For over a decade, a UWUA Local 369 member, Dennis Walsh, with the help of his local and its retiree group, hosts a unique annual event in the historic Dorcester neighborhood of Boston. Known simply as the Friendship Social, the evening is an open, inclusive, and boisterous celebration of community and togetherness. Walsh, who was inspired by his volunteer work with elderly and disabled residents in Dorcester, wanted to build a simple event, open to anyone and everyone, to share a meal, dance, and find community.
“Many people with disabilities, many of those folks, some of them might work, but there’s a percentage of them that basically go to day programs and return back home to, sometimes, an empty apartment,” Walsh said. “So, Boston needed something so everybody could have a chance to go out and enjoy themselves, and we forget about that. A lot of people never get the chance to dance.”
Over these past several years, the Friendship Social has swelled to over 400 attendees and dozens of volunteers, and many in the community have taken notice, including the local newspaper, the Dorchester Reporter, which recently covered the annual gathering.
You can read their full story here: