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Longest Night Service at United Church of Christ

BOXBOROUGH: A Longest Night Service will be held on Wednesday, December 15, 7pm at the United Church of Christ, 723 Massachusetts Avenue. This service will be offered in person, with brief singing, masks for all, and physical distancing. For more information, please see Rev. Cindy.

According to everything Hallmark tells us, this time of year is supposed to be filled with family, celebration, and delightful promise. But for many people the holidays bring up painful memories. Others struggle with the gap between what they see in TV commercials and the experience in their own lives. And in 2021, the ramifications of a lingering global pandemic are making everything harder on everyone. But in the midst of discouragement, frustration, grief and pain there is hope. Sometimes we find that hope in a friend, or a poem, or an early-morning walk; wherever we find it is a Holy place.

Experience Christmas at Mt. Calvary

The king is born
ACTON: Everyone in the community is invited to attend Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church for Christmas Eve services at 4pm and 7pm - “The King’s Christmas: The King is Born!”. Staffed nursery will be available during both services.

First, experience a joyful Christmas Eve service that feels more like first-century shepherds worshipping outdoors. Arrive early (3:40pm) to enjoy seasonal music before the service. This will be a family-friendly outdoor service with Christmas carols, a beautiful Christmas tree, and an oversized Nativity. Children and families come together to celebrate Christmas at a fun, socially distant experience where everyone gets to be an angel, sing carols, and receive a joyful message!

For those who like a warmer worship experience, Mt. Calvary’s spectacular and festive indoor candlelight service will be at 7pm with solo instruments, Joyful Praise Choir, bells and organ. Arrive at 6:30pm for a special pre-service concert in the sanctuary.

Mt. Calvary is located at 472 Massachusetts Avenue. Parking is available off Prospect Street. Handicap parking is available at the Massachusetts Ave. circle drive and the Prospect St. parking lot. Overflow parking is available in the Acton Funeral Home parking lot right next door. For more information, visit, call (978) 263-5156, or send an email to

Maynard Education Foundation Launches Annual Appeal

MAYNARD: During this season of giving, the Maynard Education Foundation (MEF) is very grateful to the Maynard Public School teachers and staff who go the extra mile to bring new learning opportunities to their classrooms, to our donors and sponsors ~ whose support makes MEF’s grant program possible, and to the volunteers who donate their time and talent to ensure MEF’s success. For over 20 years MEF has been funding grants that benefit Maynard Public School students and staff.  Patron support has resulted in over 225 grants being provided to over 300 staff members and benefiting more than 112,000 Maynard students! This year's goal - to reach a participation goal of 50 families.  
Join MEF in supporting educational excellence by participating their 2021 Annual Appeal.  All donations are appreciated and no amount is too small to make a difference to a Maynard Public School student or staff member! Donations of $100 or more will receive a gift card to one of the 2021 Restaurant Appreciation Week or Taste participants. 
Visit to donate.
The Maynard Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit 501 ( c ) 3 organization that uses its philanthropic contributions to enhance educational excellence in the Maynard Public Schools by funding ideas and projects which promote and celebrate academic rigor and achievement, excitement about learning and innovation in instruction.

Acton FD SantaRide / Food Drive 2021

ACTON: Santa Claus is coming to town to visit the neighborhoods of Acton on Saturday, December 18 from 9am-3pm. The jolly fellow will ride in a vintage 1936 REO fire truck, escorted by the Acton Fire Department. Be sure to bring your wish list. Santa’s helpers will also collect non-perishable food items for the Acton Food Pantry. Santa’s Itinerary*:

9am - Oakwood Road and Fernwood Road
9:15am - 32 Parker Street, Cucurbit Farm
9:35am - 15 Hillcrest Road
9:50am - Faulkner Hill Road at High Street
10:10am - Robbins Street at Heron View Road
10:30am - Lothrup Road at Spencer
10:45am - Joseph Reed Lane at Capt. Forbush Lane
11:05 - Ethan Allen Drive at Black Horse Drive
11:20am - Duggan Road at Townsend Road
12pm - Nashoba Road at Huron Road
12:15pm - Seneca Road at Seminole Road
12:30pm - 29 Jackson Drive
12:50pm - Musket Drive at Fife & Drum Road
1:10pm - Acton Memorial Library, lower lot
1:30pm - Acorn Park Drive at Walnut Street
1:50pm - 47 Nonset Path (Nagog Woods Post Office)
2:10pm - Nara Park, 25 Ledge Rock Way (Bathhouse)
2:30pm - Bayberry Road at Magnolia Drive
2:45- Hosmer Road at Alcott Street

If your child is unable to meet Santa outside, Mr. Claus will make special visit to your house. To arrange a special visit or to obtain more information, call the Acton Fire Department at 978-264-9648 or email

* Times are subject to change.
* Please note that times and locations have been adjusted to help keep the Jolly old fellow and his elves on schedule.
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A Friend in Need...

