Books Through Bars, Inc. provides free reading materials for prisoners across the country. Every month, it receives more than 120 letters from prisoners requesting books. The organization responds by sending donated volumes from individuals, libraries, and community organizations, making selections based on the stated preferences of the inmate. Reading the books provides a productive activity for the inmates and can help them develop politically, spiritually, and academically during their time in prison.
Jeffrey Hall will never toss a wrapper out the car window again. That’s because he knows that every piece of trash strewing the highway’s meridian attracts mice. And mice attract hungry hawks, who can’t always dodge oncoming trucks. Not everyone is so aware of the potential far-reaching implications of a single fast-food wrapper, but the Audubon Society director learned such lessons long ago, seeing first-hand the victims of those circumstances in injured hawks and falcons on just such a rescue.
Now, Jeffrey hopes to spark a similar awareness in his fellow Rhode Islanders. “When people learn about plants and animals, they appreciate them. And once they appreciate them, they want to save them,” says Mr. Hall. As no one in Rhode Island lives more than 20 minutes from an Audubon Society wildlife refuge, he's certain they can find ample opportunities to do so. In addition to conserving land for hikes and staring contest with owls, the Society boasts an Environmental Education Center, which hosts events, programs, and interactive exhibits year-round. For the Audubon Society to thrive, Jeffrey knows the organization's programs must inspire young stewards. “They’ll grow up to be the voters who want to protect this land,” he says. That's why, among the many programs guests can partake in, the society also offers birthday parties and kid-friendly classes.
Since its inception, Wheelchair Recycler has supplied more than 500 refurbished power wheelchairs to people with disabilities, increasing their mobility, independence, and self-confidence. For this campaign, Wheelchair Recycler will supply one power wheelchair for a child returning to school, whether to use as a secondary chair or as a replacement for an outgrown one. Donations will also go toward specially modifying a wheelchair for a second child who plays wheelchair soccer, thus bolstering his or her ability to engage in social and physical activities.
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.
Join a throbbing throng of hoops fanatics in the intimate but imposing Hart Center, where the men's team has won more than 70% of its basket-aiming contests and the women's team has won more than 80%. Basketball novices and avid three-point-percentage analysts can marvel at the mechanics of second-team All-Patriot League selection Andrew Keister when the men's team, which returned four starters from last year’s squad, squares off against the St. Joseph's Hawks, the Yale Bulldogs, and the Lafayette Investment Bankers. Fans can also don a concoction of Crusader purple and catch the competitive women's team, which has won 10 of the last 18 Patriot League titles, as the ladies lace up to play Army and Bucknell.
Music Worcester programs music and dance performances throughout most of the year, but it categorizes itself as "the oldest music festival in the United States." Indeed, the breadth and reach of its concerts are akin to those of a major classical music or dance festival, drawing in innovative groups and performers from around the world.
Many of these decidedly modern events blossom amid the elegant vaulted ceilings, intricate archways, and grand pipe organ of Mechanics Hall. The space’s finely calibrated acoustics show off the sounds of classical concerts, ballets, and popular music, and its near-perfect aural qualities have made it a favorite destination for recording and echo-making competitions.