To assure that the intent of Charles Merriam in establishing the Merriam Fund for the Silent Poor in 1865 is followed in today’s realities. That intent being, to serve a one time need for hard-working people of the town who have a short-term financial crisis, in a quiet and confidential way.
The fund originated in a gift made by Charles Merriam in 1865 accompanied by the following letter to the Board of Selectmen, dated March 28, 1865:
"Gentlemen, enclosed I hand United States seven and three-tenths Treasury Note for One Thousand Dollars.
My object is to commence the establishment of a fund for the benefit of what I shall call "The Silent Poor of the Town.
And I desire that the interest and income shall be paid over, not to town paupers, but to that class of honest, temperate men and women, who work hard or are prudent and economical, and yet find it difficult to make both ends meet. To such, a load of wood, occasionally a few groceries, or a little flour or meal, will always be of great service."
There is not a lot of money in the Merriam Fund, only a principal amount of $31,000 with income only to be distributed. With that, the Trustees have established a procedural protocol for assisting those in need in today's world. This is detailed in a memorandum entitled Availability of Emergency Funds for Those in Need (PDF).
Make a Donation
Your tax-deductible donation can be used to support a resident who is in a difficult, short-term financial situation. A check can be made out and sent to the Town of Weston - Merriam Fund, PO Box 378, Weston, MA 02493
The Select Board has appointed the following residents to serve as Trustees of the Merriam Fund each for a three-year term.
Jack Doyle, Chair Term expires: June 30, 2024
Nancy Allen, Secretary Term expires: June 30, 2024