BOSTON (CBS) — The 42nd President and his daughter were in Boston Sunday as the Clinton Foundation held their annual Day of Action in the city.
President Bill Clinton led hundreds of students from the Clinton Global Initiative in a series of four volunteer beautification projects.
Spearheaded by The Clinton Foundation and hosted by Northeastern University, the Day of Action program seeks to create service opportunities and mobilize thousands of volunteers to give back to their communities.
“I am just incredibly grateful to the mayor and his whole team, for helping to connect us to place where hopefully we show our gratitude and leaving them a little more beautiful than when we first arrived,” Chelsea Clinton said.
At the Madison Park Vocational High School, Clinton told the students that giving back to their communities was one of the best ways to end some of the divisiveness now facing our country.
“Help people, and realize you are sending the loudest message the whole world needs to hear today–show up and serve,” he said.
The event gave young leaders like Harvard student Lamees El-Sadek the chance to collaborate and work together. Her job was to build book boxes that will be set up across the city.
“I think it important for us to be civic servants and to give back in the best ways we can,” El-Sadek said.
More than 600 hundred students from all over the world took part in this Day of Action.
The students did everything from creating murals, painting, cleaning and packing care packages. The hope is to inspire others to do more and take pride in where they live.
“All of our students are university students, they are rooted in service already at their campuses. But to have them all join together and serve in different projects,” CGIU member Alyssa Trometter said.
President Clinton praised Northeastern University for the school’s global commitment.
“An ordinary part of being a student in Northeastern University is taking six months and going to another culture in another country and being of use, and learning how other people live,” he said. “Very different from all this rhetoric about ‘we all need to stick to our own kind, and the only thing that matters is our differences’.”
Speaking at a conference at Northeastern Saturday night with Chelsea Clinton and Rep. Joe Kennedy III, President Clinton told the crowd America is currently having an identity crisis between two ideas.
“Do I want to live in a world where the only way I can win is to beat your brains out, or would I prefer to live in a world where the only way I can win is for you to be elevated?” he asked.
The events were all part of the Clinton Global Initiatives University Meeting, a three-day conference addressing issues like social, economic, and environmental concerns around the world.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports