Ripples of Hope
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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.


We believe in the power of the arts as a way to engage communities, share cultures and create storytellers.


Education should be a right not a privilege. Ripples is committed to working with our community partners to develop access to educational programming, personal development and creating scholarships to close the gap for vocational or higher education opportunities.


We uphold a philosophy of philanthropy in action through transformative service. Our work is rooted in the community where service becomes the common ground for mutual understanding and shared humanity.


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.


Margot Hinchey, Program Director

Margot joined the Ripples of Hope team in 2019 as the Director of Programs. Margot spent the past 8 years working in community development for various non-profits both locally and globally. She currently sits on the board of Simba’s Footprints Foundation in Tanzania and Asali which she co-founder. She focuses on program development and strategic planning for Ripples of Hope.

Ripples of Hope is a non-profit organization established in 2009 which inspires people to be engaged and take action in partnership with communities and non-profit organizations.
We look forward to getting back into community with service initiatives in 2021.
In the interim, email us to join our mailing list to keep you updated of upcoming events.

©2020 Ripples of Hope. To learn more contact Kristen Atwood at