Elizabeth I. Hastings Middle School eighth-grader, Brooke Boucher, has been helping those in need in our local community through her own personal efforts. Now, she has the chance to make a difference on the State level through Project 351.
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the Beloved Community, Project 351 is an independent nonprofit organization that builds a movement of youth-led service by engaging an unsung hero from each of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns.
United for a year of leadership and service, Ambassadors transform communities, elevate kindness, advance social justice, and gain the courage, compassion, and capabilities to lead change.
Boucher was nominated by her teachers and the faculty at the middle school to be a Project 351 ambassador because of her leadership qualities, her positive, humble attitude and her selflessness to step up and serve those in need in our community.
She attended the Project 351 Launch Day during MLK weekend in January. There, Boucher learned about the 12-month service learning project she would be embarking on with her group of peer ambassadors, Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit organization aimed at providing kids from birth to age 12 with essentials they need, free of charge. Boucher was able to dive right into her work during Launch Day and spent her time packaging a week’s worth of clothes for a child in need.
Ambassadors are then expected to take what they learned from Launch Day and build a service-based project in their own community in support of the project assigned.
For her Cradles to Crayons drive in our community, Boucher told us that she would be leading a Clothing Drive at St. Mary’s Church in Fairhaven. She’ll be collecting new to gently used clothing items that she plans to donate to local families in need as well as Cradles to Crayons.
On top of her work with Project 351, just this year, Boucher also organized a Teddy Bear Drive within the Fairhaven Public Schools in support of the Friends of Jack organization. To date, she has donated 17 bags of new or gently used stuffed animals to local hospitals where young children have extended stays in order to provide them with some of the comforts from home they may not have in the hospital.
Boucher’s desire to help others and her will to serve comes natural to her.
“Meeting new friends, working toward a common goal and having and achieving a dream,” are all things that make this eighth-grader’s giving, selfless motor go.
She also mentioned that “being part of my community and taking positivity and making it into something great,” is what inspires her to continue to help those in need.
In addition to her Cradles to Crayons Clothing Drive plan and her ongoing Teddy Bear Drive, Boucher has more plans this spring to collect more donated items with a personal initiative. Next month, Boucher is planning on starting a Book Drive within the Fairhaven Community. Though her plan is not finalized, she’d like to have collection boxes around town for community members to donate new or gently used books. Boucher plans on donating these books to local daycares, community centers and families in need.
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