensuring the staff has working computers and can safely and securely navigate the many computing programs and databases needed to run the organization. Starting out as a volunteer in 2013, Rob has steadily grown from a food pantry driver to his current Director position. Rob resides in Danvers having been a Beverly resident for nearly 30 years, and enjoys spending time with his three children and his dog Fin or watching any New England sports team.
Bethany Riley, Director of Human Resources
Bethany Riley, goes by “Riley,” joined Bootstraps in June 2021 as the Director of Human Resources. She comes from a nonprofit management background with the majority of her time being spent in the Boys & Girls Club Movement. Some of what Riley oversees includes matters related to employee relations, organizational culture, and payroll/benefits. Riley is excited to work with the employees at Bootstraps to best support them so they can in turn support our community and clients.
2023 Board of Directors
Thank you to our dedicated Board of Directors for their time and support.
- Meredith Sobol, President
- Marilyn Schlein Kramer, Vice President
- Allan Huntley, Treasurer
- Jeff Roberts, Clerk
- Allison Dollery, Assistant Treasurer
- Ed Cahill
- Laurence Chase
- Melissa Dane
- Amanda Dobbins
- John Hall
- Carolyn Lackey
- Mark Munoz
- Jessica Waggett
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 2023 Advisors.
- Becky Beckman
- Charlotte Bednar
- Martha Bednarz
- Christopher Birotte
- Sarah Bondarev
- Angela Fanno
- Christina Frost
- Morgan Harris
- Nicole Ireland
- Maureen Sullivan
- Michelle Thissell
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 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.
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.
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.