ACTON: A Friend in Need (AFIN) is an arm of the South Acton Congregational Church (SACC). It is a small, all-volunteer organization dedicated to offering financial aid to people in need in the Acton/Boxboro/Maynard area. Recently they were contacted by an advocate for a gentleman whose only income is Social Security. He has health issues and fell behind in his rent. His advocate is pursuing additional resources but in the meantime his rent was due.  A Friend in Need was able to help.

A single mom finds she cannot make this month’s rent. She has just gotten a new job and is catching up on her back bills which left her with no funds for rent. Her advocate contacted A Friend in Need and we agreed to provide some financial help.

Usually there is a one-time limit for help given to any family, but due to the economy, AFIN is trying to be a bit more flexible. Their mission is to provide immediate help until the family can receive more substantial aid from other agencies.

Much of AFIN's money comes through pleas published in local newspapers and from generous community residents.  Acton-Boxborough United Way and the Maynard Community Chest also support the organization through grant money. Besides SACC, several other churches support them through their Mission Funds.  Depending on the resources we have on hand, we can usually provide between $300-$500 to those in need.

AFIN will consider helping anyone who is recommended by clergy or social professionals associated with a local agency.  Anyone in urgent need can be considered for financial assistance by going to a member of the clergy or social service representative and asking them to contact A Friend in Need on their behalf. They do not discriminate and will try to help anyone with a genuine need.

The AFIN mailbox is located at the South Acton Congregational Church. Volunteers pay for postage and all other costs, so we are able to give away 100% of the money available. If you would like to make a donation, please send your check to A Friend in Need, c/o South Acton Congregational Church, 35 School St., Acton MA 01720. For information, email

Current Critical Needs at Acton Food Pantry

ACTON: Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry is extremely grateful to the community for their continued support.  For anyone considering donating food items in December, the following are on their "Needs List":  Spam, sardines, corned beef hash, coffee, sugar, canned corn and peas, canned tomato sauce and tomato paste, canned stewed tomatoes, gluten-free bread, boxed rice mixes, laundry detergent, baby diapers (size 6 only), baby wipes, Pull-ups size 4T-5T, women’s size L incontinence briefs. Monetary donations can also be made online at any time at

Donate a Dinner Basket or Sponsor a Child to Help Maynard Food Pantry

MAYNARD: As in years past, the Maynard Food Pantry will be helping local families in need during the upcoming holiday season by providing them with dinner baskets and gifts.Donations of dinner baskets and/or gifts from families, organizations, groups and companies will help us accomplish this goal. Suggestions for dinner baskets include a canned ham or fresh ham together with a combination of bagged potatoes, fresh squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, canned or fresh vegetables, apples, oranges, canned pineapple, fruit juice, packaged rolls and packaged desserts.
Those who would like to purchase gifts will be given specific information about a certain child(ren) including ages, sizes and special gift requests.
If you would like to donate one or more of these items or would like additional information, please contact Mary Brannelly at no later than Sunday, December 12, 2021 for drop off information.
Please consider sending a donation of any amount to Maynard Food Pantry, P.O. Box 55, Maynard, MA 01754.  As they begin their 29th year, the Maynard Food Pantry is very grateful for the outpouring of support we receive from residents, businesses and organizations in Maynard and beyond!

Give Back to the Friends of Maynard Seniors

MAYNARD: For the month of December Friends of Maynard Seniors will receive a $1 donation from the purchase of each reusable $2.50 Give Back Where It Counts bag sold at Shaw’s 155 Great Road in Stow. This is a wonderful way to buy something useful for yourself and to provide donations to Maynard’s Senior Citizens when they really need your support. 'Tis the season... why not purchase a few extra as holiday gifts for family and friends?
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Nashoba Valley Chorale Announces 2021 Emerging Artist  

LITTLETON: Nashoba Valley Chorale is pleased and proud to introduce its 2021 Emerging Artist, Margaleet Katzenblickstein, soprano, of Westford. Margaleet will perform at the Chorale’s winter concert, Awake, Psaltery, & Harp on Sunday, December 12 at 3pm at the Acton Congregational Church, 12 Concord Road in Acton.

