December 14, 2015

Total to date: $4,310.00
Amount remaining to date: $2,075.05
Total # of Projects to date: 8
Total # of Youth Participants: 35
Approx. # of People Directly Impacted: 693

2015-16 Projects Funded
Vids for Kids | $440.00 | 5th grader Olivia learned video editing and filming techniques from a local professional, and then wrote, directed, filmed and edited a 7-min video about Friendship & Compassion, recruiting a number of schoolmates to appear in the film. She then gave a speech and presented the video at an all-school assembly. Watch it here:

Pop-up Project: Opening Our Doors | $299.93 | Seven returning 8th grade participants were invited by The Fenway Alliance (of major cultural organizations in Boston) to lead craft projects for kids attending their annual event, “Opening Our Doors” on the plaza of The Mary Baker Eddy Library. Hundreds of kids participated and loved the crafts and interacting with the group!

Thanksgiving Help | $383.16 | 2nd time participants Michael (3rd grade), Ella and Jack (4th graders) wanted to provide Thanksgiving meals for people who would struggle to afford them this year. One of our goals in mentoring our kids is to challenge them to think about their "gift" from the perspective of the receiver rather than simply deciding what to give based on their own experiences and preferences. Another goal is for them to make a human connection and build community with their acts of kindness and service.

So, instead of donating items to a local food drive, we asked our wonderful Board Member, Aldonsa Pereyra, to help identify 6 individual families in the city of Lawrence who could be helped by this gift. And then we asked her to ask each of them (all are Dominican) what they would actually want to receive and eat on Thanksgiving.

We all learned a great deal by asking this simple question, and spent our time and money purchasing items like pernil (pork bottom roast), green pigeon peas, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, large bags of rice, and spices and seasonings.

As we drove from house to house, and walked up and down flights of stairs with heavy bags and boxes, we talked about how those are equally important parts of the "gift." Putting ourselves in others' shoes for a few moments, shaking their hands, being welcomed into their homes, wishing each other "Happy Thanksgiving," and being certain that they were going to enjoy each item they received... It was truly a beautiful evening, and all of our lives are richer for it. The kids never lost their positive energy and their spirits were so generous throughout!

2014-15 Projects Funded
Stage-fright Workshop | $58.12| Beverly, MA: 1st and 5th grader organized and led a workshop to help 1st graders overcome their stage-fright and gain self-confidence speaking in front of peers.

Action! | $426.14 | Methuen, MA: 6th grader taught an after-school acting class for 6 weeks to 1st and 2nd graders at an elementary school in Andover, MA.

Never Alone | $309.59 | Peabody, MA: 8th graders Assembled two large laundry baskets that contained toiletries and laundry supplies for Family Promise North Shore Boston, a homeless shelter in Beverly, MA.

Funday Sunday | $122.84 | Lowell, MA: 7th graders organized a fun afternoon of playing and cookie decorating at The House of Hope in Lowell.

Children Fun Time | $195.17 | Lowell, MA: 7th graders organized a fun afternoon of playing, face painting and water fun for kids living at Merrimack House in Lowell.