People Making a Difference

Posted on September 23, 2009


I was thankful to the rains of September 12 for postponing the Goldfish Pond Association’s Annual Fun ‘N’ Flea Day; they made it possible for me to attend that event on the 19th, as well as the Downtown Lynn Neighborhood Association’s Central Square clean-up. Two great neighborhood events in one day.

At 9AM I made my way down to Central Square and found Soraya Cacici directing volunteers for the cleanup (below). Soraya is a real estate entrepreneur in downtown Lynn and writes the Real Estate Stiletto.

She also organized Walk in Style earlier this year.  The DPW provided brooms, shovels, bags and litter grabbers for the volunteers. “They [the DPW] like what we’re doing,” said Soraya. “We’re best friends,” she quipped. For me, it was another instance of residents taking pride in their neighborhood, filling in where the city could not muster the resources.

Among the volunteers was a teacher and a small group of students from Kipp Academy (below). They call themselves the Elves of Change.  Julian, who is the teacher, encourages his social studies students to identify issues in the community they would like to volunteer their time to. “It’s a way to get the community to know us,” said Julian.

After hanging around Central Square for a while, I made my way to the Goldfish Pond Association’s annual event. After browsing items for sale, I saw a colorful 8 by 8 foot quilt draped on some shrubs and knew that Blanket the Globe had set up its table there.

This was merely one panel out of over 50 just like it that have been assembled by Blanket the Globe founder Casey Ehrlich (above). On each swath of fabric, square foot pieces of environmental artwork sent in by children from all over the globe are arranged. Some are pleas to be more mindful of the mark we make on the planet; others are scenes from nature. They come from as far away as Tibet, from children who learn about the project and want to give voice to their environmental concerns.

Also present at both events were the armies of volunteers who helped make each one possible, most of whose names I do not know. Here are some of them:

For more pictures click here.