The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts and the Greater Lowell Community Foundation awarded 14 grants to help improve the health of residents in 13 communities in the region.
"These are excellent programs, which will make a difference in the lives of thousands of individuals in the Nashoba Valley region," said Phil Grzewinski, president of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts. "Nearly $137,000 will be invested in high quality programs that will help improve the health of Nashoba Valley residents," said Ray Riddick, executive director of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.
Advocates, Inc. of Ayer received a $5,000 grant that will be used to cover co-payments for counseling services needed by under- or uninsured clients.
A $7,500 grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Lunenburg will fund its after-school program for Lunenburg students, called Triple Play: Health Minds, Bodies, and Souls.
Community Healthlink of Worcester was granted $5,671 for its 10-week parent-child early intervention education program for parents in the Nashoba Valley region.
A music therapy outreach program, by Indian Hill Music in Littleton, received an $8,500 grant to improve the quality of life of individuals by addressing emotional, physical, cognitive and social needs through music.
A $5,250 grant to Cooperative Elder Services of Groton will address the need for improved access to preventive healthcare services for isolated elders.
Deven's Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry received a $20,000 grant for food.
The Lura A. White Elementary School in Shirley received a $17,425 grant for a gardening education program at the school.
MAB Community Services of Brookline received a $2,500 grant to improve the ability of patients with limited eyesight in Nashoba Valley to conduct daily living activities.
A $5,000 grant to Lancaster-based Nashua Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America, will provide support for its summer camp.
A new greenhouse and a hydroponics program will be created by North Middlesex Community Garden in Townsend through its $20,000 grant.
Our Father's House in Fitchburg will use its $16,000 grant for the "Transitions at Devens" program, which will provide access to healthcare for homeless children.
The Shirley Council on Aging will use a $4,600 grant to conduct health fairs for seniors.
An $11,600 grant to the Townsend Council on Aging will be used for its senior meal program.
The Townsend Police Department will reinstitute its DARE program for fifth-grade students.
The grant dollars awarded come from the Nashoba Valley Community Healthcare Funds, which are managed respectively by both Community Foundations. The funds were established in 2006 from the sale proceeds of the nonprofit Deaconess-Nashoba Hospital to Essent Healthcare, which created Nashoba Valley Medical Center.
The fund provides annual distributions to nonprofit organizations, municipalities and other agencies, to advance the community 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.