Honoring Mike Durkin: A Community Celebration

“The three words that I think about most when I think about you: opportunity, hope and possibility…Your leadership, all you’ve done for the people here in the Commonwealth of Mass and for the organizations you’ve worked for and represented is a legacy that many of us not only admire but deeply appreciate.” -Governor Baker

Mike Durkin, President and CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, will be retiring at the end of this month after 12 years of steadfast and inspirational leadership in our region and 43 years of serving United Ways around the country. 

It’s impossible to sum up Mike’s lifetime of service and commitment to others in a blog post. From the first day he volunteered at the Haley House as a student at Boston College, to the winter in Denver when the homeless crisis was so acute he opened up the offices of the United Way as a temporary homeless shelter, Mike has always stayed steadfastly focused on helping people in their time of need.  

Since joining our United Way in 2008, Mike has positively impacted the lives of millions of vulnerable individuals, children and families – raising more than $550 million for our region and mobilizing the time and talent of thousands of volunteers. Throughout his tenure, he was fiercely committed to giving people who wanted to make a difference in their community the opportunity to do so through giving and volunteering. As we think about Mike and his career, the past few months demonstrate the kind of leader he has been – staying engaged and focused in his final weeks before retirement on helping people most in need, and raising more than $9M to help those most impacted by the COVID19 crisis.

We couldn’t come together to recognize him in person, but many in the community sent in their well-wishes for Mike as he begins this new chapter in his life. To help celebrate the kind of leader Mike has been, we wanted to share them with you here.

Governor and First Lady of Massachusetts, Charlie & Lauren Baker

Mayor Marty Walsh

United Way of Mass Bay Partner Agencies

Watch the WCVB Interview with Mike

Because of his commitment to ensuring all individuals and families live their lives with dignity and opportunity, United Way has raised $1.3 million for a “Mind the Gap” Tribute Fund to carry on Mike’s legacy and fund innovative programs addressing homelessness. The vision for these funds is to support a statewide effort to create more permanent supportive housing, and we’ll be sharing more on that with you in the weeks ahead. Read more about Mike’s commitment to ending homelessness and how you can help us honor Mike’s legacy.

From all of us here at United Way – thanks for everything, Mike, you’ll be missed!

HELP US MIND THE GAP