Formed more than 80 years ago, the Winchendon Historical Society occupies and guides tours through a towering, white, 160-year-old Victorian mansion located in the middle of the Winchendon settlement, affectionately known as Toy Town for its toy-making industry. Inside these palatial confines, explore 22 antique-furniture-filled rooms, all with the original wood molding—including cherry, mahogany, quarter-sawn oak, southern yellow pine, and walnut—and leaded or stained-glass windows. The historical society's extensive collection of period memorabilia occupies two full rooms with Civil War artifacts and fills a room with hundreds of archival maps, which depict Winchendon, surrounding towns, and where Atlantis is hiding in the north Atlantic Ocean. If the house's enormity becomes overly daunting, buffs can take the guided tours—starting June 5—offered Wednesdays and Sundays and included in the cost of admission.
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.
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.