9/11 Service Project Provides a Path to Pay it Forward as We Remember

The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund (MMHF), in partnership with Project 351 and The New England Center and Home for Veterans, held a service project at the Mother’s Walk on The Rose Kennedy Greenway on Tuesday, September 11th.

The project brought together volunteers from many businesses and organizations throughout the Commonwealth. Activities included assembling care packages for both active duty service members as well as local veterans in need, writing letters of encouragement and support for the troops, and a pledge drive for the benefit of Gold Star and Survivor families.

Crowds quickly gathered around The Rings fountain at midday. Thomas Crohan, President of the MMHF delivered a brief speech for the occasion, expressing his gratitude to those who had turned out to give their time and energy to the cause. “Today is about never forget. Today is about service. Today is about paying it forward and giving back.” said Governor Charlie Baker who was joined by his wife, Lauren.

As people prepared to pitch in, many stopped for a moment at the commemorative wreath as well as the stones placed in the memory of those lost. As they paused, one could see how numerous their numbers really were. A sea of red, white, and blue t-shirts filled up The Greenway.

In spite of the heat, the whole process moved along with great speed and efficiency. Friends and co-workers worked as one and everyone was assisted by bottled water reinforcements. Cooperation, collaboration, and a sense of enthusiasm provided both a united front in addition to plenty of smiles.

The care packages were neatly stacked around a section of the Rings Fountain, and the amount slowly started increasing. It wasn’t long before an impressive tower began to take shape. By the end over 250 care packages and 1,000 backpacks were put together.