Margaleet, a student at Middlesex Community College, majors in Music Performance. She plans to graduate her homeschool/high school within the next few months, and Middlesex Community College in August of 2022. As of right now, her primary instrument is the cello, and she hopes to start conservatory soon after graduation. Margaleet currently takes voice lessons with Anna Ward.

COVID-19 Policy: The safety and comfort of our community is of utmost priority.  Nashoba Valley Chorale will be closely following the COVID-19 guidelines as mandated by the CDC and the state of Massachusetts. To keep Audience members, singers and performers safe, Audience members must show proof of full vaccination, or a Negative COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours of the performance to gain entrance.

The Nashoba Valley Chorale, based in Littleton, is well known throughout Central Massachusetts and draws singers from towns in the heart of the Nashoba Valley as well as from all over the metro-west Boston area and southern New Hampshire. For more information about Nashoba Valley Chorale, this concert, and the Emerging Artists program, visit

Mothers Out Front Enact Race Against Time
Call on Utilities to Provide Clean Heat Now  

ACTON: In a rousing display of support for clean energy, mothers and families rallied and raced recently in a spirited relay from Pittsfield to the Prudential Center. Acton mothers and others took part in the Statewide Relay for Clean Heat by rallying along Elm Street with the new Triple Net Zero Twin school under construction in the background to celebrate the future of clean heat! 

Over the last 3 months Acton Mothers Out Front has been gathering postcards, signed by gas customers, addressed to the presidents of the state’s three largest gas utilities. With participants from across the state, they delivered more than 3,000 postcards.  See attached photos of local residents as they prepared for the relay to National Grid the gas supplier for Acton.

“Our utilities need to lead on climate solutions to protect future generations," said Jean Cummings, local resident and mother. In a state where heating & cooling account for 30 percent of heat-trapping emissions, the mothers say utilities are moving too slowly and offering false solutions to families’ needs for safe, renewable and affordable heat. “They are clinging to natural gas and variations on natural gas,” added Judy Hodge. “Every day of inaction further threatens the health and safety of our children and grandchildren.”  

State Senator Jamie Eldridge, Representative Tami Gouveia and Representative Dan Sena also spoke at the Acton rally.  Eldridge said, “As I am waving at my nephew (on the Douglas School playground), he is a reminder of the stakes here, of the next generation. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change across Massachusetts.” Gouveia emphasized the positive, “We are strengthening a movement here so we can accelerate even faster toward green energy sources.”

Relay participants criss-crossed the state using electric vehicles, bikes, public transit, running and walking. The route included stops in Pittsfield, Northampton, Hadley, Gardner, Acton, Concord, Waltham, Brookline, and Boston.  

The mothers are asking utilities to partner with their workforce, government and customers to provide clean, safe, affordable heat to all Massachusetts homes. Specifically, they want the gas companies to align with the Mothers Out Front Future of Clean Heat Platform. This demands that utilities:
  • Offer heat pumps and other electric appliances to all homes and buildings;
  • Subsidize these technologies to make them affordable for everyone;
  • Replace leaky gas infrastructure with networked geothermal systems; and
  • Make clean energy available and affordable to all families, especially renters and low-income residents. 

Mothers Out Front is a national movement of mothers working to ensure a livable climate for all children. The group brings together mothers in communities across the U.S. to help them advocate for transformative climate policies at the local, state, and national level to achieve a just transition away from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy. Founded by two moms in 2013, the organization now includes 21 local chapters in Massachusetts and more than 35,000 mothers and caregivers across the country.

PHOTO: Jude Aronstein, coordinator of the Mothers Out Front Acton chapter, spoke about clean heat as represented by the Twin Schools Project in the background.

Domestic Violence Roundtable Invites You to Support Holiday Drives for Families Affected by Abuse

Each year the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable sponsors a family for the holidays, and each year we invite our local communities to become involved in making the holidays brighter for families affected by domestic violence. Families in shelter for the holidays face a sad and difficult time as they are separated from family and friends and are hiding from their abusers.

The Covid 19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for families affected by abuse. With the help of our local communities, these families can have happy holidays. There are a number of ways that you can help. Sponsoring a family can be a wonderful way for you and your family to do something together to help others. You can also involve extended family, neighbors, and friends. Or perhaps your colleagues at work, your book club, scout troop, civic organization, or club would like to organize a collection. Your participation in a holiday drive can help relieve the stress and depression that overcome shelter families at this time of year. The support that comes from the community at this time of year reinforces their decisions to seek safety and end violence in their lives. Each gift, each donation, each good holiday wish has a positive effect on their self-esteem and boosts their spirits.

