A link in "the chain of giving"; Ryan Ewing '14 honored for volunteerism
Posted 11/27/2013 12:00AM
Ryan Ewing first became interested in volunteering when he was a fourth grader at Fenn. He learned that "the actual act of service may be small, but the consequences can truly change someone's life."
Ryan, now a ninth grader at Middlesex, received on November 19th the Luberta Shea Volunteer of the Year Award from Heading Home, an organization that provides emergency transitional and permanent housing and support services to low-income homeless and formerly homeless families in the greater Boston area. Ryan and his family have been participating in what are called "Up-and-Out" moves for Heading Home for several years and have inspired many others in the Fenn community to become involved. In Ryan's last three years at Fenn, he helped organize six moves that included Fenn volunteers; Fenn faculty and students assisted with two more moves on a recent weekend.
The stories of the people served by Heading Home—profiles in courage and endurance—help motivate Ryan to continue his community service work, he said. Just the other day he was volunteering at Open Table with other Middlesex students and a women they helped out to her car said that she had stayed awake the entire night before because her home had no heat and she did not want to freeze to death. "It's times like these that motivate me to do as much as I can to help the people in my community," Ryan declared.
At the awards ceremony, where Gov. Deval Patrick was also honored, Ryan spoke eloquently about his first experience as a nine-year-old helping a family move into their new home. "The feeling I got when they walked through the doorway was incredible," he recalled. "It showed me I could make a difference in the world." He closed his speech by saying, "Deep in the back of your mind you know that one day some of the people you are helping now will go on to help others—the world is an endless chain of giving."