The Power of Project 351 with Governor Patrick

February 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

Imagine the impact if one eighth grader from each community in the Commonwealth came together to do community service…

On a typical morning, getting an 8th grader out of his or her bed at 5 AM would likely bring about some kicking and screaming. January 15th was not like other mornings though, as selected students knew Governor Deval Patrick and Lt. Governor Tim Murray and 419 other eighth grade students (with at least one student representing each of the 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth) were awaiting their arrival at Cradles to Crayons‘ (C2C) new Giving Factory warehouse in Brighton for Project 351. The day fell on the Saturday preceding the 25th Anniversary of the MLK Day of Service.

The spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “everybody can be great, because everybody can serve,” combined with the Governor and Lt. Governor’s strong commitment to community service and civic engagement were driving forces for the day.

Governor Patrick speaks to 8th graders at C2C

8th graders traveled to an assigned meeting point where they boarded buses to take them the rest of the way to Brighton. Students were seated around the guests of honor in C2C’s brand new volunteer forum when they were given the opportunity to ask the Patrick and Murray questions and share with them what their hopes were for the day.

The eighth graders were then assigned to their community service sites for the day. Some remained at Cradles for Crayons to work at our book and toy stations. Others went to the Greater Boston Food Bank, The State House, Blackstone Elementary School, and Dimock Center. Some of the students were joined by Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics, Kevin Faulk and Brandon McGowan of the New England Patriots, and Jay Heaps, formerly of the New England Revolution during their service time.

At the end of the day, students returned to C2C where they shared what happened at each service site. The C2C group far exceeded their impact goal making book packs and preparing toys to be distributed. Patrick reported that each student could go home knowing they had each helped at least 25 kids in need in Massachusetts.

Students walked away thinking about the discussion regarding the possibility of a 2nd Annual Project 351 taking place in a different part of the state next year as well as the hope that they will stay in touch with the other 8th graders they met during the day with the help of Facebook.

Read more about what the 8th grade participant from your area is saying about his or her experience at Project 351:

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Entry filed under: Boston, C2C, Community Involvement - Boston, Other Non-Profits, Special Event.

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