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Cynthia Orellana

Cynthia Orellana

Director, Commonwealth Corps

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to meet with 13 very inspiring and committed Commonwealth Corps members serving with Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD). We sat down to talk about their service experience, what they have learned so far and what has led them to be involved in the community.


Because of Commonwealth Corps members, this year ABCD has been able to pilot a new Elder Economic Security Program, which is aimed towards Boston seniors with limited income sources, who are having trouble making ends meet. Corps members offer eligible Boston seniors individualized elder economic coaching to help them manage their finances and to help them with fuel and utility assistance, health insurance and benefits support, food resources, transportation, employment/training opportunities, foreclosure and housing, healthy aging programs and legal services.

Elcie Edouard, is one of the Commonwealth Corps members serving in the Boston SHINE program. Elcie worked in retail banking for over 20 years before joining the corps. She was drawn to the Commonwealth Corps program because she has a passion for helping people and was interested in helping seniors with their health care needs. Elcie’s bi-lingual, bicultural experience has helped expand the SHINE program’s ability to reach Haitian-Creole speaking seniors throughout the Boston community.

SHINE Commonwealth Corps _Elcie ”I feel like what I am doing as a Commonwealth Corps is really rewarding because I am helping seniors with their health care needs, helping them navigate the complex Medicare system, and as a result, I am able to help give them peace of mind and save money,” said Edouard. “Many seniors worry about where the money to pay for medications will come from as some insurance companies don’t cover certain drugs. I have met seniors who had to make the difficult choice of paying for food or medication. I find it incredibly rewarding helping seniors so they don’t have to choose between basic necessities such as food or medications.”


You too can make a difference! To find out more, visit Connect and Serve and search for volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood.


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