Ripples of Hope
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Ripples of Hope was inspired by the words of Robert F. Kennedy who said, "Each time a man stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." - Cape Town, South Africa, June 6, 1966.

Our Mission

Ripples of Hope is a non-profit organization which brings families, communities and leaders together with the understanding that we are more alike than we are different. We strive to inspire and support the next generation of leaders by helping young people discover their leadership potential while leading service teams. By identifying leaders, Ripples becomes a catalyst for propelling communities forward thus planting the seeds for greater change. 

We maintain a philosophy of Philanthropy in Action by collaborating with local non-profits and community leaders who express a desire to build upon their existing strengths and are empowered to make a difference in their own communities.  

Through partnerships, transformational and sustainable service projects are developed then completed by Ripples families working side-by-side with community residents and leaders. By building bridges between families and communities, we cultivate a foundation for continued partnership, discussion, action, and a lifetime of service.


Kristen Atwood, Founder

Throughout her life, Kristen Atwood has devoted her energies and passion to uniting our global community through service, cultural enrichment, and the profound impact of friendships that bridge geographies, sectors, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

As a founding staff member of City Year, the international youth leadership corps, Kristen spent two decades immersed in the transformative power of service. From a community garden in Boston's South End to shanty towns in South Africa, Kristen bore witness to the human impulse to give, serve and love. Regardless of zip code or language, there was a powerful truth.  Service is our international passport to change lives, open hearts, and forge bonds of understanding and humanity.

Ripples of Hope is built on that simple premise and profound understanding. It is an ideal first demonstrated by Kristen's father, a Presbyterian minister, and one that is the foundation of the family she has created with her husband Jim.

Ripples of Hope is an expression of Kristen's hope for our world and belief that families united in common purpose can be a global force for humanity. Her greatest joy is building the Ripples community, one family at a time.

Marcia Robinson, Program Director

Marcia joined Ripples of Hope in 2011 and is responsible for the development and implementation of service programs in support of our partner non-profit organizations. As part of the Ripples Team, she shares Kristen Atwood’s passion for engaging families, youth and non-profits in transformational service initiatives.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  - Margaret Mead

Prior to Ripples of Hope, Marcia was the Program Director for a 5-campus catholic school in the Dorchester-Mattapan area of Boston. After the opening of the school doors in 2009, her efforts shifted to develop an affordable all campus afterschool program and summer enrichment program.  

With 25+ years of diverse experience in the financial services, travel and the education industry, Marcia brings a wealth of knowledge, understanding and strength in support of her enthusiasm for service and helping non-profit organizations.

Ripples of Hope is funded by generous donations from individuals. All funds are raised privately to support the ongoing work within designated communities. We welcome any contributions!
Harvesting Seeds of Hope
Help us sustain the garden at Pine Street Inn - Green Street in Jamaica Plain. Find out more about this initative.
R.N. Gomez School Healthy Lifestyles Program
Sponsor the R.N. Gomez School garden project and provide clean drinking water for all students on the island of Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas. Find out more about this initative.
©2012 Ripples of Hope. To learn more contact Kristen Atwood at