An Overdue Honor

Anyone who knows John White knows he’d rather be out of the spotlight and busy doing his good work on behalf of the East Boston families he’s dedicated his life and career to.

In October, Mr. White, East Boston APAC’s longtime Executive Director, will celebrate 50 years of advocating on behalf of the poor and low-income residents of the neighborhood.

A half century of work keeping the elderly warm in the winter through APAC’s Fuel Assistance Program or keeping teens off the streets and safe during the summer months through APAC’s Summer Works jobs program is nothing short of miraculous.

So it was fitting on Saturday that City Councilor Sal LaMattina and the entire Eastie Pride Day board dedicated this year’s event in honor of Mr. White.

Over the past five decades Mr. White, who was born and raised in Eastie, has become one of the most recognizable faces in the neighborhood.

It’s not because he looks for attention or craves praise, its because he has touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of residents and their families. Mr. White is not a red tape bureaucrat who spent his career behind some desk at APAC pushing paper. No, Mr. White has walked these streets for most of his life with one goal–to help people who need help or have no voice.

So it’s comes as no surprise that on any given day, if you walk down Meridian Street with him, he will be stopped no less than two dozen times by people asking for help or saying ‘thank you’.

He never refuses the request for help but will always dismiss the ‘thank you’ as a unnecessary gesture. Mr. White’s philosophy is that those he helps on a daily basis should never feel in debt to his service.

For he truly believes the work he does needs no praise because it is the work he has chosen to do in the community–but the fact remains it’s work that has improved the lives of many in our corner of the world.

He’s genuinely ‘glad to help’ which is refreshing but all too rare in this world so we should never stop thanking Mr. White for his contribution to this neighborhood.

We should all thank him every chance we get because his work in Eastie is unparalleled, his motives pure and his heart filled with an undying passion to make life a little easier for those living in uneasy circumstances.

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