Foundation named for youngest Boston marathon bombing victim teams up to promote youth service

BOSTON – One of the most enduring images in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was a photo of young victim Martin Richard holding a sign that said, “No more hurting people. Peace.”

It’s a message that the foundation named for Martin, along with toy maker Hasbro Inc. and Points of Light, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, are hoping will inspire children across the nation.

On Monday, the organizations announced The Martin Richard Bridge Builder Campaign to encourage children ages 5 through 18 to spread peace through service projects and acts of kindness.

Martin was 8 years old when he was killed by the second of two bombs that exploded near the marathon finish line in April 2013. His younger sister lost a leg and his parents, Bill and Denise, were both injured.

Starting Monday and going through Oct. 16, youths can go to the website to learn about volunteer project ideas. GenerationOn is the youth service division of Points of Light.

“Our son Martin was able to recognize at a very young age the importance of reaching people about togetherness and inclusion, and we are hopeful that this campaign will help inspire kids and teens across the country to do the same,” Bill and Denise Richard said in a statement.

Earlier this year, 27 service projects were selected and awarded grants from Hasbro and GenerationOn. These have been developed into service project guides featured on the campaign website.

They include everything from building a peace garden to sitting with someone new at lunch during school.

“By participating in these simple acts of kindness, we want kids and teens to understand that they can have a positive effect on our world,” said Karen Davis, an executive with Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Hasbro.


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