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).
In 1985, drawing from his own struggles with learning to read, Dr. Ken Gibson set out to change the way we learn. After convening with other experts to discuss challenges children were facing in the classroom, he cocreated a cognitive-skills program that eventually became the foundation of the LearningRx centers.
The clinically proven brain-training method, which is used on adults and children alike, consists of specific targeting, one-on-one coaching, and immediate feedback. Using professional cognitive tests, the centers first identify where strengths and weaknesses lie in their clients’ cognitive framework. From there, they are able to tailor mental workouts that help strengthen those areas of the brain and even create new neural pathways. The brain-training method can be beneficial for struggling students, adults wanting to remain competitive in the workplace, and the elderly.
Jiu-jitsu master Pedro Sauer, a native of Rio de Janiero, has spent nearly his entire life honing his craft. He began training at age 5, learning boxing, judo, and taekwondo. At 15, his friend Rickson Gracie approached him with the suggestion that he train in the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu—and Pedro's bond with the Gracie family was formed. In the early 1990s, he moved to live and train with Rickson and the Gracie brothers under grand master Helio Gracie. Through diligence, discipline, and skill, he worked his way up to become an eighth-degree black belt in jiu-jitsu—a title held by only a few in the country.
Today, Pedro passes on his knowledge as the founder and head instructor at Pedro Sauer Total Self-Defense Academy. Inside this 4,000-square-foot training facility, he and his team of certified trainers helm a range of martial-arts programs for youth and adults. Master Pedro personally coaches others in the skills of Brazilian and Gracie jiu-jitsu, techniques that blend standing and ground-based grappling moves with a focus on leverage and teaching one's opponent to sympathize with pretzels. Black belt Krav Maga instructor Brad Burnette trains students in a style of striking and grappling techniques devised by the Israeli Armed Forces. Additionally, khru Bryan Mossey helps students hone body control and striking prowess in Muay Thai boxing and the Filipino martial-arts styles of Kali and Silat.
Our Military Kids, Inc. provides grants of up to $500 for children of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members and Wounded Warriors. These grants pay for participation in sports, fine-arts, or academic programs to help reduce the children's stress within limited family budgets. Since its inception eight years ago, Our Military Kids has funded more than 34,000 grants for children's activities, totaling nearly $14 million, helping alleviate stress and anxiety for children in one of the most volatile periods of their lives.
A-SPAN provides housing and case management for people who suffer from mental illness and substance-abuse problems through two permanent, supportive housing programs. As A-SPAN continues to expand these programs, the demand for new furniture for their clients continues to grow. Not only can a new bed help clients feel more at home, A-SPAN's staff has noticed it also can make them more appreciative of their new housing, giving them a greater incentive for staying there. Due to health concerns, A-SPAN buys new beds and cannot accept donated beds.