Three local agencies offer services and programs for families affected by domestic violence. All of these programs conduct a Holiday Drive. For further information about how you might help, please contact:

Holiday drives start early so that agencies have time to process donations. In some cases, gift cards are being collected so families can shop and wrap their presents. Call now to see how you can help.
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COD & Acton Recreation Bring Adaptive Cycling to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail

ACTON: With the help of a grant, the Acton Commission on Disabilities (COD) and the Acton Recreation Department are working to bring adaptive cycling to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. The Recreation Department has purchased three adaptive cycles—an adult trike, a child trike and an adult hand cycle—that will be available for riding in May 2022. Acton residents will be able to ride the cycles for free, and non-residents will be able to rent them for a small fee.

“This is a dream come true to open up the Rail Trail to people with disabilities,” said Leslie Johnson, COD member and head of the Greater Acton Adaptive Bike Coalition. “The Rail Trail is wonderful, and we want people with disabilities to be able get out on the trail, get some outdoor exercise and enjoy the great scenery.”

The cycles will be kept at NARA park, where cyclers will start their ride from, as the Rail Trail goes right through the park.
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Annual Merrie Christmas Fair at United Church of Christ

BOXBOROUGH: The Merrie Christmas Fair will be held both inside and outside of United Church of Christ, the Community Center and the Boxborough Town Hall on Saturday, November 20, 9am to 1pm. You'll find handmade ornaments, seasonal greens, gifts and knits, jewelry, baked goods, a children’s table, and Attic Treasures. You can also find wonderful gifts for everyone on your holiday list in the online Silent Auction starting November 10 at 8am and ending on November 20 at 8pm by visiting: To limit the handling of cash, exact cash, checks or payment by credit/debit card are encouraged. The Fair is located at the United Church of Christ 723 Massachusetts Avenue, with parking across the street at the Boxborough Town Hall. All attending are asked to wear masks and to maintain social distancing in order to keep everyone safe. For additional details, visit or call call 978-263-7387.

The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley Invites Veterans to a Take-out Lunch on Veterans Day

STOW: To honor Stow-area veterans, for the second year in a row, the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is providing a pre-packaged lunch and the opportunity to meet with town and state officials on Veterans Day, November 11. Lunch will include a sandwich, chips, salad, beverage, dessert, and more, and volunteers will provide the lunches to participants who will remain in their cars.
Veterans and significant others must RSVP in advance and can pick up their meals between 11:30am and 1pm at First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, 353 Great Road (Route 117) in Stow. Participants must pre-register at 978-627-4135 or Please specify your expected time of arrival and a choice of sandwich when registering: Chicken Salad, Turkey Club, Ham and Swiss, or Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil.

This Veterans Day appreciation lunch is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, Friends of the Stow Council on Aging, Worker’s Credit Union, Shaw’s Stow, and Honey Pot Hill Orchards.

The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is always open to new members. Formed in 1905, Rotary International is the world's first service club organization with over 1.3 million members in 34,000 clubs worldwide. The Nashoba Valley club serves the towns of Lancaster, Bolton, and Stow and beyond, giving life to the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self." For more information about the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, contact or visit You can also find them on Facebook at 

The Boxborough Minutemen Company Wants You!

BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Company of Minutemen will meet on Sunday, November 21 at 8pm in the Minuteman Grill at the Boxboro Regency Hotel. For information please contact Captain Dave Bull at, or 978-263-5607. The Boxborough Minutemen Company is open to anyone of least 18 years of age who is interested in service to the Town and/or perpetuating the memory of the Minutemen of 1775. Members may participate in any number of the Company's activities including marching in parades, organizing the annual Fifer's Day town festival, performing seasonal clean-ups on Route 111, sponsoring the Boy and Cub Scouts, providing volunteers to the Blanchard School and other service organizations, and participating in our various social functions. The Company also provides financial support to a variety of service organizations and sponsors a number of annual scholarships to Boxborough students who are continuing their education after high school.
Both old and new residents of the town are welcome to come and make new connections with others in town. For more information visit

Boston Area Gleaners’ Paul Franceschi at Saturday Morning Breakfast

STOW: “Gleaning is harvesting surplus farm crops, preventing waste, and expanding local food access,” says the Boston Area Gleaners (BAG) website. “We gather fresh food from farms and get it to people who need it.” According the site, 10% of Massachusetts residents live with food insecurity, while over 30% of food  grown on farms is never harvested.

