St. Mary’s Center Announces $1 Million Match Offer From Amazon To Expand Programs For Families In Need

Boston, Mass. – St. Mary’s Center today announced the biggest, single corporate gift in their history—a $1 million match offer from Amazon—which will enable the agency to expand its reach into the community by providing preventative services, housing support, and job training for families on the brink of homelessness. To celebrate the announcement and their partnership, St. Mary’s Center and Amazon planned a Fall Fun Festival for St. Mary’s Center families and staff in Boston.

St. Mary’s Center is a leader in programs, services, and shelter for homeless women and their families. The organization is located in Dorchester, where the highest concentration of homeless families within the City of Boston (47%) live. Today, St. Mary’s Center supports more than 600 children and families through emergency shelter, job and employment training, and educational, clinical, and preventive services. Founded in 1993, the organization has more than 100 employees and hundreds of volunteers.

With Amazon’s match, St. Mary’s Center will build on its cornerstones of educational advancement, economic stability, and emotional well-being for women, children, and families who have experienced trauma or are living in poverty by creating a Community Resource Center on its campus. The new program and its staff will support both families transitioning to permanent housing as well as provide proactive support to families on the brink of homelessness.

“We are so grateful to partner with Amazon for this match offer to work to prevent homelessness in our community and the company’s efforts to inspire others to join in by doubling their support of the families we serve,” said Deirdre Houtmeyers, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children. “Everyone has a role in ending homelessness. Giving to St. Mary’s Center today will change lives for generations to come.”

“St. Mary’s Center is a very special place to me and to our community,” said Mayor of Boston Martin J. Walsh. “St. Mary’s Center does life-saving work for women, children, and families in need, and this partnership with Amazon gives St. Mary’s the opportunity to further strengthen families and prevent homelessness.”

Mayor Walsh was born at St. Margaret’s Hospital. St. Mary’s Center is located on the site of the former hospital. In the days prior to Mayor Walsh’s inauguration in January 2014, the relationship was renewed when many of the Mayor’s staff and campaign supporters volunteered at St. Mary’s Center. The Mayor also plans to speak at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children’s 14th Annual Diamonds of Dorchester fundraising event on Wednesday, October 18.

This $1 million match campaign expands Amazon’s support of nonprofits that provide critical emergency services to women, children, and families. Earlier this year, Amazon announced similar $1 million matches to Friendship Place, a leader in the Washington, D.C. region in developing innovative solutions to homelessness, and Mary’s Place, an organization in Seattle that provides emergency shelter and services for women and families experiencing homelessness. Amazon also announced plans to build a permanent home for Mary’s Place within its newest office building in downtown Seattle – a first-of-its-kind partnership.

“More than 1,000 Amazonians call Boston home, and we are so impressed and moved by the incredible, positive transformations happening at St. Mary’s Center,” said Jay Carney, Amazon Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs. “We are excited to expand our support for organizations that provide emergency services for homeless women, children, and families – this time at St. Mary’s Center, a comprehensive and evidence-based organization.”

In addition to Amazon’s $1 million match, dozens of Amazon employees are working together to support families of St. Mary’s Center. This week an Amazon van traveled up the East Coast, stopping in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, Boston, and Cambridge, Mass. to collect donations from employees to give to St. Mary’s Center families.

About St. Mary’s Center

St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children offers eight innovative, family-centered programs for women and children who have experienced trauma and are living in poverty. Placing families at the center of our efforts, St. Mary’s Center works in partnership with young women, many of them mothers, to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and achieve lasting, powerful change. For more information, visit Follow @St_MarysCenter. #AmazonGifttoStMarys

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

Your Donation Helps End Homelessness!

Your support for Friendship Place has a lasting impact. In 2023, our programs ended or prevented homelessness for 4,993 people, including 1,507 children in families and 670 veterans. We empowered 167 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to get jobs through innovative, state-of-the-art job placement services. Make a donation today in support of our work to end homelessness. Questions? Please feel free to call our fundraising office, 202.957.7834.

Donate Now