Marilyn E. Flaherty Marilyn E. Flaherty
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"Just let me know what you need."

"Just let me know what you need." Those were Marilyn's last words to me at Salem State University's Holiday Party just a few short months ago now. We chatted briefly about what projects I had in the works for the Alumni Association's Civic Engagement Commitee. "Just let me know what you need...I can't be there to help you, but just let me know what you need." I promised her that I would and thanked her profusely for her constant support. 

I can't even say that I "met" Marilyn officially by way of an introduction. Our introduction was pretty much her shoving a $100 check into my hand and telling me to put it to good use for our alumni civic engagement projects.

And that I did. That summer (2014) I led a landscaping project at our adopted Northeast Arc home on Linden Street. Half of Marilyn's donation allowed us to purchase bricks and materials to create some landscape edging alongside the house. It was a project that I took personal responsibility for that day, really as a tribute to Marilyn's belief in me and something that I could show for her donation.

"Just let me know what you need." Funny how life works. Since that time, we've lost one of the guys in that house; and, the remaining men have since moved to a new location to better accomodate their needs. Looking back, those bricks helped lay a solid foundation upon which the alumni civic engagement committee was built. Those bricks symbolize trust, integrity, community...just a few of the many traits that I know Marilyn embodied.  

I will think about her as we continue our service projects at Linden Street, which only make those bricks all the more special to me. "Just let me know what you need." Selfishly, I need those bricks to remain for many, many years to come. I hope to carry her torch in the love for her alma mater and commitment to helping others.

God bless.

Posted by Mikki Wilson
Thursday March 3, 2016 at 7:22 pm
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