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A Little Hope

A Little Hope

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, I began making preparations to move my business and team to a work-from-home model in early March. As COO and co-founder of LABUR, a Boston-based workforce solution provider, we went 100 percent remote on March 12, and then my attention quickly expanded to the greater Boston community. What about those who wouldn’t be able to work remotely? What about those who would be battling COVID-19 on the front lines? Like so many, I feared—and knew—the virus could have crippling effects.

 
HOW CAN I HELP?

In late March, retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond, executive director of Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program, was tasked with standing up a field hospital in Boston. As an advisory board member to Home Base and a friend of the General, I knew I wanted to be involved as soon as I heard about this mission.

For six weeks, I sat in on calls with the taskforce, which included representatives from the governor’s office, the mayor’s office, MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency), the Massachusetts National Guard, and countless other volunteers like myself. We divvied up tasks and to-dos as they came in, and while I wasn’t completely surprised by the organization and flawless execution of the General’s plan, seeing what would
become Boston Hope come together was one of the most impressive and humbling experiences I have personally ever had.

Leadership, personal responsibility—one of the statements of the Tabor Academy mission I connect with the most—and citizenship are a few of the words that come to mind when I think of General Jack Hammond and the whole Boston Hope team that came together during these uncertain times to deliver a field hospital fit to handle a largely unknown, global pandemic.

BOSTON HOPE AND TABOR ACADEMY

One of my leading contributions to the Boston Hope effort was quite simple: my network. At LABUR, our primary output is connecting leading technology consultants and executives to Boston-based businesses, so naturally our Rolodex lent itself nicely to the Boston Hope cause. When personal care products, snacks and drinks were needed, I tapped into our connections at Keurig, Dr. Pepper, BJ’s and Stop & Shop. Without hesitation, they stepped up and donated drinks and snacks to be left at the hotels where essential workers were staying and personal care products to be used in the field hospital. When we realized there was no entertainment for patients staying at Boston Hope, I raised my hand to see who I could find to donate books, magazines and board games. Almost immediately, I thought of Crystal Carlton Flynn ’95, Vice President of Global Communications & Publicity at Hasbro. I hadn’t spoken with Crystal in over 20 years, but like so many of us, she answered the call of service without hesitation. Her response to me was, “How many board games and where should I send them? Let me know what else I can do to help.”

If there is anyone who knows the power of a good network, it’s me, but there’s something really special about the Tabor alumni network. Not only were Crystal and I involved in the volunteering and donation front of Boston Hope, but the Merrow brothers, Charlie ’95 and Owen ’97, converted their manufacturing operations over to produce PPE, including much-needed gowns for Boston area hospitals. And then there’s John Fish ’78, chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction who helped build out the infrastructure for Boston Hope.

DEDICATED TO GIVING BACK

From a responsibility standpoint, being local and connected to people who I knew could make a difference in this project, Boston Hope stood for exactly that—a little hope during a scary and unnerving time. As a team, we were doing something that had never been done before, and I felt the drive to be involved in whatever capacity I
could be.

Instilled in me at a young age while I was attending Tabor Academy were these values (the Tabor
Academy Mission):

To inspire a life-long love of learning

To instill a passion for the highest standards of achievement

To encourage personal responsibility

To foster care for others and committed citizenship

As our country and our community continues to face adversity, I encourage everyone to take responsibility—for themselves and the world around them. Get involved. Help drive the direction and commit yourself to making where you live—and the world—a better place. With the Tabor network, doing so is in closer reach than you may think.

"With so much unrest, fear and frustration around COVID-19, I found it inspiring to hear about Seth’s efforts around Boston Hope. Despite having not seen Seth in over 20 years, I didn’t hesitate to help, because in my mind there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for a Seawolf. I loved every minute of my Tabor experience, and I continue to carry that positive experience with me today. Not only did Tabor instill work ethic, values and commitment in me, but my experience at Tabor created a lifetime of memories and friendships. Those friendships, connections and networks have helped guide, grow and shape who I am today. I’m grateful that I was able to support Seth’s incredible, selfless efforts around Boston Hope and I hope his story inspires others to also get involved."
— Crystal Carlton Flynn ‘95,
Vice President, Global Communications & Publicity, Hasbro, Inc.