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Say Hi to Your Neighbor Week in Waltham surpasses 2,012 greetings

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  February 14, 2012 02:32 PM

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REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, a Waltham nonprofit, surpassed its goal last week to spur more than 2,012 greetings during the organization's first ever "Say Hi to Your Neighbors Week."

The organization set a goal of 2,012 “Hi”s, and exceeded that goal by more than 100.

The initiative, part of the Small Actions campaign, lasted from Feb. 5 through Feb. 12, and sought to encourage people to look out for one another and decrease isolation for people experiencing abuse.

The initiative included passing out specially designed "Hi" cards around the city, working with In A Pickle restaurant to enable residents to send “Hi” cupcakes to friends and neighbors, and tracking the location of each greeting through a map online.

Allison Berry, REACH community organizer, said she was happy with the results.

"We know these Small Actions have made a difference because while saying ‘Hi,’ we met people whose lives are affected by domestic violence, who told us stories of their own experiences or of family and friends who have experienced it," Berry said in prepared remarks. "Just saying 'Hi' helps people to know that support is out there."

Local businesses such as In A Pickle, Back Pages Books, Marcou Jewelers, and Shopper’s Café were part of the effort.

Elected officials such as Councilor Ken Doucette, Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, Representative John Lawn, Councilor Diane LeBlanc, Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, Representative Tom Stanley, and Councilor Joe Vizard also participated.

REACH - which stands for Refuge, Education, Advocacy, and Change - helps more than 6,000 people a year through support services and prevention and education programs.

"REACH has direct services for people who need help, and each of us can help by being a resource to build community and look out for one another," Berry said. "Saying 'Hi' helps to build those connections and we hope people continue to reach out to their neighbors in these small ways.”

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jreiss.globe@gmail.com

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