Today, Noah and I are writing to you to ask for your support as we seek to raise money for an organization that is extremely near to our hearts and that may, if it has not already, become near to your hearts too.
As you will remember, on Monday, April 15, 2013, two pressure cooker bombs exploded 12 seconds apart near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. It was a day none of us will ever forget, especially those of us living in and around Greater Boston at the time. When the bombs went off, Noah was leading an 8th grade field trip in Washington DC and I was on the T headed back to Somerville. Meanwhile, 264 people were injured and 3 innocent lives were taken by the bombs, which were soon confirmed to be deliberate acts of terrorism.
One of those whose life was lost was 8 year-old Martin Richard, a second grader at Neighborhood House Charter School, where Noah was working as a PE teacher. Martin and his mom, older brother, younger sister, and Dad were by the finish line cheering on all of the runners(one of their favorite days of the year, and favorite things to do as a family!). Little did they know that what is for many Bostonians, the very best day of the year, Patriot's Day/Marathon Monday, would become the day that changed their lives and the lives of many others forever.
Martin was one of Noah's very favorite and most unforgettable students. Noah cared for him deeply as well as for the rest of the Richard family. Noah talks about Martin’s kindness, love for sports and joyful spirit like he has spoken about no other student he has ever taught. He also talks about Jane, his other star student and Martin's younger sister, and how she was always best dressed for PE day at NHCS. Both Jane and her mom, Denise, were seriously injured by one of the bombs. Jane left the hospital after months there, countless surgeries, with her leg amputated above the knee, and Denise had lost sight in one of her eyes. Bill, the father, also suffered injuries to his leg and hearing.
Despite the tremendous, unfathomable loss that the Richard Family has faced, they have chosen to channel their energy and efforts into creating and sustaining, MR8, The Martin Richard Foundation. MR8 stands for Martin’s initials and his jersey number for all the sports he played. This *incredible* organization raises money to support initiatives around Greater Boston and around the country that are dedicated to improving education, building safe communities, and removing barriers to youth involvement in team athletics.
The Foundation honors Martin's message of "No more hurting people. Peace." The image of Martin holding his handmade poster with those words is probably familiar to many of you. I wish I could have had the opportunity to know Martin. Noah and Martin's other teachers knew him as a school peacemaker, burgeoning athlete, and community-builder in the making. The MR8 website words it best: "Martin Richard’s view of peace went well beyond simply wanting to prevent violence. To Martin, peace meant things like togetherness, teamwork, fairness, sportsmanship, inclusion, and simple acts of kindness. His Foundation strives to encourage youth and adults
I (Sarah) ran the Boston Marathon for Team MR8 in 2017, and now we have an opportunity to run together in the first ever MR8K. PLease consider giving to this tremendous organization.
For more information about MR8, please visit: http://www.teammr8.org
And of course, please email us with any questions!
Thank you for considering partnering with us and with MR8 to ultimately make our world a better, brighter place. We love and deeply appreciate you all.
Sarah & Noah Downs
MARTIN W RICHARD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION INC wrote -
Donations made to our runners on Team MR8 Boston 2017 ensure that the Martin Richard Foundation continues its mission of investing in athletics, education and community by empowering youth and adults to improve the lives of others and become bridge builders, peacemakers and leaders in their communities.