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Foundations award 20 grants to local causes in 13 towns


The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts and the Greater Lowell Community Foundation awarded 20 grants, from the Nashoba Valley Community Healthcare Funds, to help improve the health of residents in 13 communities in the region.

“Because it is an endowed fund, each year we can make important grants that help improve people’s health in the Nashoba region,” said Phil Grzewinski, president of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts.

“We thank the tireless work of the volunteer committee for helping us review and prioritize these important grants,” said Jay Linnehan, executive director of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter, of Needham received a $5,000 grant to train educators and childcare providers on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an asthma or allergy episode.

A $5,000 grant to Circle Home, Inc., Lowell, will be used for fall prevention clinics, which includes screenings, counseling by a registered nurse or physical therapist, and educational materials.

Cooperative Elder Services, Inc., Lexington, will use its $5,250 grant to purchase the remaining equipment necessary to secure licensure for an adult day health program.

Devens’ Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Inc., received a $7,500 grant to expand its Neighborhood Food Project, providing nutritious and healthy food as well personal care items for families in need.

LUK, Inc., Fitchburg, will use its $12,000 grant to develop an opioid-related assessment program to reduce overdoses, including Narcan training, three medication take-back events and the establishment of medication drop

A $3,000 grant to Lunenburg Council on Aging will be used to install software at the Nashoba Valley Regional Dispatch District, which will provide emergency intervention to non-responsive at-risk seniors.

MAB Community Services, Inc., Worcester, received a $5,000 grant for its Nashoba Valley Visually Impaired Elders Program. Services to help those with sight issues remain healthy, active and independent and to safely age in place through evaluation services, support groups and volunteer services.

A $5,000 grant to Groton’s Nashua River Watershed Association, will be used to promote ‘Tick Talks,’ an educational series on how to minimize tick-borne diseases. The grant will be used to videotape the series, which will allow for greater outreach.

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Lowell, received a $19,548 grant to connect Nashoba Valley seniors to local fresh fruits and vegetables.

NM Cares of Pepperell received a $1,000 grant to increase awareness of drug addiction through a 5K fun run/walk, a poster contest for 4th graders; an essay contest for grades 5-8; awareness efforts for high school students, and a $16,000 grant to Fitchburg’s Our Father’s House will support a program that encourages and promotes participation by shelter families, with their children, in health prevention and wellness.

Pathways for Change, Inc., Worcester, will raise awareness of men’s violence against women through its $12,000 grant. This grant will bring the agency’s successful “Males Advocating Change” program to the Nashoba region.

An $8,704 grant to The Arc of Opportunity in North Central Massachusetts, Inc., Fitchburg, will be used for two 12-week educational sessions about the importance of physical activity and health needs for those with intellectual

Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, Harvard, received a $20,000 for its clinical programs and services, which reduces pain and symptoms of disease and treatment.

Veteran Homestead Inc., of Fitchburg, received a $20,000 grant for its Elder Care Program, which provides 24-hour care, medication management, case management, benefits counseling and an assortment of other physical and recreational services designed to rehabilitate or provide comfort to chronically homeless veterans in need.

A $13,957 grant to Veterans Inc. of Worcester for its Fort Devens Project will be used to purchase 13 computers (one for each residential unit), pre-loaded with VA software, so veterans can access services.

The Foundations also approved four grants totaling $14,616 to Mount Wachusett Community College, Fitchburg State University, Middlesex Community College and UMass Lowell to provide scholarships to area students in the Nashoba Valley Community Healthcare Fund provides annual distributions to nonprofit organizations, municipalities and other agencies, to advance the health of residents in 13 communities originally served by the hospital, including Ashby, Ayer, Bolton, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend and Westford.

Recipients of the grants were selected by the Fund Advisory Committee, comprised of local leaders in business, health care and education.