Community Service Is Natural for the Negróns

Justin and David Negrón believe their interest in volunteering began with their parents (Michael and Edita) who were always talking about giving to others. As members of the Latino community they believe in giving to the community - in sacrificing for the good of others.

When Justin and David Negrón moved from Connecticut to Puerto Rico with their parents, Michael and Edita, in 1987 they did not fully comprehend their involvement in charitable giving projects. A corporate move to Puerto Rico exposed Justin and David, ages 6 and 2, respectively to helping others. Justin vividly remembers participating in a beach cleanup with his parents and brother, and volunteering to be a ball boy and help at a tennis tournament for wheelchair athletes.

Four years later, when Justin and David returned to Guilford, their experiences in Puerto Rico made lasting impressions. During high school, Justin was involved with various community service programs. According to Justin, while attending high school he would spend the day with seniors at a retirement community, participate in walkathons and other fundraising events, and renovate and repaint an abused women's shelter. Justin also feels it is important to provide young people with positive male role models. At the "Home Run," an after school program for young people up to the eighth grade, Justin would assist in the creation of activities to keep youngsters out of trouble and off the street. Justin receives gratification from seeing children do well, and enjoys the positive reaction from his participation in various community service programs. Justin's preference is to work with grassroots organizations, and utilize his music production passion simultaneously. He provides visibility for nonprofit organizations at music expos and festivals by mobilizing musicians to showcase their talent. This provides a venue for nonprofit organizations to create awareness about their issues.

As a high school student, David joined the Pilgrim Fellowship program in 1999. This nondenominational youth group focuses entirely on community service work in the Greater New Haven area and other locations. To raise money to fund their community service activities, David and the other Pilgrim Fellowship youth rake leaves and assist the elderly in their community. Donations are used for community service projects, e.g., in Mississippi, Dade County Florida, and a Hopi Indian reservation in Arizona. These young people have also performed community service in segregated and racially tense areas. They have transformed a dilapidated Boys and Girls Club into a functional and safe place for African-American children in Biloxi, Mississippi. Witnessing the living and working conditions of migrant farm workers, they have restored three buildings for a migrant self-help organization.

Justin and David believe that helping others began with their parents always talking about giving to others. Michael and Edita Negrón have always been involved in charitable endeavors, e.g., Casa Otoñal, Connecticut Food Bank, United Way, Special Olympics, and the Cove. Their sons observed their charitable giving activities and began continuing the tradition at a young age. In the Latino community you give more to the community than yourself. You sacrifice for the good of others.

Like the Negrón family, you can benefit the Greater New Haven community through charitable giving. To learn more, please contact Sharon Cappetta at 203-777-7071.