As we turn our attention to giving to local charities during the holiday season, the Press is happy to provide the following list of organizations, recommended by townspeople and staff as charities that are doing good work in Harvard and nearby communities. Most are organized as not-for-profit, but questions about tax deductibility should be addressed to each organization.
52 High St., Worcester, 508-756-5486
Abby’s House opened in 1976 as one of the first overnight emergency shelters for women in the U.S. Committed to ending homelessness, it has focused on expanding the number of service-enriched, affordable housing units in the Worcester area.
Buddy Dog Humane Society Inc.
151 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, 978-443-6990
The goal of the society is to find responsible and permanent homes for the animals in its care.
Community Harvest Project
37 Wheeler Road, North Grafton
The Community Harvest Project is a volunteer-based farming organization that grows crops and distributes them to people who would not normally have access to fresh produce.
Fanfare for Music
P.O. Box 428, Harvard
Fanfare is dedicated to the support of music education in the Hildreth Elementary School and the Bromfield School. Funds raised are used for requests for items that are not funded through the school budget.
P.O. Box 177, Harvard
Fivesparks (formerly the Harvard Cultural Collaborative) seeks to serve Harvard by leading the sponsorship, coordination, and promotion of arts and culture in the community. Located in the old library, Fivesparks provides space for dance, movement, art, and other classes for all ages and for individuals or town groups to hold community events.
The Food Project
10 Lewis St., Lincoln, 781-259-8621
The Food Project is a launching pad for new ideas about youth and adults partnering to create social change through sustainable agriculture. The organization’s goal is sustainable local food systems that bridge race, class, age, and more to ensure food security for all.
Freedom’s Way Heritage Association
100 Sherman Avenue, Devens, 978-772-3654
The association works to preserve, promote, and protect our cultural, historical, and natural resources and the ideas of American freedom, democracy, conservation, and social justice.
Friends of the Council on Aging
P.O. Box 474, Harvard
The Friends of the COA is the nonprofit arm of Harvard’s Council on Aging. It raises funds to enhance the COA’s services, programs, and activities.
Friends of the Harvard Public Library and Harvard Friends of the Arts
P.O. Box 506, Harvard
The Friends stimulate community interest in the services and needs of the Harvard Public Library, provide volunteer help, and sponsor educational programs and entertainment.
Fruitlands Museum (property of The Trustees of Reservations)
102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard, 978-456-3924
Fruitlands features the 1826 farmhouse to which Bronson Alcott brought his family and the first Shaker museum in the world. It has a collection of North American Indian ethnographic materials and an art gallery that contains Hudson River School landscape paintings and 19th-century vernacular portraits.
Great Dog Rescue New England
9 Bartlet St., Andover
In addition to its primary goal of helping homeless dogs find homes, GDRNE supports clinics that spay and neuter pets to help solve overpopulation; engages in activities with local schools to help educate about animal rescue, responsible pet ownership, and proper pet care; and sends dogs to agencies that train dogs to assist the physically disabled and the hearing-impaired.
Growing Places Garden Project, Inc.
500 Main St., Clinton, 978-598-3723
Harvard residents Cindy Buhner and Kate Deyst created this organization in 2001 with a mission to enhance food security for people with limited economic means in area towns. GPGP has donated raised beds for vegetable gardens to clients and helped them grow, harvest, use, and store their fresh produce.
Harvard Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 31, Harvard
The Conservation Trust is dedicated to the preservation of Harvard’s natural resources and seeks to preserve Harvard’s rural and agricultural character. Its top priority is protecting town land from unwanted development so that open space can be preserved for future generations.
Harvard Elderly and Disabled Taxation Aid Fund
Harvard Town Hall, 978-456-4100 x318
This fund exists to assist elderly and disabled Harvard residents defray the cost of their property taxes. Funds, which consist totally of donations, are distributed in accordance with established and adopted guidelines.
Harvard Historical Society
P.O. Box 542, Harvard
The Harvard Historical Society promotes interest in Harvard’s past by operating a small museum and presenting free programs of historical interest to the public.
