Jenna was, like many people around the world, devastated by the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy.
And being halfway around the world in Paris wasn’t exactly helping either – she couldn’t remember the last time she felt so alone.
That’s when the idea for Hands with Boston was born. As the city became #BostonStrong, Jenna started collecting hand prints from people all over the world, signifying support for Boston and an opposition to meaningless violence everywhere.
Jenna says, “The initial idea was just to have people trace their hand print and write their name along with as many places as they felt they identified as their home inside the hand print, uniting all of these communities across the globe for one greater purpose.”
Indeed, the world may be smaller than we think, but much more powerful than we give it credit for. With nearly 2,000 hands from over 50 countries displayed in City Hall in May earlier this year, the turnout for Hands was a massive success.
But Jenna couldn’t do it all alone – though the significance of the project itself is timeless, the Hands, like their owners, are prone to aging. Combined with expensive laminating fees and 2,000 hands, it became a tough situation.
Through the generous donations of Franklin High School and the Northeastern Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service however, funding was provided, and even lamination services, showing that teamwork truly makes the dream work. (And for a list of all the participating organizations, you can find them here.)
While the project isn’t currently active, you can still feel free to send in hands (preferably laminated) or lamination services, and instructions on how to do so are right here. Want to #hashtag it? Tag your hands with #HandsWithBoston or #BostonStrong.
We can all inspire like Jenna – all it takes is a helping hand.
Jenna Sweig is a fifth year International Affairs and Human Services major with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. She is an active member of many student organizations including Delta Zeta Sorority, Huskies for Israel, and Hillel. She enjoys painting and traveling and is currently working in Udaipur, India on women’s health and empowerment through an NGO called Jandaksha Trust.