Northeastern steps up to help distribute art supplies to families of BPS students

Northeastern University stepped up last month to facilitate the donation of art supplies to the City of Boston.

On Wednesday, May 11, EdVestors, a school improvement organization, sent 37 pallets of art supplies to be distributed to the families of Boston Public Schools students citywide via an 18-wheeler truck. But they didn’t have anywhere to unload the goods.

This is when Northeastern stepped in and agreed to take charge of the supply cases, which were stocked with colored pencils, markers, modeling clay, stickers, paper, and more. The supplies were transported from the truck via the school’s forklifts to Northeastern’s Matthews Arena, where volunteers uploaded and disinfected them. 

“We thought Matthews Arena would be a perfect place,” David Frazier, Northeastern’s senior director of athletic facilities and central event services, told Northeastern staff writer Molly Callahan. “We don’t have a loading dock, but we do have forklifts, and this was a great thing to do to help the kids of our city.”

City volunteers then retrieved the supplies from Northeastern so they could be rerouted to reach their intended recipients.

“As soon as we reached out, Northeastern answered with a ‘yes,’ the whole way,” said Megan Rohrer, of the Boston Planning and Development Agency who is also a member of the city’s Food Access Task Force, told Callahan. “We had a hard time finding places with a loading dock or a forklift, and Northeastern was so wonderful about making it work.”

Rohrer added: “No one has been in this kind of pandemic situation before, and we’re all trying to figure things out together, on the fly. That’s where Northeastern came in so clutch for us—the attitude was always, ‘You’re going to help Boston kids, then we’ll help you figure out how to do it.’” 

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