Celebrating Community at MLK Day 2019

MLK Day would not have been the same without YOU!

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ”  
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On January 21st, 500 volunteers came together at the Boston Latin School to make ESOL learning tools and build beds for youth in need. Although the morning was colder than most, the volunteers who chose to make it a day ON, not a day off, kept the school warm with helping hands and open hearts. This spirit of service was sparked throughout the school and will continue to shine bright because of this act of service that celebrates and immortalizes the legacy of a man that stands for peace, love, and community.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was and always will be a beacon of hope and selflessness. His lasting impact emphasizes the importance of community action, showing us that we not only have the right but the power to live in a way that ensures that when we rise, our community rises with us.

…and rise it did! Truly, this MLK Day was one for the books- demonstrating the strength of giving to the fullest extent- and for that Boston Cares couldn’t be more thankful!

THANK YOU to the volunteers from all over Massachusetts that banded together to form a Boston Cares community dedicated to supporting local immigrants and refugees. Volunteers collectively made more than 200 ESOL learning kits made to function as storage lap desks, each equipped with a magnetic whiteboard, dry-erase marker, magnetic sound and grammar tiles, an ESOL writing journal, and civics flash cards. In addition to these lap desks, the school cafeteria housed groups of four working to create sets of conversation jenga that will be used in ESOL classrooms. With painted ends that represent different levels of English and questions on stickers ranging from silly to serious, these little wooden pieces are meant to build bridges that bring volunteers and students together.

THANK YOU to all of the amazing teams that braved the temperatures to participate in our Bed Build project, ensuring that more Bostonians now have their own beds to sleep in. Often forgotten is the value of having your own bed, and the Boston Latin School’s gym was giving out reminders along with a few power tools. The success of our Bed Build project can be attributed to the enthusiastic and hardworking members of all of our teams.

THANK YOU to our special guests for the impact of your presence and the strength of your support. Mayor Marty Walsh, City Council President Andrea Campbell, State Representative Nika Elugardo, Representative Chynah Tyler, and Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, thank you for continuing to regard service as an important pillar within the Greater Boston community.

THANK YOU to our incredible sponsors, Target, Massachusetts Service Alliance, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Fiduciary Trust, Boston25 News, City of Boston, and Boston Public Schools for being the reason this light was able to be ignited!

After all of these helping hands came together, their projects were distributed across the Greater Boston Area at many of our Allies for Immigrants ESOL classrooms through our partnership with English for New Bostonians. Teachers were eager to use the ESOL tools in their classrooms and were ecstatic by the new opportunities that these tools will provide to their students.

The community created on January 21st was and always will be something beyond its day of service. Boston Cares is dedicated to celebrating this community in 2019; MLK Day isn’t the only day ON, just the first. If you want to turn this day of service into something more, join us through our year-round Calendar with hundreds of service projects that benefit the city of Boston, help those in need, and build a community we can lift up together. In addition to these opportunities, you can join our Allies for Immigrants Corps to continue to empower refugee and immigrant individuals throughout Greater Boston. Join us for a training on Thursday, March 7th and sign-up here!

Continue to recognize the strength of our community and use this new year to join the celebration!