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John F. Kennedy FSC

The oldest of six, Nora Blake grew up in Buffalo, New York, a city with more than its share of economic struggles. She moved to Charlestown 20 years ago and as she raised her son Andrew and moved forward in her career with Sodexo, she became more and more involved in the community. 


She has served on several nonprofit boards, devoting herself to causes including food security and job training. The Kennedy Center, an ABCD affiliate, has been at the heart of her activities. About five years ago, Nora, a long-time Adopt-a-Family donor, started volunteering with the holiday toy drive. Skilled in logistics, she helped to expand the program’s reach from 100 to 300 families, meaning that each year, 900 children receive the toys, pajamas and books they want. 


“It’s very touching when a mom comes to pick up the toys. I was on the other side of that at one time; I just hug them,” she said, adding, “I give the Kennedy Center staff a ton of credit, especially during COVID. They do so much. They’re small but mighty!”

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