First Lady Diane Patrick and Lynn Margherio Pen Op-Ed on Family Volunteerism

November 24, 2009 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Cradles to Crayons Founder & CEO Lynn Margherio, First Lady Diane Patrick, and Highland Street Foundation Trustee David McGrath kick off the 2009 Gearing Up for Winter Campaign.

It is often said that Massachusetts has two great passions: sports and politics. 

To that, we would add a third: volunteerism.  Massachusetts is a national leader in the percentage of our citizens who volunteer to help others, and civic participation has become a hallmark of our daily lives, reflecting the values of our citizens.

On Saturday, November 21st, the nation marks National Family Volunteer Day and we know that the residents of the Commonwealth will rise to the occasion with renewed vigor.  We face a recovering economy and the onset of a New England winter.  While indicators point to promise on the horizon, the harsh reality of the global economic crisis creates immediate concern. 

Today, nearly 10% of Massachusetts residents fall below the poverty threshold.  To our neighbors facing challenge, we commit our support.  We ask for your help to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens – children, seniors and those at the lower end of the economic spectrum – are safe, warm and fed.  And, what could be a more powerful demonstration of our civic spirit than family helping family?

Fueled by our most powerful natural resource – human compassion – over 1.3 million Massachusetts residents already share time, talent and treasure to strengthen our communities and transform the lives of their neighbors.

Across our great state, families of every kind redefine standards of generosity.  Volunteering at churches and temples, schools and non-profits, and civic organizations of every kind, youth and adults strengthen bonds, develop skills and explore the meaning of giving by serving together.  As we serve, we grow.  As we serve, our Commonwealth becomes a more united community.

The ethic of service draws from the deep traditions of families.  Inspired by faith, culture and the lessons of those who came before us, families “give back” as daily course.  Bake sales, benefit walks, food drives and fundraisers take place without fanfare and with real results.

The impact is immediate but the lessons are enduring for our children.  EJ, a young volunteer, gives testimony, “I believe that it’s very important for children to get involved in community service because it teaches responsibility, selflessness, and leadership. Volunteering is amazing, where I learn, share, and support those in need.”

This Saturday provides a visible platform for the service leadership that thousands of families contribute every day.  It will also launch Cradles to Crayons “Gearing Up for Winter” campaign, a family-led effort to donate coats, boots, mittens and other warm items so that 12,000 children have what they need to face a cold winter. Other opportunities abound, such as:

  • Collect canned goods for The Greater Boston Food Bank
  • Offer to do errands for a home-bound neighbor
  • Plan a visit to a local senior center
  • Clean your closet and donate critically needed winter gear
  • Find a local non-profit to support as a family

Our request is simple.  From your hearts and from your homes, please share something of yours and make a difference on National Family Volunteer Day. Please support local organizations struggling to meet the needs of your neighbors.  Please reach out to those most vulnerable with compassion.

Each act, each extension of human kindness contributes to a renewed Commonwealth and a more vibrant future for our children.  In this time of Thanksgiving, there could be no greater blessing.

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Entry filed under: Boston, Guest Blogger.

C2C Staff Member Accompanies Partner for KidPack Distribution Teen Leader Sheds Light on Volunteering

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