In the words of its teachers, the Growing Well Program "is a hopping, clapping, drawing, bouncing, singing, playing, interacting and learning program for children and their families." Here, babies and kids up to kindergarten age participate in programs focused on specific topics, like music, science, and poker. The Music Together program is one of the center's specialties, and it gets little toes tapping to genres like world music, jazz, and folk. There are also play-group sessions that immerse kids in the Russian language.
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.
Moved by an article about deployed troops that felt forgotten by their country, Heidi Janson decided to show her support by doing what she does best: matching brides to their perfect wedding gown. Heidi staged a gown giveaway for 50 military brides in 2008 at her bridal boutique—a modest start for Brides Across America, Inc., which has since paired more than 12,000 brides with designer dresses. The organization garnered the attention of ABC's Nightly News in 2011 and 2012 and People magazine in 2013, though its highest honor came during a 2012 White House event hosted by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.
One of the largest conservation organizations in New England, Mass Audubon cares for 34,000 acres of natural land in a network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Its members receive free admission to these pacific preserves, where, alongside more than 150 endangered or threatened native species, they can breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume or have a good cry on her mossy bosom. During bird-migration season, alert gazes can capture some 300 species of sky surfer at Allens Pond on the South Coast, and visitors to Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm can re-enact Charlotte's Web with a motley band of sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.