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.
Animal Rescue Front (ARF) was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a first-responder animal-rescue team that helped save the lives of cats and dogs that survived the disaster. Focusing on one affected community in Mississippi, the organization transported more than 1,100 animals to homes and shelters that wouldn't euthanize them at locations across the country. The effort reduced the kill rate from 80 percent to zero for the first 12 months after the hurricane.
Now, ARF continues to fulfill its mission: “Until there are none save one.” The organization works to prevent companion animals from being euthanized through spay/neuter initiatives, adoption services, and educational programs. Teams in Louisiana and Mississippi also rescue animals directly from shelters that are at full capacity, and then place the animals in foster homes to socialize them and provide medical care and prepare them for adoption.
In the midst of their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet farther than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.
The shammy-wielding auto massagers at Car Care tend to Boston's internal-combusting population with a dazzling repertoire of interior and exterior washing, waxing, and detailing services. An automotive day at the spa begins with an internal cleansing better than juice fasting—both seats and carpeting enjoy thorough vacuuming, reveling in their burgeoning cleanliness as goldfish snacks, mud streaks, and tollway-fearing change get sucked up and away from beneath seats and inside crevices. Not to be outdone by its fuzzy interior, the chassis practically purrs through a hand wash and wax, emerging as smooth and shiny as entries in the Most Aerodynamic Pet contest.
After a minimum of six months of separation from their abusers, survivors of domestic violence are eligible to apply for a Self-Sufficiency Grant from Web of Benefit, which funds comprehensive services necessary to help women meet their goals, including funds for housing, legal assistance, and transportation to attend school or job training. A T pass from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ensures that women in the program have guaranteed transportation for one month, and allows them to travel to school, work, job training, or job interviews.