Harvard Schools Trust
P.O. Box 450, Harvard
The Harvard Schools Trust raises funds and fulfills grant requests for curriculum enhancement, extracurricular experiences, special equipment, and staff development at Hildreth Elementary School and the Bromfield School, none of which would be possible within the regular school budget. Now in its 30th year, the trust has funded more than 550 grants
Household Goods Inc.
530 Main St., Acton, 978-635-1710
Household Goods Inc. provides household goods, free of charge, to people in need. It accepts donations of gently used household items that will help people make a home.
Indian Hill Music
36 King St., Littleton, 978-486-9524
Indian Hill encompasses a professional symphony orchestra, a music school, and outreach and education programs providing opportunities for all ages to connect through music. Concerts, events, and programs are designed to make music accessible to all.
P.O. Box 604, Harvard
J.U.M.P. (Just Understand My Potential), founded by Harvard resident Bill Spacciapoli, introduces young people to the mountains of New England. Participants receive mountain-skills training, hiking and backpacking experiences, mentoring, and educational support, helping them to achieve and expect more of themselves.
Loaves & Fishes
P.O. Box 1, Ayer, 978-772-4627
Loaves & Fishes serves residents of Ayer, Devens, Groton, Harvard, Littleton, and Shirley by providing food, emergency shelter, referrals, and other temporary services, and by helping clients gain independence and self-reliance. The pantry is currently seeking donations of items for its “Shop for Your Kids” and “Shop for Your Parents” days.
Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union St., Clinton, 978-598-5000
Enhancing relations between Russia and the United States through art, the museum houses more than 1,000 Russian icons, artifacts, and paintings. It is the largest collection of its kind in North America.
Nashua River Watershed Association
592 Main St., Groton, 978-448-0299
The Nashua River Watershed Association’s goals include restoring and protecting water quality for people, fish, and wildlife; conserving open spaces for water quality, wildlife habitat, farms, forests, and recreation; and encouraging careful land use with well planned development.
Our Father’s House
P.O. Box 7251, Fitchburg, 978-345-2256
Our Father’s House provides emergency and transitional housing to homeless men and women at three shelters in Fitchburg. The shelters provide meals, shelter, housing search, and advocacy services.
739 Water St., Fitchburg, 978-342-3300
The Salvation Army runs programs that feed hungry families, provide Christmas presents for needy children, and heat the homes of struggling seniors. It runs nearly 1,400 thrift stores, including stores in Fitchburg, Hudson, and Worcester. It operates in-residence adult rehabilitation centers across the country, runs youth camps, and provides disaster relief support.
Sterling Animal Shelter
17 Laurelwood Road, Sterling, 978-422-8585
This is a no-kill shelter that seeks to find homes for cats and dogs. All animals are vet checked, are spayed/neutered, and are current on vaccines.
United Neighbors of Fitchburg Inc.
18 Fairmount St., Fitchburg, 978-342-2069
The United Neighbors of Fitchburg began in 1968 as the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center. Today, it operates the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center and the Cleghorn Youth Center, working with the immigrant community to develop leaders and fight for social change through youth development, adult education, community organizing, and direct services.
Virginia Thurston Healing Garden
145 Bolton Road, Harvard, 978-456-3532
The Healing Garden is dedicated to providing a healing environment for those with cancer. Complementary therapies to standard medical care, psychosocial support, educational programs, and access to nature are available as part of the garden’s mission to help clients regain control of their health. Services are offered regardless of ability to pay.
Volunteer Humane Society
505 Center Bridge Road, Lancaster, 978-365-9470
This is a 35-year-old, no-kill, cat-only shelter. The shelter’s mission is to find responsible and permanent homes for all the animals in its care and to promote the spaying and neutering of cats.
WHEAT Community Services Inc.
272 High St., Clinton, 508-370-4943
Since 1982, WHEAT Community Services has served low-to-moderate income residents of Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Lancaster, and Sterling by providing critical services during times of need. Today, WHEAT serves nearly 2,000 individuals by providing them with the resources they need to become self-sufficient.
Worcester County Food Bank
PO Box 71, Worcester
Worcester County Food Bank is the region’s leading anti-hunger organization, distributing more than 5 million pounds of donated food and grocery products in partnership with food donors, financial supporters, and volunteers.