Gone to the Birds Gala

On September 18, 2014, RCAP Solutions Celebrated its 45th Anniversary by going to the birds! Over 250 attendees, made up of artists, business professionals, RCAP Solutions supporters and Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce members participated in a birdhouse auction, hosted by Skinner Auctions. Over 100 works of art were auctioned, raising over $16,000. 100% of the proceeds will support housing and homelessness prevention programs for Worcester County families.

We thank the many generous sponsors, talented artists, and the staff and volunteers who donated their time and talents and helped to make this event a great success!

Photos by Andrea Seward, Habakkuk Media Services.


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Facts about Homelessness



  • There are 610,042 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States.
  • Of that number, 222,197 are people in families, and 387,845 are individuals.
  • About 18 percent of the homeless population – 109,132 – are considered chronically homeless.
  • About 9 percent of homeless adults- 57,849 – are veterans.



  • In a recent survey of a single night in Massachusetts in 2013, 19,029 people were homeless, including 7,259 children and 1,253 veterans.
  • Massachusetts is the 7th most expensive state to live in.
  • 44,000 school children in the state do not have a place to live.
  • There has been a 40% increase in homeless individuals statewide between 2011 and 2012.
  • Of the MA residents that receive rental housing support, 47% have children and 16% are elderly. 71% were employed or recently employed.
  • 134,304 renter households in Massachusetts pay more than half their monthly income for housing costs. This is a 22% increase since the 2008 recession hit.
  • There are 2,000 families in motels across the state.



  • In Worcester, homelessness is rising, an increase of 20% since 2012.
  • In Worcester, 2000 families are in emergency shelters and 145 Worcester veterans are homeless, half of them are victims of domestic violence.
  • 56% of Worcester renters are unable to afford $966 average monthly rent for 2 bedroom apt.
  • RCAP is currently servicing 115 homeless families that are sheltered in hotels including over 250 children.
  • Since 2011, RCAP Solutions has helped 775 families with housing stabilization.
  • RCAP Solutions has distributed over $6,000,000 in stabilization funds since 2011.

100% of funds received from the Gone to the Birds Gala on Thursday, September 18, will support our homelessness prevention programs.

One Month Till We’re Gone to the Birds!

Today marks ONE MONTH until the Gone to the Birds Gala! And the Birdhouse Auction items keep rolling in…As of today, we have 117 items in house. We hope you are as excited as we are, it should be a fantastic event! Don’t wait, purchase your tickets today! https://www.rcapsolutions.org/register/

The Stone Birdhouse

Now that we are counting down these last few weeks until the Gone to the Birds Gala, we will highlight several birdhouses and works of art per day, so you can preview all of the amazing pieces that will be featured in the Birdhouse Auction in support of Homelessness Prevention!

“The Stone Birdhouse” created by Christopher Camosse, General Manager of Camosse Masonry Supply in Worcester. This unique (and heavy!) work of art was created using reclaimed stone and brick to create a birdhouse that will last a lifetime.

45 Days ’till we’re Gone to the Birds!

45 days till Gala

It’s only 45 days until The Gone to the Birds Gala and Birdhouse Auction!

As we count down the days to our 45th Anniversary Celebration, we will provide you with RCAP trivia, testimonials and spotlight the artists that have contiributed to our exciting Birdhouse Auction, so please check in with us regularly…  It should be a fun-filled 45 days!

Visit www.rcapsolutions.org/gonetothebirds/ for more information about the Gala, artists, sponsors, tickets, etc.

It will be an event to remember!


RCAP Fact #1:

Last year, we serviced 10,210 families through rental assistance, homelessness prevention initiatives, self sufficiency programs and Housing Consumer Education Center services.

That’s almost 28 families per day!

Worcester Bravehearts Letter to the Editor


Friday, July 11, 2014

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

To the Editor:

On behalf of everyone at RCAP Solutions, I would like to thank the Worcester Bravehearts, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the residents of Worcester for their generosity and support for our recent “Gone to the Birds Night” at Hanover Insurance Park.

The event, coupled with the Worcester Chamber’s Business After Hours event, featured the first-ever Bravehearts jersey auction and a special birdhouse raffle which raised over $2,200 for homelessness prevention initiatives throughout Worcester Country.

We will not soon forget the excitement on the faces of the children at the game as the players signed their jerseys. The entire night was a wonderful and gratifying experience that made us proud to a part of the community we serve!

Special thanks also go out to the incredible Bravehearts staff, Cheryl Hughes of Clinton for the birdhouse donation and artist Mark Waitkus of West Boylston for the signed Bravehearts print.

