MLK Day service efforts are challenging this Monday, Jan. 18 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the Natick Democratic Town Committee has set up a food drive to benefit the Natick Service Council and those who need help in the community. Here are the details:
When: Monday, Jan. 18, 1-5:00 pm
Where: Natick Service Council (NSC), 2 Webster Street, parking lot behind the building
What to Donate: Although all donations of nonperishable, not expired, and unopened foods will be gratefully accepted, NSC can particularly use the following items:
- Apple Juice
- Granola Bars
- Tuna in water
- Macaroni & Cheese
Please do not bring food that is expired or has been opened: Natick Service Council cannot give it to clients and has to spend money to dispose of it.
How: Drop-off donations will be accepted in the back of the NSC’s remodeled van/mobile pantry, located in the parking lot behind 2 Webster S. Please wear a mask during your drop off, and maintain a 6-foot distance from all others present if you are waiting to drop off donations.
For more information, please contact Carol Gloff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Doug Flutie Jr., Foundation for Autism distributed over $405,000 to 43 non-profit organizations as part of its annual grant cycle. The announcement came during the Flutie Family Holiday Spectacular virtual broadcast event earlier this month, where each organization was surprised on camera. In light of the extreme challenges that many people with Autism are facing this year, and thanks to the generosity of so many donors, the Flutie Foundation increased their overall funding in 2020 as compared to recent years.
“We are proud to increase our funding this year and invest in an amazing group of resilient organizations through our grant cycle,” said Doug Flutie, Natick High School graduate, and president and co-founder of The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. “These grants will help them continue their critical work of helping people and families affected by autism live life to the fullest.”
The serious injuries sustained by Natick’s Kimberly Gunner and Andrew Colbert in a hit-and-run accident over the summer have inspired countless people locally and beyond to offer their support through a variety of selfless actions.
More than $160K has been raised through an initial crowdfunding campaign, and other fundraisers contributed thousands more to the cause. A pay-what-you-can yard sale raised funds, too. And the public art group behind LOVE 01760 produced hearts for the couple that were much appreciated.
Another fundraiser that recently came to our attention was spearheaded by AJ Moran, longtime owner of Nine East Wine Emporium on Rte. 9 east in Natick.
Moran doesn’t know Gunner or Colbert, but was motivated by Gunner’s injuries and the fact that she lives in Natick to raise funds via a ruck march. He wanted to help the couple pay medical and other bills stemming from the accident.
“Ruck marches are an important tool for veterans to raise money for all kinds of causes that are important to them,” Moran says. “Ruck marches and the camaraderie associated with them are a great way to motivate other veterans to participate.”
Moran and four other Rangers marched 26.2km, while wearing 40lb rucksacks, through Natick, Wellesley and Wayland in November. They finished their 4.5-hour trek at the Natick Veterans Services office on Rte. 135. They promoted the march through social media pages for veterans and personal military contacts.
While Kimberly Gunner and Andrew Colbert still have a long recovery ahead of them, the outpouring of support from friends, family, and the many others who just want to help can only make things better.
The Foundation for MetroWest, which serves 33 cities and towns of MetroWest, has announced $150,000 in grants to nine local arts and culture nonprofits. The grants of up to $25,000 each are intended for general operating support, program support, and capacity building efforts.
Among the recipients is Natick’s TCAN, which has had a rough go of it this year without the ability to offer much in the way of in-person events aside from films. The recipients were selected from 45 applicants.
TCAN plans to use its funds to install professional-grade video equipment to offer live performances virtually to expand audience capacity and generate supplemental program revenue.
2020 Arts and Culture Grant Program recipients:
Framingham History Center $15,000
deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum $25,000
Amazing Things Arts Center (atac) $20,000
Discovery Museum $10,000
Gore Place Society $10,000
The Center for Arts in Natick $15,000
Lexington Historical Society $10,000
The Umbrella Community Arts Center $20,000
Hopkinton Center for the Arts $25,000
Virtual gala pays off
Maybe we’re burying the lead here, but TCAN’s first-ever Virtual Gala, featuring music from Lori McKenna and Mark Erelli via YouTube, raised more than $150K with an audience that the arts center estimated at 4-5 times TCAN’s seated capacity. The event was held live this past Saturday night.