Volunteer of the Year!

We’re pleased to announce Leah Whiteside of Dorchester Bay EDC as our Boston Main Streets Volunteer of the Year. We asked Leah a few questions about her volunteering experience. Check it out!


Project Manager, Dorchester Bay EDC

Q: How long have you been volunteering for UCMS?
A: I have been volunteering with UCMS for about four years

Q: How did you find out about UCMS?
A: I found out about UCMS through my colleagues at Dorchester Bay EDC. One of my colleagues was on the board back then and told me about what the organization was about, and I thought volunteering on the ER committee would be a good way to get to know the neighborhood better and to feel more connected to my work in Uphams Corner.

Q: What’s been your favorite moment as a volunteer?
A: In general I love knowing that my work on the ER committee helps businesses in the district thrive. But more specifically, I love participating in the annual tree lighting. It’s such a festive atmosphere and a great way to connect with neighborhood residents. I really like seeing everyone in the community come out together to celebrate the start of the winter holidays.

Q: Why should others volunteer?
A: Others should volunteer because UCMS is the glue that keeps the business district together. The services and advocacy UCMS offers to businesses is really important in maintaining the area, and together we can help attract new businesses to locate here. Getting involved on a committee is a great way to find out what’s happening in your neighborhood, and to have an influence in the direction the commercial area takes. And volunteering at some of our annual events is an easy way to feel like you’ve contributed something concrete to your neighborhood, like at the annual Love Your Block clean up day. It’s also really fun! You get to meet new people and develop relationships with your neighbors.

Q: Tips for future volunteers?
A: Start out small and figure out how you want to be involved! An annual event is an easy way to get started. Put in an hour or so of work and then enjoy yourself with your neighbors. If you want to step up your involvement, the committees are always open to new members. We have some openings on the board as well, if you’re interested in playing a more active ongoing role.

Complete our short form to volunteer on a committee and find other opportunities.