Gibbons 8th Grader is Inspired to Volunteer

Elizabeth Hopkinson is among this year's Project 351 ambassadors.

Elizabeth Hopkinson. Photo by Michael Gelbwasser.
Elizabeth Hopkinson. Photo by Michael Gelbwasser.

Elizabeth Hopkinson volunteers through the St. Luke the Evangelist Parish youth group.

The Gibbons Middle School eighth grader also volunteers through her school's student council, of which she is the vice president. The council is "planning a fundraiser to sponsor a child at a school in India," she says.

Most recently, on Jan. 18, Hopkinson volunteered at the Samuel W. Mason Elementary School in Roxbury.

Hopkinson is among this year's Project 351 ambassadors, a group of eighth-graders from across Massachusetts chosen to join Gov. Deval Patrick on Jan. 18 for a day of community service honoring Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

The ambassadors were chosen "because they showed an ethic of service, and leadership potential," Hopkinson said Monday.

Hopkinson said she is inspired to volunteer "because I think that it's our duty and if we are blessed to have enough to be comfortable and to be happy, then we should give to others who aren't that lucky."

During the Jan. 18 community service day, Hopkinson was among the ambassadors who "painted murals of healthy food in the cafeteria, and we put together school supply kits" at the Mason school, which serves Kindergarten through grade five.

"It was really fun. It was great to know that you were helping kids who are going to school. It was great to know we were helping kids succeed," Hopkinson said.

Patrick spoke to the ambassadors before they went to their volunteer sites.

"That was amazing. He had a really inspiring life story," Hopkinson said.

"He grew up in Chicago, in kind of a rough neighborhood, and that he was able to overcome that was really, really inspirational to hear."

Next, this spring, the ambassadors will organize a used clothing and toy drive for Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit group that provides essentials to children ages 0 to 12.


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