The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on all of us, but particularly tough on Eastie’s youth. For Eastie children kept indoors or around immediate family with little or no contact with their close friends or social activities days have turned into weeks and weeks have turned into months.
While children tend to be resilient, the effects of the state and city’s stay at home orders have taken its toll on hundreds of kids living in the neighborhood.
To help with these tough times and put a smile back on the faces of dozens of children the staff at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club held a special parade throughout the community last Friday.
Salesian Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Michael Triant said the event was by far the most special day for club members and staff since the club was forced to shut its doors on March 13 due to the COVID-19 outbreak here.
Armed with goodie bags for over 50 club kids and a police escort the staff drove through Eastie in vans beeping horns and delivering sports equipment and outdoor activity sets for the club members.
“We had been running the food distribution site since March but we wanted to do something more for a lot of the kids we haven’t seen in weeks,” said Triant. “We saw that some other Boys & Girls Clubs were doing these parades so I ran it up the flagpole with our staff and we decided to go for it.”
Traint said that the Boys & Girls Club recently received funding from the Boston Resiliency Fund and decided to use the money to buy the sports equipment and outdoor activity sets for the goodie bags.
“All families received an Adidas backpack stuffed with socks, wiffle balls and bats, tennis balls, skip ropes, frisbees and sidewalk chalk,” said Triant. “Supplies were donated by Adidas and purchased with funding from the Boston Resiliency fund.”
For Triant and the Salesian staff the smiles on all the children’s faces they visited on Friday was emotional.
“It was really great,” said Triant. “A bunch of families made signs and we made sure we saw every kid. As we drove by and made deliveries they waved and smiles on their faces was priceless and made our day. We’re just trying to ease the burden for families and kids. They’ve been kind of trapped for two months so at least with the equipment we dropped off they can start getting outside and do some of the activities they’d be doing if they were here at the Club.”
Triant gave a special shout out to Captain Kelly McCormick and the officers at District A-7 for providing a police escort during the parade.
“I want to thank Captain McCormick, and officers Derek Russo and Gary Marino for always going above and beyond to serve your community,” said Triant. “Our friends from the A-7 Community Service Office were amazing and escorted us all over East Boston while making this event more memorable for the children we serve. Logistically, I don’t think we could have pulled it off without them.