PYD Ready to Run its 2017 #GivingTuesday Campaign

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday! Most everyone knows about Thanksgiving. Less may know about Giving Tuesday—the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, it’s November 28th. Gratitude is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving, while Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to show how grateful you are to your community by offering help along with a pinch of love.

For those who are not familiar with Giving Tuesday, it aims to celebrate people’s generosity. And asks you to act! The holiday was created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation in the hopes of encouraging more people to give to non-profits locally, nationally and internationally. Since then, large and small organizations alike have  embraced the day.

As a non-profit organization that illuminates the potential of all youth with disabilities, PYD seeks financial donations, in-kind gifts, volunteer support and many other types of contributions. On Giving Tuesday, our focus is to raise monetary funds through donations to continue our award-winning mentoring and inclusion programs that empower youth of all abilities.

We have received amazing support on Giving Tuesday’s of year’s past, and would like to give back to donors in a unique way this year. A customized thank you art piece will be sent to everyone who donates to PYD on Giving Tuesday. We realize that while words may have limits, art has no boundaries. Therefore, in addition to a thank you note and special gift, we will be creating unique thank you’s using one-of-a-kind art pieces specially provided by the Westford Academy Community Art Club. Art can convey a lot of emotion. We hope to use our thank you art to deliver our happiness and gratefulness to you.

“Girl with a heart” drawing by student from Westford Academy’s Community Art Club


Giving is a beautiful thing. We invite you to make a donation, and hope to inspire you to give generously to PYD on Giving Tuesday for a bright, inclusive future. You may give securely here. Or reach out to Nicole directly if you would like to make a gift:, 617-556-4075 x17.

If you would like to help PYD in another way, consider becoming a volunteer. If you’re inspired artistically, you can create your own piece of art and share it on social media, tagging @PYDboston with the #IAMPYD hashtag.  By sharing your own artwork, you can encourage others to join us for a good cause.

This post was written by  Yuxin (Cathy) Dai, Yidan Gao, Lavinia Fung and Samantha Santoro of the BU PRLab. Edited by Nicole Malo.

2017 PYD Fellows Year End Reflection

Being a 2017 PYD Fellow helped all of us grow as individuals. We learned about how to get involved in the community. For example, going to State House to advocate for our rights as individuals with disabilities. We had many opportunities to meet new people at different events such as the career
mentoring brunch and various other fun events. We also learned how to better manage stress at a stress management/yoga workshop.

We spent time discussing how to work as a group and listen to each other. The meetings helped guide us through the steps involved in planning an event. They improved our confidence and leadership skills to find our voices and speak up more and express our ideas. It didn’t matter if they were right or wrong we felt listened to. We really enjoyed planning events and we got to know our peers better through the group. The three of us actually all knew each other from previous events/schools, but working and being together as PYD fellows really fostered special friendships.

The year started with Porchfest held each year all around Somerville. PYD’s Deep Chinappa and his band, Deep C Divers, played at Tatiana’s house. Many PYD participants came to hear him play and we spent hours dancing, laughing and enjoying ourselves. The food was wonderful too. Regina also joined
us. We combined Porch Fest with a photo shoot with Disability Images. It was great fun to be models for a day.

As PYD fellows our year end event was around the Honk Parade held each year in Davis Square. The parade included activist street bands from the area. The bands performing had a lot of brass, percussion, and acoustic instruments. These bands don’t just play for the people; they play among the people and invited everyone to join the fun. They are active, activist, and deeply engaged in their communities promoting inclusion. They can be outrageous and do community-building activities.

By organizing this event we were able to bring together mentors and mentees. We met at Tatiana’s house for a wonderful lunch. We were worried about the rain, but while enjoying lunch the rain stopped, and we were all able to head out to the Parade. We saw dancers, stilts, bands and bicycles. It was a very diverse crowd. After we all returned to Tatiana’s from the parade we ate cake and ice cream. It was a wonderful day for all who joined us.

It was a very fulfilling and fun experience to be a PYD fellow.

Thank you PYD for the opportunity!

Your 2017 PYD Fellows
Lizzie Gray
Tatiana Thomas
Austin Car