Boys & Girls Club decorates Mayor’s Christmas tree

NASHUA – The holiday spirit is on full display at City Hall, thanks to members of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua.

On Tuesday, Mayor Jim Donchess invited club members to help him decorate the Christmas tree outside his office. Members of the club brought 30 different handmade ornaments to help decorate the tree.

Because both city officials and club leaders are involved with the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, organizers agreed the ornaments would represent diversity as seen through the children’s eyes.

The My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge is a national call to action initiated by President Barack Obama to ensure young people can achieve their full potential – no matter who they are, where they are come from, or what circumstances they find when the are born.

“We adopted the My Brother’s Keeper challenge two and a half years ago,” Donchess said about the initiative, “and the idea is to make sure every child in the community has a greatest opportunity they can possibly have to succeed and to get ahead in life.”

“Get a good education, remain safe and to go onto adulthood and live a fulfilling life,” Donchess said.

With a vast number of ethnic backgrounds represented at the Boys & Girls Club, there are many different themes and cultures. Shay Odueyungbo, the Cultural Arts director at the Boys & Girls Club, said one of the motifs and common themes in the ornaments was flags of different countries.

“Some of them have flags of different countries. We have some Indian members; we have some members from Mexico, and they have different backgrounds,” Odueyungbo said.

“They have some that have pictures of their family,” Odueyungbo added about the ornament themes. “Some connect with their American roots, so they have American flags. There’s different things.”

Donchess also invited the Nashua Diversity & Cultural Competency trainers to the tree decorating to help participants explore the concepts of diversity and culture. After the tree was decorated, Donchess invited club members and the trainers into the office to enjoy cookies and chocolate milk.

“It’s great. This is like one of the most fun things about being mayor, having our kids from the city come in and enjoy their company,” he said.

“We really appreciate them coming in,” Donchess added.