This summer, the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) staff and Tufts Dental students came together to make the streets of Chinatown cleaner. The extremely hot day was shadowed by the enthusiastic and energetic vibe of the students, many of whom volunteered for the first time. The BCNC staff gave words of appreciation to the students for volunteering, as well as words of encouragement to the Boston police members for coordinating the event.
Soon after, students were split into groups of 4, each designated an area within Chinatown to sweep the streets and pick up trash. It was refreshing to see the leadership displayed by many students, together making the cleanup efficient and fun. Two hours later, the students gathered back to end the session with water and snacks.
Perhaps, the amazingly positive experiences told by the students were the highlights of the day. A Chinese gentleman came and appreciated one group for picking up the cigarette buds. An elder Chinese lady offered water and access to a bathroom to another group as she lives nearby.
The students also wrote heartfelt letters that express their love for Chinatown– from the delicious foods to the friendly atmosphere that the people offer. We each left with a bright smile on our face, knowing that our effort made a difference in the neighborhood that is the home to our school. With utmost humbleness and sincerity, many of the students felt excited and looked forward to coming back again.