Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Westborough Patch on Nov. 23, 2011 and caught the attention of the staff at The Huffington Post. All of us at Westborough Patch are excited that Max Silverman has been recognized in this story published by The Huffington Post. He showed us all how to turn an idea into action and make a difference in our communities.
The Touchdown for America campaign, generated by a nonprofit organization created by Massachusetts high school sophomore Max Silverman, collected thousands of dollars worth of donations that will be sent to troops serving overseas. As the three-month campaign ended this fall, it was clear that the inaugural effort was a success.
“I want our service men and women to know that our community is thinking of them and their families. I want them to know that we appreciate what they are doing for me and for us,” said Max.
During the 2011 football season, donations for Touchdown for America were collected at each of the home football games. The campaign culminated with the Nov. 12 Veterans Day home game, declared the Touchdown for America Game. Through a donation from the Westborough Athletic Booster Association, Rangers players – including Max – donned Touchdown for America decals on their helmets and a banner was posted for the crowd to see.
The idea for the nonprofit organization came to Max after a writing assignment in his freshman year. He was asked to answer the question, "If you were given one day and $1,000 to make a difference in your community, what would you do?"
A high school football player, Max wrote about harnessing the spirit of a local football game to honor members of the Westborough community currently serving in the military. He also wrote about honoring their families and veterans of previous wars.
After that assignment, Max started to put together his idea of Touchdown for America. His donation campaign started in earnest with the start of the 2011 football season.
Throughout the season, a buzz grew through Westborough about the organization. Max received donations from the Westborough Civic Club, the Rotary Club of Westborough, Westborough Athletic and Social Association, Butler Home Products and In Your Shoes. He ended the campaign with a generous supply of donations, including:
- 27 packets of beef jerky
- 26 sticks of deodorant
- 23 boxes of Band-Aids
- 9 packets of Chapstick
- 44 bottles of shampoo
- 148 bars of soap
- 32 tubes of toothpaste
- 33 boxes of baby wipes
- 28 containers of Gold Bond powder
- 26 toothbrushes
- 8 packs of playing cards
- 110 1" paint brushes (to be used to clean soldiers' guns)
- 105 disposable razors
- 12 boxes of Ziploc bags
- 11 cans of shaving cream
- 215 Beanie Babies (for the soldiers to give to the children of Iraq and Afghanistan)
- 100 t-shirts
- 40 dozen pairs of socks
- 90 CDs
- 600+ magazines
- 2 cases of various types of 3M Velcro (for the soldiers to fasten their weapons directly to the tanks)
Packages were prepared to ship overseas by Max and his friends and fellow teammates.
“Max has to decide how he keeps this project growing, not only by generating donations again next year but also by expanding Touchdown for America to include other schools in other towns. He has already received requests to do this,” said his mother, Debbi Silverman.