We thank the volunteers and those in the community who supported this fundraising initiative. The outstanding show of support proves that the people of the Worcester region stand with RCAP Solutions and our mission of fostering personal and public self-reliance and improving the quality of life for individuals and families in the communities where we live.

Most sincerely,

KAK Signature

Karen A. Koller, CAE

President & CEO, RCAP Solutions

Baseball Fever!


This Thursday, July 10, The Worcester Bravehearts baseball team will be celebrating “Gone to the Birds Night” to help us promote our upcoming September fundraising event, the “Gone to the Birds Gala”.

On this special evening, the players will be wearing one of a kind white and purple jerseys, featuring the Gone to the Birds Logo, that game attendees can bid on. The winning bidders will take home a jersey autographed by their favorite player that night.

As a special treat, we will be giving away “Birds Eye View” a Boston Red Sox themed birdhouse, painted by popular local artist and gigantic BoSox fan, Cheryl Hughes of Leominster, Ma.


Cheryl and her charismatic artwork are well known in the central Mass community.  She is the owner of the Tinker’s Cart Irish Gift Store in Clinton, a local retail shop that is known for importing quality Irish goods for almost 30 years.

Most recently, Cheryl started Tinker’s Cart Art, a social painting event, hosted at a variety of venues around central Massachusetts and Maine, allowing attendees to get together with friends to paint a featured work of art in just a couple of hours.


Cheryl’s art nights have become incredibly popular and most nights sell out.  She has also hosted a several painting parties for local organizations to host fundraisers.

Cheryl participated in the Wachusett Chamber’s  regional AppleArt! program, painting three apples for the highly successful regional community art project.  Several of her works of art have been purchased for display at Clinton Hospital,  the UMass Cancer Center in Worcester and The Department of Pediatrics at MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center.

“Birds Eye View” will be on display during the July 10 Bravehearts game, when they take on the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks this Thursday at 7:05 PM.


The only way to win this birdhouse is to text the word RCAP to 20222 using your cell phone.  One lucky participant will be randomly selected to win this awesome work of art. Participants may enter as many times as they wish.  A donation of $10 will be added to the participants phone bill or deducted from a prepaid balance for each text made.

All proceeds will support RCAP Solutions Homelessness prevention initiatives and families in Worcester County.

Enterprise Bank sponsoring Gone to the Birds Gala

enterprise bankWe are so pleased to have Enterprise Bank as a major sponsor of our upcoming Gone to the Birds Gala and Birdhouse Auction! Pictured below are Donna Manuel, Assistant Vice President & Branch Relationship Manager and Ray LaFond, Sr. Vice President & Commercial Lending Manager presenting a check for $2,500 to Karen A. Koller, RCAP Solutions President & CEO.

We could not be more grateful for the generous sponsors who have generously made donations to our upcoming event.

For more information about the Gone to the Birds Gala and Birdhouse Auction, including sponsorship information, please visit https://www.rcapsolutions.org/gonetothebirds/

Gone to the Birds Art Preview “Joy”

We are so proud to present the very first birdhouse donated to the Gone to the Birds Gala and Art Auction!



“Joy” Created by Sheila Flathers, Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Artist Statement:

“Last fall I found myself with some additional time on my hands. Now that I am retired, I found doing this project gave me somewhat of a new lease on life. I welcomed the time to spend doing what I love most; creating things to make others happy. I selected a church because my sister and I thought it would be unique.”

About the Artwork:

This gorgeous birdhouse is a replica of a small-town church, with amazing detail, right down to the stained glass windows.

“The roof is an old tin quilting pattern that my mother passed down to me. Most of the other materials used were things I had acquired in my many years of crafts and that had just been sitting around for years. The shingled steeple and columns were added by two of my friends (Jason and Jeff) at the local hardware store.”

Sheila is a retired Advertising Executive who spent time in Texas and Kansas before settling in Maine 11 years ago.

The Gone to the Birds Gala and Art Auction will be held on September 18, 2014 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in celebration of RCAP Solutions 45th Anniversary.


If you are an artist – would you like to donate a birdhouse or bird-related artwork to the Gone to the Birds Gala?  It’s a fabulous opportunity for promotion, publicity and philanthropy. Your work will be auctioned by the world famous Skinner Auction House to support RCAP Solutions homelessness prevention initiatives in support of family programs in central Mass.  For more information on donating artwork to this exciting event, please click here.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available to fit every budget size.  For more information, please click here.

For more information about the Gone to the Birds Gala, please visit https://www.rcapsolutions.org/gonetothebirds/