THE SILVER KEY
Since its founding in 1737, the purpose of the Charitable Irish Society has been to provide aid and assistance to newly arrived Irish immigrants in the Boston area as they face the multiple challenges of adjusting to and assimilating into a new city and country. Using funds raised at the annual Silver Key Award Reception, we have been able to provide crucial and timely assistance to individuals referred to us and to other organizations serving immigrants.
Among other purposes, specific grants have been to provide support in the areas of employment, housing, education, health care, emergency food aid, and to enable individuals return “home” for family emergencies and to assist in paying the fees for immigration and citizenship documents. Consistent with the Irish traditions of hospitality and charity, the Society has expanded its focus to include immigrants from other countries in addition to those from Ireland as grant recipients.
Recently we have assisted individuals from Honduras, Nigeria, Egypt, and Iran as well as individuals from Ireland.
The Silver Key Fund is replenished each year at our Silver Key Awards Reception. The proceeds from this reception are used to underwrite the work of the Charitable Irish Society in helping individual immigrants on an "as-needed basis." Silver Key Awards honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding dedication in helping new immigrants. These honorees exemplify the contributions of all the generations of the Irish Diaspora in the greater Boston area.
The Charitable Irish Society was founded in 1737 to help Irish immigrants settle in Boston and
to promote unity in the colonial Irish community. The Society commissioned Boston silversmith, Jacob Hurd,
to create this Ceremonial Key. It is currently on permanent display at the Museum of Fine Arts.
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