by Kay Mollica, AmeriCorps member serving on the Boston Civic Engagement team

When first entering the City Year Headquarters Lavine Civic Forum at a very early 6:15 a.m. on Friday, November 18th, my groggy teammates saw what looked like a suburban garage: stacked boxes of unstuffed animals, tables crowded with pots, pans, and kitchen items, and Costco-sized packages of non-perishables. By evening and several shifts of hundreds of volunteers later, we saw a space ripe with resources made with love for people all over Boston this holiday season.

The Thanksgiving Service Event is a milestone for the Boston Civic Engagement Team. The seven of us, featuring project leads Justin Mei and assist Bay-Lee Power, organized several shifts of 400 volunteers to handcraft personalized resources. Together we created 187 apple pies from scratch, 150 no-sew winter hats, 200 sandwiches, 50 tissue box covers, 120 hand-stuffed animals with independently designed tee-shirts, 70 warm blankets, and plenty other miscellanea. We donated these items to organizations notably committed to serving the Boston community such as Rosie’s Place, Pine Street Inn, Hearth, The Friday Night Supper Program, and The Women’s Lunch Place. The event would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors EY, Eastern Bank, and the Foundation To Be Named Later.

Though City Year’s mission focuses primarily on idealism in education, the Boston Civic Engagement team understands that education is not the only arena our students occupy. Hunger and homelessness are issues prevalent in the areas where our students live and our corps members serve. When we rally our network to donate resources to institutions that focus on these pressing concerns, these partners are better able to serve our students and their families, and City Year is able to serve our students in a more holistic way.

View a Flickr album of photos from this event here.


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