On November 13 at 8:05am, BAG outreach coordinator Paul Franceschi will discuss BAG’s activities, including the purchase of Stonefield Farm in Acton this past July. The farm now serves as a hub for storing and packing crops for hunger relief. This virtual event is part of the Saturday Morning Breakfast series hosted by First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC) and led by FPC member Jeff Brown.

To access the URL for this virtual event, visit There’s no charge and all are welcome.
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2021 Veterans Day Ceremony at Sargent Memorial Library

BOXBOROUGH:The Boxborough Veterans Tribute Committee cordially invites you to attend the 2021 Veterans Day Ceremony on Thursday, November 11 at 11am.  The ceremony will take place at entrance of the Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Avenue where the tribute is located.  Parking is available in the library lot and also at the Blanchard Memorial School, where a bridge is available to walk from the school directly to the site.
Thanks to the generosity of Boxborough residents and local businesses, there will also be a dedication of the recently completed monument which stands on the site as a tribute to Boxborough’s Veterans and their families. More information can be found on the town’s website

Discovery Museum Hosts Local Scientists & Artists to Celebrate New Exhibit Focused on Women in STEAM Careers

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ACTON: Join Discovery Museum November 13 from 1-3pm in celebration of the women behind the Museum’s newest exhibit, Picture Yourself: Women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Visit each of six portraits installed around the Museum and meet some of the local scientists who are represented in the exhibit, and the artists who created these amazing works of art. Learn about their work, research, and interests, and discover why they find science and art cool and exciting. They’ll answer your questions as they share what it’s like to be a scientist or artist.

Scheduled to participate:
  • Professor Bulbul Chakraborty – Condensed Matter Theorist, Professor of Physics, Brandeis University
  • Professor Maureen Ritchey – Cognitive Neuroscientist, Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, Boston College
  • Dr. Suanna Selby Crowley – Geoarcheologist, Founder, HeadFort Consulting
  • Ellice Patterson, M.S. (pictured) – Biologist, Founder/Artistic and Executive Director, Abilities Dance; Executive Director, BalletRox
  • Professor Melissa Kosinski-Collins – Structural Biologist, Professor of Biology, Brandeis University
  • Wing Na Wong – Photorealist painter, Danbury, Connecticut
  • Indigo Fox Tree-McGrath – Artist, Boston, Massachusetts

The exhibit, Picture Yourself: Women in STEAM, is made possible in part by an IF/THEN® Gender Equity Grant, a program created through a partnership between the Association of Science and Technology Centers and IF/THEN®, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. Additional support is provided by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. To learn more about the exhibit, visit
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Opening Zoom Gala at the Origami Museum

MAYNARD: Celebrating Maynard Folds’ virtual Origami Museum exhibition, there will be a Zoom Gala on November 7 at 7pm.  The reception begins with a guest welcome, working into a tour of the grant work.  Awards will be presented.  There will be a general origami museum tour.

Nicholas Lawrence, Maynard, is the adult merit winner.  His model is Little Turtle (Kusadama Unit Origami), is designed by Tomoko Fuse.  It is a 30 piece modular with 4 inch student origami paper made in early September 2021.  Other adult submissions are from Helen Moy (Acton), Mei-Lin Po (Framingham), Laura Fredericks (Maynard), Julia Bllom (Arlington), James Michael Williams (Concord), and Debbie Simon.

Enzo Tuzzolo, Maynard, is the child merit winner.  Enzo’s model is a turtle (pictured), designed by Marc Vigo, using 6 inch square duo kraft paper, made on August 15, 2021, in classic style, found on YouTube.  He wrote the statement, “I made this turtle because I love turtles.  They are my spirit animal.  This is my greatest fold.”  Additional child submissions were from Tenzin Witman-Polk (age 9 – Maynard), Nishan Gumuchian (age 9 – Maynard), Elena Wu (age 14 – Westford), Owen Matthew Twomey (age 8 – Hudson) Jacob Clark Miller (age 6 – Arlington), and Isla Tuzzolo (age 8 – Maynard).

