Charity & Grassroots in Westford

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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.

PO Box 704
Groton,
MA
US

Some problems confound the means and efforts of even the most gifted individuals; in 1904, tuberculosis was one such problem. Then, concerned citizens banded together to create the American Lung Association—one of the oldest voluntary health organizations still extant in America today—ultimately defeating the disease through the power of collective action. Today, the nature of the battle may have changed, but the spirit of community concern and volunteerism still thrives. Instead of actively fighting to cure certain diseases, the American Lung Association takes a big-picture approach, helping people quit smoking through education and encouragement, providing in-school programs for kids with asthma, and encouraging the community to keep the air healthy, breathable, and free from clouds of inhalable hornets.

460 Totten Pond Rd
Waltham,
MA
US

During the school year, Lindsey is just like any other 11-year-old Framingham public-school student?except that she is blind. Though Lindsey tries to get the most out of her education, there are some necessary skills her mainstream school can't teach her. That's where Perkins School for the Blind steps in.

In addition to its regular school curriculum, Perkins runs summer and weekend outreach programs for students and community members to learn skills such as reading braille, mobility, and home management. Lindsey regularly attends the summer sessions where she and her friends learn how to shop for ingredients and make a sandwich, play musical instruments, and participate in water sports. Following these sessions, a faculty member noted that Lindsey has become "very motivated to be independent, and she takes pride in the fact that she can do things on her own." That is Perkins School for the Blind's goal for all of its students: to gain the skills and confidence to live their lives without struggle.

175 North Beacon Street
Watertown,
MA
US

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.

28 West Main Street
Georgetown,
MA
US

It only makes sense that the auto detailers at Car Care are as mobile as the vehicles that they work on. Stocked with cleaning gear, their service vans travel around the Boston area before stopping at offices and homes. There, the detailers wash car exteriors by hand and venture inside to sweep, scrub, and condition all surfaces, including leather seats and miniature dance floors. Alternatively, the team also works out of four service locations. At these brick-and-mortar spots, the team replaces windshields, removes scratches, and executes all manner of auto body repair.

1 Bulfinch Pl
Boston,
MA
US

The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist?s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.

581 Boylston St
Boston,
MA
US