Our History

Community Work Services was founded in 1877 as the Cooperative Society of Visitors Among the Poor of Boston to provide services to the poor of Boston and address the roots of poverty through employment, education, and housing improvements.  Our founder, Annie Fields, is said to have been a transitional figure in the development of a professional social-service network.  Mrs. Fields hoped to apply business principles and efficiency to benevolent activities and charity work.  For over 140 years, CWS has stayed true to the mission set by our Founders while also expanding the scope of our programs and widening the range of the populations and geography we serve.

The success of CWS would not be possible without the commitment and diligent support of our organization’s earliest champions and Past Board Members, which are showcased below alphabetically.

Individuals Who Helped Make CWS Possible:

  • Mr. Benjamin S. Calef

  • Mrs. Benjamin S. Calef (Annie M.)

  • Mr. Richard S. Fay

  • Mrs. James T. Fields (Annie)

  • Mr. George A. Goddard

  • Mrs. James Lodge (Mary G.)

  • Mr. Edward J. Lowell

  • Mr. S. B. Schlesinger

Our Board of Directors

CWS have been saddened by the loss of Robert Fawls, Vice Chair and longtime CWS board member, who passed away suddenly on November 18, 2017.

Our Board of Advisors

David BernhardtMarriott International | Ryan Blossom – Natixis Global Asset Management | Joy Camp, PhDC&Z Transitions | Joe DiLorenzoMorgan Samuels | Gina FitzpatrickThe Ritz Carlton Hotel Company | Norman HurshBoston University | Eddy Lugo - Bastille Kitchen | Michal Penek – Nine Zero Hotel | Tali Pinnolis – The Country Club, Brookline | Joanne PokaskiBeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Derek Sanderson- Former Boston Bruins Player | Scott Nogueira – Porters Bar & Grill | Jay Silva- Chef & Owner | Dan Skinner –  Sailflow Consulting | Jay Southwood- Mayflower Brewing Company | George Spilios – Crown Uniform & Linen | Alan Walis – United Builders Supply