Cathy Byrd moved to Needham with her husband, Leverett, and two daughters, Rosalie and Emily, in 1984. In the 1980s and 1990s she volunteered packing meals at the Hamilton House for Meals on Wheels. To learn about community service she had her daughters come down and help pack the lunches and deliver the hot meals to those unable to leave their homes. When her daughters were at Pollard, for three years she organized the popular coffee hour for the principal, Dr. Barnes. She would bring her fine china, coffee, cookies and homemade cakes. This time gave Dr. Barnes the opportunity to get to know the 20 to 30 parents in attendance while discussing current issues. After her daughters left Pollard, Cathy volunteered at the hospital café at Glover Memorial Hospital (BID Needham). She was also a non-member who volunteered alongside of the Exchange Club for any activities that were needed for the 4th of July celebration at Memorial Field.
In 2002 Cathy joined the Community Council where her focus was the food pantry and the food drives. Over the past 14 years at the Community Council, her main focus has been the thrift shop. While working there, she has developed a Spring sale and Winter Coat sale. Each of these events has been an added revenue source for the Community Council. In addition she helps with their Christmas Sale each year. Cathy has also participated and organized the Christmas toys for the children of the Community Council families.
From 2008 to 2011 Cathy was a Board Member of the Friends of the Board of Health. Additionally during the past 5 years she has volunteered at the re-use-it shop at the transfer station here in Needham.
During her time in Needham, Cathy has helped transition families and students into the Needham community. For the past 15 years Cathy and her family have been hosting children from Finland, Belgium, Brazil, and Ukraine. Many of those children have gone on to graduate from college and have stayed close to her family.