“The Afterglow of Community Service Lasts a Long Time”

"Making lunch is awesome!"

“Making lunch is awesome!”

Many of us missed the “real time” inauguration of President Obama yesterday on Martin Luther King Holiday. (Service Director Linda Hurley was in attendance!)  But no one around me seemed to feel we were not involved in it. After all, Nobles families and students were 200 strong actually DOING the service Dr. King set before America as a lodestar experience. Chris Reynolds, graduate, made a Friday trip to Polartec in Lawrence MA to pick up the donation of 500 yards of warm fleece he had requested to work with on the Day of Service. “I always feel good after a day like this, he remarked. “The afterglow of community service lasts a long time.”

“This has become such a highlight for me” said Allison Matlack.  “I always enjoy the chance to work with Nobles students and their parents and appreciate all that you do behind the scenes to make it so easy for me to do the fun part – the actual volunteering!!” The Morrison Athletic Center was loaded with contents of a huge white storage unit that had been collecting toys, clothing, and books for two weeks prior to the all day service event for our partners “Cradles to Crayons.” Lead by Cindy Trull, families, and winter coaches and athletic teams cleaned and

MLK Day at Senior Living at Bellingham Hill

MLK Day at Senior Living at Bellingham Hill

sorted all the items for quality before packing them back up carefully to get to the warehouse for distribution. “Every single one of them, and all of the coaches as well, threw themselves into the work with great enthusiasm and terrific attitudes.  Watching the wrestlers cleaning off the toys, the hockey players sprawled on the floor tying knots in the blankets and the girls’ basketball players singing, chatting and displaying great warmth and cheer was truly heartwarming” Trull remarked.

At Allston-Brighton Community Supper, Nobles volunteers made a roasted chicken dinner for eighty homeless people, and enjoyed our day chatting as we chopped vegetables and fruit. Jenny Carlson’s group went to the Epiphany School where scrubbing and cleaning elicited this remark from Lorena Lopera, “I walked into the school this morning after being away for 10 days and I can say that there is noticeable difference. The school looks WONDERFUL!” At Senior Living at Bellingham Hill, Cindy Jaczko and volunteers made crafts, played bingo, and served wonderful treats to the elderly residents. Ross Blacker, an administrator there said “Nobles’ Day of Caring could not have gone any better, it truly exceeded our expectations and our tenants will be talking about all the great stuff they did for months.  This is truly a credit not only to the community service aspect of the school’s mission but the energy, enthusiasm, generosity and creativity of the group.  I literally didn’t see anyone checking their phone or appearing to be bored, all of the adults and children were 110 percent engaged for the duration of the day, something that we are so very appreciative of.”

Aimee Southworth organized a painting crew aided by children from the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester. The bright colors the children chose will warm their walls in the winter months to come. Mary Keally reprised a yearly visit with Nobles folks to the Quincy Crisis Center where organizing the basement, sorting food, and delivering groceries to shut-ins taught youngsters how much they can be of use to those who are ill and cannot leave their homes. Father Bill’s Shelter again hosted Thomas Forteith and volunteers who made and served lunch for the homeless. And Kelsey Grousbeck presided over the making of no-sew fleece blankets for the Long Island Shelter in the Boston harbor, and torn paper art to decorate the therapy room walls of the Home for Little Wanderers. Vidya Kagan took her group to Hearth, Inc. and prepared a spaghetti lunch for the formerly homeless residents at their new apartment complex. All involved loved coming down to the bright new dining area where Nobles people shared lunch and the talk of the day, which was often about the inauguration on television. President Obama spoke about the American people and the impetus to reach out to each other. It felt good to be doing just that on a day so historic. The MLK Day of Service is a wonderful tradition and one we plan to continue for years to come.

Sandi MacQuinn, Director of Community Service

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