Weekends may be a regularly scheduled day off for many of our employees, but on Saturday, December 15th MBCR staff reported for work bright and early, eager for a special assignment. Many came with their spouses and children in tow and met at Track 9 at 8:30 a.m. Their mission was to transform ten commuter rail passenger cars into MBCR’s magical North Pole Express! The train had quite the journey ahead of it, with more than 600 deserving children scheduled for a 4:00 departure, nonstop to the North Pole.
The staff worked hard. Stockings were hung on luggage racks. Festive holiday lights were lit. MBCR Employees swapped work clothes for Frosty the Snowman costumes, Santa hats and jingle bells. With the help of friends and program sponsors, South Station was transformed into a winter wonderland. As the event drew close, hot chocolate was brewed, cookies were readied and gift bags were filled with special treats. Before you knew it, the transportation hub filled up with pajama-clad children clamoring to board the train for a magical ride.
Massachusetts’ First Lady Diane Patrick turned the pages of the Polar Express in one car, while Mayor Menino’s wife Angela sang Jingle Bells in another. Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee, Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham and Jonathan Davis, former Acting MBTA GM, also joined in the festive affair, leading train cars in reading the classic Christmas tale.
The train safely traveled to the North Pole in no time. There, a few more passengers boarded our Polar Express train – an elf, a reindeer and a famous jolly man with a white beard! They brought gifts for every child onboard.
Massachusetts’ First Lady reads the Polar Express
With dusk descending, the MBCR North Pole Express returned home to South Station. There, the children smiled as the special guests left, saying “And to all, a good night!”
Thanks to every charity and organization who participated, including: Boston Centers for Youth & Families, Boston Housing Authority, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp, Friends of the Children–Boston, Smart from the Start, South Boston Neighborhood House and The Home for Little Wanderers .
MBCR Joins Boston Rescue Mission for Day of Thanks
NOVEMBER 21, 2012
tags: Boston, Boston Rescue Mission, BRM, community service, commuter rail, Governor Deval Patrick, John Samaan, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail, Thanksgiving, volunteer
Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, Massachusetts State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, BRM President Rev. John Samaan, Luis Spencer, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Corrections and Hugh Kiley, Jr. MBCR GM
Here at MBCR we have a lot to be thankful for – committed employees, loyal customers and cities and towns across Massachusetts who work with us to get people where they need to go. We’re also grateful to work with countless local organizations that make a real difference in the community.
The Boston Rescue Mission is one such organization. BRM provides guidance and support to local individuals who are hungry and homeless. The selfless volunteers and staff provide food and shelter to any struggling man or woman who walks through the door. They also help people overcome the root causes of their homelessness with guidance, training and resources.
Governor Deval Patrick and BRM President Rev. John Samaan
Recently, MBCR employees joined Mission staff, volunteers, and local leaders – including Governor Deval Patrick to serve the meal at the annual Day of Thanks event. Families in need enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving feast at BRM’s Kingston street location. The same day, the Mission’s food pantry recipients dropped by to pick up a basket complete with a holiday turkey and trimmings for their own dinner tables.
Rev. John Samaan, BRM President was proud to share two individual’s stories of struggle and success, underscoring the work done by the Mission, every day. As Michael Kineavy, City of Boston’s Chief of Policy & Planning, told the crowd, “The Boston Rescue Mission is a place where souls are redeemed.”
To get involved or to find out about the great work done at the Boston Rescue Mission visit them at http://bostonrescuemission.com/.
On behalf of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail, I wish you and your families all a Happy Thanksgiving.
November 16, 2012
More than 30,000 veterans have returned to Massachusetts from the Global War on Terror and Overseas Contingency Operation. With so many military veterans employed by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail (MBCR), finding an appropriate way to express our gratitude to local fallen heroes is something we developed with passion and our deepest respect. Thus, we created the Gold Star Memorial Coach to honor fallen Massachusetts heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unveiled just before Memorial Day and wrapped in an American flag adorned with gold stars – representing Bay State serviceman/woman who gave their life in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom – the Gold Star Memorial Coach has joined the rest of the commuter rail fleet and traveled thousands of miles across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
While roads and bridges are often named after our armed service veterans, the memorial train coach is an extension of the transportation’s community’s recognition of military service.
World War II veteran Everett Lanman of Plymouth shakes hands with MBCR GM Hugh Kiley Jr.
This Veterans’ Day, MBCR was honored to partner with Military Friends Foundation and host thirty special guests aboard the traveling memorial. Veterans, active military and families of the fallen all boarded the Gold Star Memorial Coach out of South Station for a special ride to Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium for the New England Patriots game. Veterans from all eras since WWII attended.
Gold star family members with SFC Jared Monti’s tribute sign.
On a train platform adorned with tribute signs, regular train riders blinked back tears as they stopped to read the stories of the local lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many came forward to shake hands and say thank you to the group of brave men and women that included Gold Star moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts and cousins.
Senator McGee joins Gold Star families for a viewing of the Gold Star Coach in Lynn
In addition to being part of regular commuter rail service, the Gold Star Memorial Coach makes special viewing appearances in communities across Massachusetts where Gold Star Families, veterans’ organizations and the general public can pay their respects to local heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and their families.
Over a dozen viewing events have been held since the coach’s inception this spring. During special visits to Scituate, Kingston, Lowell, Lynn, Hyannis, North Adams and Worcester, commuter rail riders, neighbors and veterans gathered on train platforms, waving American flags and expressing their deepest gratitude for the ultimate sacrifices made by the Gold Star Families in attendance.