Project Mend-A-House works with people with disabilities and seniors to help them maintain mobility and independence in their homes through necessary maintenance and repair services. After individuals request repairs, volunteers come by their homes to assess the size of the job. A volunteer plumber or carpenter then conducts the maintenance, which can include building a wheelchair-accessible ramp, installing a grab bar in the shower, repairing a leaky faucet, or reconstructing drywall. Project Mend-A-House also maintains a Loan Closet of items that clients can borrow, such as air-conditioning units, crutches, and portable ramps, to help them run errands or get around their houses more easily.
Executive Chef William Dolan conjures fresh seasonal and local ingredients into dinner and lunch menus that—unlike much of the seafood on them—are constantly evolving. Recent dinner menus shined their spotlight on a spicy duck-meatball appetizer ($6) and a salmon rillete ($10)—a duo of slow-poached salmon and smoked salmon singing in harmony with backup performers of caramelized shallots and a white-wine glaze. To sample produce of the sea that's even more upscale than a cartoon grouper wearing a monocle, order the broiled bay bluefish, which arrives with an entourage of Chesapeake chippino, clams, mussels, shellfish broth, and kale ($20). The kobe butler steak—accompanied by potato purée, port sauce, and bleu-cheese butter ($20)—captures the hearty elegance of Audrey Hepburn's brief stint as a lumberjack. Midday munchers, meanwhile, will want to try the wild-mushroom mini briquettes ($8) or the gourmet hot dog, an encasing of fancy meats sandwiched within the salty confines of a pretzel roll and gloriously drenched in a homemade chili ($8).
The story of Mental Health America is a story of hope and transformation. In the year 1900, a young man named Clifford W. Beers suffered an acute breakdown brought on by the death of his brother, and after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, was hospitalized in a private Connecticut mental institution. There, he faced degrading and inhumane abuses at the hands of the untrained staff. Over the next decade, Beers was confined in a number of hospitals, all in brutal conditions. Bruised—literally—but unbroken, Beers began to overcome his tribulations in 1908 with the publication of his autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself. The next year, he founded the organization that would become Mental Health America. Perhaps the starkest symbol of Mental Health America's metamorphic character is the Mental Health Bell, a 300-pound carillon forged from the melted-down chains and shackles once commonplace in mental institutions.
Today, Mental Health America consists of a network of 240 affiliates working to address mental health conditions. The organization lives up to its mission of "promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders, and achieving victory over mental illness" through a number of programs, including health-care reform advocacy programs. Mental Health America has been combating mental health conditions and their associated stigmas for more than a century, and will continue to do so.
The Child and Family Network Centers provides free education and social services for preschool children, and job training for their families. The children it serves are considered at-risk due to limited English proficiency and low-income backgrounds. To fulfill the need for strong educational programs, CFNC operates a year-round preschool in 10 classrooms—with literacy and language support for bilingual children in 27 languages—to prepare them for kindergarten with their peers. These programs reach out to families in their own neighborhoods and supplement the students’ education with additional resources such as health services.
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Arts Are For All Ages' aim is to bring classical music to people with restricted mobility and to help young musicians find outlets for their art. More than 28 young musicians performed for six senior communities during the inaugural season in 2009. Now, young musicians bring a variety of musical instruments and give live classical concerts on a regular basis for elderly neighbors who otherwise could not attend arts events.