A Card That Helps Bring Change

From West Roxbury Transcript
By David Ertischek
February 21, 2007

Boston residents can now get rebates back from some of their favorite stores while at the same time helping out local nonprofits, thanks to the Boston Community Change Card. And it won’t cost an extra dime.

“It is a community loyalty card which if you go to a shop like Fern’s, you will get a 10 percent discount off a purchase of more than $100,” said Kelly Tynan, director of West Roxbury Main Streets. “You get a rebate back from that purchase. A portion of that goes to the customer, and a portion of that goes to Boston Main Streets Foundation, and then another portion of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice.”

Presently, there are at least 10 West Roxbury and 10 Roslindale businesses that are accepting the Community Change Card, and the list is growing every week. Some of the businesses include Sullivan’s Pharmacy and Village Books in Roslindale, and Sugar or Atlas True Value Hardware in West Roxbury. And you don’t need to purchase $100 worth of goods to see a rebate.

Purchasers also get to choose a Boston-based charity of their choice which will benefit from their purchase. So far, organizations such as Parkway Youth Baseball and Friends of the Lyndon School have already benefited from the Community Change Card.

To get a Boston Community Change Card is simple; just go to the Web site at The first 10,000 people to sign up get the card for free.

This is currently a pilot program, and it is scheduled to be used in Seattle and Chicago over the coming year. ::West Roxbury Transcript 

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Boston first city to launch small business incentive card

From Boston Business Journal
By: Naomi Kooker
November 21, 2006

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the launch of a new Boston Community Change card Tuesday. The card is a rewards and loyalty-incentive program launched in partnership with The Interra Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit effort to strengthen communities through encouraging local spending. The program works in conjunction with Boston Main Streets, an economic initiative program that helps encourage local economies. "Boston is considered the leader in how seriously they've taken the program," said Greg Steltenpohl, co-founder and chairman of The Interra Project. "Roslindale is the first neighborhood, and Boston is the first city in the United States."

The card, free to consumers and merchants, allows small businesses to offer sophisticated loyalty programs and give-back programs other larger corporations do, said Steltenpohl, founder of the Odwalla juice company. When making a purchase, consumers swipe their Boston Community Change Card, making them eligible for the rewards program. The swipe automatically makes a donation to an organization chosen by the consumer from a selection of participating nonprofits. The merchant can choose the rewards program of his or her choice. "Small businesses can't afford these kind of sophisticated systems, unless we amortize them over a whole national network," said Steltenpohl. "I learned how big you can grow something when you start with neighborhoods."

The Interra Project is supported by Washington state-based The Russell Family Foundation and by other contributions, including Steltenpohl, who's given $750,000. He started Odwalla in his San Francisco back yard in 1980, and sold the company in 2001 to the Coca-Cola company. At the time, Odwalla had $100 million in revenue.

If you shop in Boston, get your FREE card today!

Order your card online now!

  • For a limited time, cards are being made available for FREE
  • All you will need to provide is a name, address and e-mail.
  • Unless you choose to receive promotions from participating businesses, your information will not be shared with anyone.
  • You will receive monthly e-mail statements highlighting how much of a rebate you have earned and how much you have donated to the community nonprofit of your choice through your shopping at local participating businesses.


Shop Locally, Share Locally

Posted by our friends at Treehugger
by Stephen Filler
February 20, 2007


For the past four years, the Interra Project has developed an ingenious model for people to use financial networks to support their local communities and sustainability. Recently, Interra rolled out its first project -- Boston Community Change - in partnership with Boston Main Streets.

Boston residents can get a free (at least for now) Boston Community Change card that they present to participating local merchants. Every time the card is swiped on the merchant’s credit card terminal, portions of the transaction are returned to the user as a cash rebate, donated to a local community based non-profit or school of the user’s choice, and donated to the local Main Streets organization. Merchants sign up for free, and decide how much of a rebate to grant to users.

The Boston Community Change card is not a payment card, and users can pay for their purchase with any payment form accepted by the business. Users receive monthly electronic statements detailing total rebates and donations. As Paul Ray, author of the “The Cultural Creatives,” has said: "The Interra model is a brilliant social and financial invention that can help bring a green economy into greater practicality.

This is hot stuff, and needs all our support. It functions rather like an alternative currency or an airline miles program, to help encourage mutual loyalty among green/socially responsible consumers. In particular, it does a better job of incentivizing a mutual loyalty of businesses and customers who share the same values." Interra has identified more than 100 cities for possible roll-out over the next 3-5 years.

Shop Locally and Share Locally with Boston Community Change

You care about the schools, businesses, and nonprofits that make up your community. Boston Community Change rewards you and your community when you shop at participating neighborhood businesses. Get involved today as either a participating merchant or by registering for your FREE Boston Community Change card. Start supporting your community today by SHOPPING LOCALLY and SHARING LOCALLY.

If you are a not school or non-profit and want to help us spread the word so that YOU can be chosen as a beneficiary, contact us any time at 617 635 0115.

I heart this place!


I'm in no way subscribing to forced celebration of love that was Valentine’s Day, but I couldn't help but wonder….when do you realize that you are in love? 

For the human relation you tend to know it. It’s usually marked by a moment, a kiss, a glance and or a feeling. In many cases it is verbalized or you simply cannot function in your usual capacity because you are just overwhelmed by this emotion. 

But back to the question at hand. When do you know that you are in love…with a place, its people and its happenings? 

Is it when you no longer feel the need to go elsewhere…or go home?

Is it when you call it your home and use references like “my neighborhood”?

When all your needs and most of your wants are met by the place?

Is it when you sacrifice the “never ever” rules and go with its flow? 

And when you know or think you know, are you supposed to turn to that place and say I love you? Tammyanka 

Dorchester Youth Council is A Daily Point Of Light

On February 15, 2007 the Social Capital Inc. Dorchester Youth   Council was recognized as the Daily Point of Light, a national  award from the  Points of Light Foundation. The Points of Light Award honors an individual or an organization that is making positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. To read more click here

Safe Love Success

Thank you to everyone who made Safe Love 2007 a success. Over 400 people attended this wonderful celebration. 

Arlene Agulto reports on a pre-Valentine's Day event sponsored by SCI Dorchester and the Dorchester Youth Council to promote healthy choices by teens.

Click here to see media coverage of the event courtesy of Neighborhood Network News.

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