Carissimi Lettori, Buonasera ~
Tonight I want to share a very special story with all of you, one that I hope will warm your heart as much as it did mine. In the early 1918, Boston’s North End (Little Italy) was hit by a devastating influenza that left a number of children orphaned. Father Antonio Sousa, Pastor for St. Leonard’s Church (first Italian parish established in New England in 1875) immediately took the cause at heart protecting and campaigning for the children’s well being, health and rights in the absence of their parents. Touched by his determination and generous spirit, the community responded with the establishment of the Italian Home for Children. It was 1919 then. Today, the home still stands and serves emotionally and behaviorally challenged children of all races, nationalities and religions in Boston. I first learned about this very special place thanks to the involvement and contribution of a dear friend, Francesco Daniele, a leading force for positive and innovative changes within many realms of the Italian American Community of Boston. In conclusion of an eventful and dense book tour year for My Sicily, I wanted to make a final donation to a deserving and dynamic educational community whose primary values and visions matched mine. I was so touched by the story of the center, its children and families and knew immediately this was the place. I want to thank Francesco and also Julie Clerc, Responsible for the Italian Home for Children for their introduction. Today, 20 “My Sicily” books can be found among other books in the library of this unique center with every good wish for a safe, nurtured and bright future for every child at the Italian Home for Children in Boston!
To learn more about or get involved with the Italian Home for Children, please visit www.italianhome.org