Veterans Take Action: Earth Day Triumph at the Hartford Boys and Girls Club

Apr 16, 2024

In recognition of Earth Day, the Hartford Platoon of The Mission Continues spearheaded a community project at the Boys and Girls Club in the South End, showcasing the profound impact of veteran-led volunteer efforts in urban renewal.

Service Doesn’t End with the Uniform

The Hartford Platoon, a dedicated group of veterans from The Mission Continues, rolled up their sleeves and transformed the South End Boys and Girls Club in Hartford, Connecticut. It wasn’t just about getting dirty and digging into the earth—it was about laying down roots in a community these veterans serve with pride.

Building More Than Just Picnic Tables

Yes, we built picnic tables and bird houses. Yes, we planted flowers and set up a free little library. But, more than that, we built a foundation for hundreds of kids in Hartford to enjoy and learn in a safer, more inviting space.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford being the birthplace of the nationwide Boys & Girls Club movement. The country’s first Club, the Dashaway Club, was founded in Hartford in 1860 when four women, Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin, Elizabeth Hammersley and Louisa Bushnell, believed that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive, healthy place to live and grow. Today, nearly 160 years later, Boys & Girls Clubs has grown to become the largest youth organization in America, serving more than 4.6 million young people in over 4,738 clubs nationwide.

“I was amazed to hear that the Hartford clubhouses can serve around 500 kids per day with programs and after school, inspiring the children and teens to explore their passions through various programs and learnings onsite,” said Aleah Ellis, a Connecticut resident and volunteer with the Hartford Platoon. “What a great way to spend my Saturday morning! Hoping to do more with these organizations in the future.”

Why Veterans?

A recent Peer Research study sheds light on why projects like these matter: American public opinion holds veterans in high esteem, seeing them as credible, trustworthy, and natural leaders in our communities. Who better to lead a charge for community improvement than those who’ve served their country? Our veterans, alongside spirited volunteers from RTX and CarMax, showed what it means to continue serving.

The Power of Community Connection

Our project at the Boys and Girls Club was our third annual Earth Day endeavor, and it was our most impactful yet. With volunteers of all ages and abilities, we saw firsthand what happens when a community pulls together. It’s not just about beautification—it’s about empowerment and ownership of the spaces we share.

Join Us—Shape Your Community

Inspired yet? This is just the beginning. Whether you’re a veteran looking to continue your service or a community member eager to make a difference, we need you. Join the Hartford Platoon or find one in your area. Let’s keep this momentum rolling.

Looking Ahead

As we wrap up another successful project, we’re already buzzing about the next one. Stay tuned and ready. The mission continues, and so does our commitment to bettering Hartford one project at a time. Charlie Mike—Continue the Mission!