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City produces “Infinite Hope” video featuring student letters

Post Date:05/25/2018 9:13 AM

Garden City – The City of Garden City has produced a new video, published on YouTube, that features letters of hope sent to the community by fifth-grade students in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

Patricia Perlman teaches at Buckland Shelburne Elementary School. In March, her students saw news coverage of the trial of three men who were found guilty of plotting to blow up an apartment complex housing Somalis in Garden City in 2016. Perlman’s students wrote letters to Garden City to reach out and show compassion.

“Our school is a public school based on the core values of compassion, responsibility, and safety,” Perlman wrote in a letter to Garden City Manager Matt Allen. “We often discuss current events; your story moved them very much.”

Garden City received 24 letters from Perlman and her students. City staff began brainstorming ways to share the letters with the community.

“This was such a generous act of kindness by Patricia and her students. There were many of us who were deeply moved,” Allen said. “We wanted to find a way that not only said ‘thank you’ to the students in Massachusetts but also drew attention to what we believe modeled best-practice behaviors for the way citizens treat each other. Nobody does that better than our talented Communications staff.” 

Ashley Freburg, Communication & Project Manager for the City of Garden City, said social media is one of the quickest ways for City staff to reach large numbers of people in the community.

“We wanted to create a video to post on social media that could be easily shared so the words of support and encouragement from the BSE students could reach a larger audience,” Freburg said.

Freburg and Garden City Media Tech Lauren Lohfink worked with students at Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center in Garden City to record the letters. Lohfink then created the video, titled “Infinite Hope” to share the message of love and support. The original copies of the letters were then given to Garden City’s Somali residents. 

The video is available on City’s YouTube channel at and on the City’s Facebook page, The letters can be viewed online at   

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