A season of celebrating all those who give back to the community

The long-awaited stimulus checks will be soon be in the mail for millions of Americans who have been financially sideswiped because of the pandemic. Some say it is too little too late. That’s one way to look at it. Or you can see it as better late than never.
If there is anything the COVID-19 crisis has taught us, it’s that America is a land of great disparity — from wealth and race to health care and more. But it is also a nation where people step up to help one another, from giving to those in need to speaking out when government fails us. We owe much thanks to “the squad” — Massachusetts’ own Rep. Ayanna Pressley, as well as Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who formed the squad in response to the deplorable treatment of immigrant children and the lack of resources. They were roundly criticized — first by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then piled on by President Trump. But they held their ground. Ditto Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, who were key players along with the late Sen. John McCain in the health care debate. In my opinion, we need more of the “speak truth to power” dynamic in our dysfunctional Congress.
Despite the many horrors and hardships we’ve endured this year, we still have a lot to celebrate this Christmas season. First and foremost — the birth of Christ. And there are other gifts to be proud of as the pandemic rages on: Our resilience, creativity, ingenuity and compassion has been on full display. We have a new year full of hope with the second vaccine from Moderna on the move. I am particularly pleased that our teachers have been prioritized to get the shots. This is critical if we want to open our schools.
And there are many other people and institutions who are gifts to the community every day of the year.
Action for Boston Community Development (bostonabcd.org), the city’s antipoverty agency, has been on the front lines for over 50 years, fighting the ongoing pandemic of poverty, extending a “hand up not a hand out.” They already serve the populations hit hardest by the coronavirus. Their donations are down and shouldn’t be.
Kudos to the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Justice Fund. Launched with much fanfare several months ago, they recently gave out their first $1M of the $20 million in pledges to organizations like BECMA  and NAACP and others with a solid track record of helping people. Smart move, but I’d say it’s time for another installment.
The spirit of Jake Kennedy is alive and well. His annual Christmas in the City has distributed thousands of toys to homeless children and others in need since 1989. We lost Jake to ALS in October, but Jake’s heart and soul and spirit live on, thanks to his wife Sparky and the organization’s volunteers.
Our kids have been hit hard by the pandemic, many struggling with closed schools and remote learning. I am struck that many of their letters to Santa aren’t asking for presents for themselves — they want a coat for mom or a job for their dad or something for their siblings. There is still time to give to Toys for Tots (toysfortots.org) and  the Home for Little Wanderers (thehome.org). The stalwart Salvation Army (salvationarmyusa.org) continues to do all they can to help those who need it.
I don’t think many of us could have imagined the miles-long lines for food here in America. Feeding America (feedingamerica.org), the World Food Programme (wfpusa.org), recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its laudable work, and our own Project Bread (projectbread.org) struggle to meet almost unimaginable demands. They will need our ongoing support.
To all who have left a larger than normal tip, or paid for another’s groceries, or helped find and create resources to help others, or lifted a burden for anyone; to our beleaguered U.S. post offices throughout the nation who worked to ensure the election was held despite a pandemic; to our police and firefighters, our governors and mayors and everyone who has seen a need and stepped up to help or solve a problem without question — your unselfishness and giving are what makes Christmas merry and bright and worth celebrating.
Have a safe holiday all!

Joyce Ferriabough Bolling is a media and political strategist and communications specialist.

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Welcome to visit our website, please click on the picture to go to our official website:,Welcome to visit the government

Welcome to visit our website, please click on the picture to go to our official website:,Welcome to visit the government