David Friedman & Jennifer Sun P ’21

A major focus for both of us in our jobs is caring for others directly and through community service. I am an ophthalmologist and Dave is a Red Sox lawyer whose job includes working with the team’s charitable foundation, but we also find times to volunteer on weekends and holidays. For instance, last summer, our sons Daniel ’21 and Robbie and I collected contributions at a local movie theater to support research at Joslin Diabetes Center. The funds are used to help Joslin scientists as they search for a cure and novel treatments for people with diabetes. Although it initially felt awkward to ask total strangers for money, we were inspired by the tremendous advances that have been made over the last decade in the field of diabetes and we met many generous people who put coins or bills in our canisters.
This year on Martin Luther King Day, the boys joined Dave for a volunteer project at “Cradles to Crayons,” a charitable organization that provides necessities to children in need. We spent time inspecting and sorting donated clothing so that children would receive shirts, pants, sweaters and jackets that were in good shape and appropriately sized. It was especially meaningful to volunteer on a day dedicated to the remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted his life to serving others.
Working together on these projects made them a lot more fun. When you volunteer with friends or family, the time goes by much more quickly. Taking even just an hour or two helps remind us just how blessed we are, when there are many neighbors in our city and state who need support and a helping hand.
As a family, we also firmly believe in the importance of routinely donating money and other items to those who are in need. A few days before Christmas, we donated a bag full of toys for disadvantaged children to a charity center that was running a toy drive. Whether helping to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless or moving stacks of canned goods for the local food bank, our family life has been enriched by our shared service experiences. We hope that Daniel and Robbie will continue throughout their lives to actively seek opportunities to serve their communities in a meaningful way.