The family of Martin Richard, the 8-year-boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, is keeping the memory of their little boy alive with a moving campaign that promotes peace and kindness – two qualities that defined Martin in every way.
Martin was one of three people who died in the blasts that wounded hundreds. His younger sister, Jane, lost a leg in the blast. His mother, Denise, required emergency brain surgery after the explosion.
It’s been a long, hard road for the Richard family, but they’ve found purpose in creating the Martin Richard Foundation in honor of their son’s message: “No more hurting people, peace.”
A photo of Martin holding a poster with the simple, yet powerful message, went viral after his death, and his parents found a way to carry his hope for peace into the future through the foundation, which invests in athletics, education and community.
“Our hope is for Martin’s legacy to live on through today’s children and to show that no matter your age, you can always choose kindness,” Denise and Bill Richard tell PEOPLE.
The Richards have now teamed up with generationOn, the youth service division of Points of Light, and Hasbro, Inc. to create The Martin Richard Bridge Builder campaign, which calls upon kids, teens and families to spread peace through service projects and acts of kindness.
Martin’s parents say their son was known as a “bridge builder” in his school, and the campaign is intended to continue spreading his message of bringing people together.
“Our son Martin was able to recognize at a very young age the importance of teaching people about togetherness and inclusion, and we are hopeful that this campaign will help inspire kids and teens across the country to do the same,” Martin’s parents said in a statement.
Jane created her own peace poster to help kick off the campaign, using #NoMoreHurtingPeople, the hashtag that is used to honor and remember her brother.
To find out more about The Martin Richard Bridge Builder campaign, visit generationOn.org/peace.