Recently, the new editor of the Foxboro Reporter asked the community: What are the “bests” in Foxboro? I would like to submit for consideration that one of the best things about Foxboro is how alive community service is in our town.
Foxboro is blessed with a large number of fraternal organizations. None are more important than the other, none are better than the other, but as a veteran member of the local Jaycee chapter, I have seen firsthand what a difference helping the community can make.
This community is well-acquainted with many of the Jaycees annual events, such as the Easter Egg Hunt, decorating the Common, our Haunted House, free concerts on the common, and so on.
And I will never forget last fall, during our 9/11 memorial on the Common, as the names of the victims of September 11 began to roll, there was an audible gasp from the crowd. People were silent, in tears. I was never more proud to be a Jaycee than that night when we were able to help people find a way to gather as a community and remember.
But my enthusiasm for the group is not so much the publicized “big” events but the things that are done quietly; the things that don’t make the paper. “Holiday Share” is one such project, in which several Jaycees visit a battered women’s shelter. We donate food, gifts, cell phones, and more. In December, we assembled 150 fruit baskets to be delivered with the Discretionary Fund Christmas food boxes and toys. I was particularly touched when a Jaycee told the group that a local family couldn’t afford a Christmas tree; everyone in the room immediately suggested not only donating a tree, but delivering it.
Our scholarships are well publicized, but there are also the quieter donations of thousands (thousands!) in donations we make every year to worthy individuals and organizations.
And make no mistake — the Jaycees aren’t the only ones with the spirit. This “behind-the-scenes” generosity is prevalent in our town. I constantly hear stories of an individual or group that helped someone in crisis quietly, respectfully, and with no fanfare.
The Rotary. The Knights. The Food Pantry. The Discretionary Fund. The Founders Day Committee. The Jaycees. The many volunteers at Foxboro Cable Access. The incredible board of trustees at Doolittle Home. The people who run the farm stand for the needy. The friends of Foxboro Seniors. The people who deliver food to shut-ins and transport them. The man who daily empties the food donation basket at Shaws and brings the donated food to the pantry. The Foxboro woman who happened to be walking past the Boston shelter for homeless veterans, and how she wrote them a $100 check on the spot for no reason.
These people and so many, many more individuals work quietly, behind the scenes, to help, to make things better, to lend a hand when needed.
We are truly blessed.
Foxboro’s spirit of community service is truly the “best,” and every individual and group exemplifies that line from the Jaycee creed, “Service to humanity is the best work of life.”