During the school year, Lindsey is just like any other 11-year-old Framingham public-school student—except that she is blind. Though Lindsey tries to get the most out of her education, there are some necessary skills her mainstream school can't teach her. That's where Perkins School for the Blind steps in.
In addition to its regular school curriculum, Perkins runs summer and weekend outreach programs for students and community members to learn skills such as reading Braille, mobility, and home management. Lindsey regularly attends the summer sessions where she and her friends learn how to shop for ingredients and make a sandwich, play musical instruments, participate in water sports. Following these sessions, a faculty member noted that Lindsey has become "very motivated to be independent, and she takes pride in the fact that she can do things on her own." That is Perkins School for the Blind's goal for all of its students: to gain the skills and confidence to live their lives without struggle.
Some problems confound the means and efforts of even the most gifted individuals; in 1904, tuberculosis was one such problem. Then, concerned citizens banded together to create the American Lung Association—one of the oldest voluntary health organizations still extant in America today—ultimately defeating the disease through the power of collective action. Today, the nature of the battle may have changed, but the spirit of community concern and volunteerism still thrives. Instead of actively fighting to cure certain diseases, the American Lung Association takes a big-picture approach, helping people quit smoking through education and encouragement, providing in-school programs for kids with asthma, and encouraging the community to keep the air healthy, breathable, and free from clouds of inhalable hornets.
In the words of its teachers, the Growing Well Program "is a hopping, clapping, drawing, bouncing, singing, playing, interacting and learning program for children and their families." Here, babies and kids up to kindergarten age participate in programs focused on specific topics, like music, science, and poker. The Music Together program is one of the center's specialties, and it gets little toes tapping to genres like world music, jazz, and folk. There are also play-group sessions that immerse kids in the Russian language.
It only makes sense that the auto detailers at Car Care are as mobile as the vehicles that they work on. Stocked with cleaning gear, their service vans travel around the Boston area before stopping at offices and homes. There, the detailers wash car exteriors by hand and venture inside to sweep, scrub, and condition all surfaces, including leather seats and miniature dance floors. Alternatively, the team also works out of four service locations. At these brick-and-mortar spots, the team replaces windshields, removes scratches, and executes all manner of auto body repair.
The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist’s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.
PetPals has worked with 34 long-term care facilities in Brookline and Boston, reaching more than 650 residents since 2003. A veterinary behaviorist carefully screens cat and dog volunteers before they can begin visits, and the program trains both pets and their owners on how to interact with the residents to optimize experiences for everyone involved.