By Eva Kubrick
On June 10, Hawthorne Youth and Community Center honored Samantha “Sam” Sadd by dedicating their community garden to her
One bright sunny Sunday, June 10th , the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center celebrated “Legacy Day” honoring its 1973 incorporation – 45 years ago – and dedicating a peace garden on its property to the memory of its longtime Director, the late, great Samantha Sadd. “Sam” had brought many innovative, culturally-rich programs to the center. By collaborating with the city, other agencies, museums, universities, etc., she was able to bring some of the best resources of Boston to her community.
One of these resources is Community Works, which has supported HYCC for over thirty years, thus assuring a stable, non-restrictive income source for HYCC’s development.
As a Board representative to Community Works, Sam served on the Publicity (now “Branding”) and Membership committees and was elected to the Steering Committee.
Armed with a mischievous sense of humor and a keen intellect (often hidden under her ever-present hat), Sam spoke seldom but listened carefully. Her most important quality was a true strength of character, with sound moral understanding and much common sense. These characteristics would become evident to all during discussion of complex issues, where competing interests and differing opinions obscured the way forward. Her words helped clarify what was “the right thing to do.” Sam’s speaking her mind forthrightly helped others to do the same. She thus helped create consensus, enabled harmony and showed the way to proceed.
At the Legacy Day celebration those who attended were struck by the many comments from children of their affection for Sam, remarking what a difference she had made in their lives. They recalled creating an HYCC float every year for the First Night parade, learning to write poetry at the Dudley Square branch of the Boston Public Library, and, when they were young children, reading new books with students Sam had recruited from Boston College.
Those of us who were fortunate to have known Sam well can say that she herself held Community Works in great affection. She had worked hard over the years for its continuing success. Sam valued immensely the benefits HYCC received from Community Works.
Today, with a new “green” building, a peace garden in progress, and new educational programs, HYCC is a solid resource for its community. The development of HYCC into this forward-looking organization demonstrates well how a strong Community Works organization enables local social justice groups to create programs that meet the needs of their own communities.