Now more than ever, our society is in need of positive news. As a community organization dedicated to helping others, Centerboard makes positive changes happen in Greater Lynn and beyond. In an effort to share the stories that make a difference, Centerboard is launching our #SelfiesForGood campaign. Throughout our campaign, Centerboard will be featuring your submissions to our social media channels and website to help demonstrate positive stories and places in our community. Send us your selfie, include where you took it, a positive story you experienced or were a part of, tag Centerboard in your submissions and use the hashtag #SelfiesForGood OR submit directly to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Submit your selfie and positive story for your chance to win gift cards to your favorite local establishments.
Winners will be announced on Giving Tuesday November, 28!
LYNN — Ebony White knows something about the power of second chances.
On Wednesday, the nonprofit administrator delivered a message of hope to 1300 students at a Stop the Violence program at Thurgood Marshall Middle School. Lynn Youth Street Outreach Advocacy (LYSOA) sponsored the program.
“When I was 12, my parents were sent to jail,” she said. “I didn’t ask for that to happen to me, but I had a choice: I could go down the wrong path or take that negative energy and turn it into something positive, and that’s the path I chose.”
Founded in 2014 by Rob Smith and a handful of friends at the Dunkin’ Donuts on the Lynnway, the city’s “Stop the Violence” organization’s mission is to steer the city’s youth away from violence. The nonprofit holds events year round to get their message to youngsters.
White said one thing that rescued her was basketball. “That sport saved me,” she told the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. “I avoided gangs, peer pressure, I was OK with being different, and I vowed to attend college.” Being a female basketball player was a lonely choice when she was in high school, White said. But when she felt sad, she grabbed a basketball and shot hoops for hours. It paid off. White became the first female student at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute to score 1,000 points.
"It’s been a journey,” she said. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t matter. You do and you have to believe in yourself.”
This past Halloween, our Housing Department through a costume party for their youth complete with decorations, food, games, prizes, and - of course - candy! This crew went above and beyond to create a safe, fun, special activity for the kids. More than 100 kids turned out! I am always so impressed with how our Housing staff gives of themselves to go above and beyond!
"While working at Centerboard I have seen my co-workers go above and beyond to help others who are struggling. One particular story stands out and that was when Kim O'Neill took it upon herself to collect donations for a victim of domestic violence. The woman was hesitant to move she and her daughter out of shelter since they had nothing of their own. Kim's garage quickly filled up with donations of furniture and she spent an entire day moving and setting up this little families new apartment. The mother and daughter were so overwhelmed with emotion when they walked through their new apartment for the first time. It was beautiful to see people in the community come together to help this family in need and even better, to see a good friend and co-worker spring into action without hesitation. I am lucky to work with such inspiring individuals everyday who are making a difference!"
"A young boy in one of our programs had his bike stolen. He was walking across town, late at night in the dark to his night classes determined to pass. We put out a call on social media for a bike donation and got immediate responses. Some people in the community had some great suggestions but one woman came forward eager to help. I assumed she had a bike on hand she no longer had use for but upon speaking to her I quickly learned she wanted to pick out a brand new bike for this boy she had never met. She said the post on social media just hit her right and she really wanted to help. The next week she wheeled in a brand new bike for the boy and he and his mother were brought to tears. She thought of everything from a bike lock to a brand new helmet! Watching the boy ride away with a huge smile on his face was a feeling I won't forget. Seeing generosity like that firsthand is a constant reminder that good truly does outweigh the bad in the world."
"This year Centerboard partnered with a value-oriented real estate investment firm based in Boston Massachusetts. Marcus Partners volunteered to furnish an apartment for a family transitioning out of shelter. The Marcus Partners crew worked around the clock to get everything set up for the family and didn't miss a detail. On move in day, the Marcus Partners team got started early in the morning cleaning, painting and getting ready for the moving trucks. The crew tackled the move in despite three flights of narrow stairs and close quarters and began set up. The team did a fantastic job of decorating each room with its own modern theme, including a minions-themed bedroom for the boys, along with back packs full of all the school supplies they needed based on their specific ages. It is so great to see local businesses get involved in their community and give back."