To view the contest gallery and/or register to receive the Zoom link, visit

Boxborough Library Used Book Sale November 5, 6 & 7

BOXBOROUGH: Due to popular demand, the Friends of the Boxborough Library Fall used book sale will continue as a three day event. The weekend will start with a Preview Sale for members on Friday, November 5 from 5pm-7pm.  (Memberships will be available at the door).  The usual main sale will take place on Saturday, November 6 from 9am-2 pm. The Everything Must Go sale will be held on Sunday, November 7 from 2-4pm.  Bring a bag (or bags) to the book sale on Sunday during this time and pay $2 to fill each bag however you like. The sale will take place in the meeting room of the Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Avenue. Masks must be worn. Proceeds from the sale of books will go toward additional library programs and museum passes.

Please support this sale by donating your gently used hard covers, paperbacks, and audiovisual items and attending this sale.  Books will be accepted from November 1-4 at the library during regular library hours. Please no VCR tapes or magazines or any material in really poor condition.

Donate a Thanksgiving Dinner Basket to a Maynard Food Pantry Family

MAYNARD: The Maynard Food Pantry will once again be providing Thanksgiving dinner baskets to families in need within our community this holiday season.In the past, families, organizations, groups and companies have generously donated dinner baskets consisting of a frozen turkey or canned ham together with a combination of bagged potatoes, fresh squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, canned or fresh vegetables, apples, oranges, fruit juice, packaged rolls and packaged desserts. Think about a family of 6 when putting together the basket as a good guide.
Similar donations would be appreciated this year so that the Maynard Food Pantry can provide these wonderful gifts to our client families.  In previous years, they have been able to provide approximately 85-90 dinner baskets to local families in need!
If you would like to donate a Thanksgiving dinner basket or a quantity of one of the above-referenced items, please contact Mary Brannelly by email at no later than Sunday, November 14, for drop off instructions.  Also feel free to send along a note if you need additional information. The Maynard Food Pantry is always appreciative of cash donations that are used to purchase food to keep the Food Pantry stocked, as well - especially at this time of the year when there is a consistent increase in the number of families in need of their services.  Checks can be made payable to the "Maynard Food Pantry" and may be sent  c/o PO Box 55, Maynard, MA 01754.
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12th Annual Holiday Wreath Fundraiser Underway

ACTON: Acton Scouts Troop 32 and Troop 12's annual holiday wreath fundraiser is currently underway. This traditional sale started back in the 1960's. Wreaths are made from balsam fir, have a 22" diameter, and are double faced. Plain wreaths are $12/ea and decorated wreaths are $18/ea. The sale runs thru Sunday, November 14. Any questions, contact
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ABFN To Host “Trunk or Treat” Halloween Party

ACTON: Looking for a fun Halloween activity for young kids? On October 30, the
Acton-Boxborough Family Network (ABFN) will host a “Trunk or Treat” Halloween
Block Party Spooktacular from 10-11:30am at the Parker Damon Building Parking
Lot on Charter Road in Acton.

“We are really excited to bring back our annual Spooktacular Halloween Party,” says ABFN Co-Chair and Acton resident Julia Day. “This year, we’re doing a ‘trunk or treat’ format, where each trunk in the parking lot will host an activity, craft, or treat giveaway. We’re also planning for face-painting, pumpkin decorating, and a photobooth.”

The ABFN Halloween Party has been an October tradition for many years, but was
cancelled last year due to COVID-19. “This was always our biggest event of the year,”
explains Day. “Over the past year, we had so many people come up and tell us that their kids really missed the Spooktacular last year and they hoped we could bring it back.”

This year, ABFN decided to re-design the event and adopt a new outdoor format – a
“trunk or treat” – so that it could continue the tradition in a safer manner. “It was
critically important to us to be able to do it safely, so we planned this event to be entirely outdoors. It is going to be a bit different from our past Spooktaculars, but there should be plenty of fun for everyone!”

The event is free for ABFN members. Non-members are invited to attend for $5 per
child, with a $10 family maximum. All children under the age of one and all adults can attend for free. Register in advance or pay cash at the door. For little ones who would benefit from smaller crowds and less noise, the event will be sensory friendly from 9:30-10am. Please contact with any questions. More info at

Mt. Calvary Community Suppers Continue with New Protocols

ACTON: As inside dining continues and there are more guests each week, the folks at Mt. Calvary Community Suppers are reassessing our COVID protocol so that we ensure the health and wellbeing of all our volunteers and guests. Out of consideration of everyone attending, guests will now be required to show their COVID vaccine cards before entering the dining room. In addition, guests are asked to wear their mask unless seated at their tables. All volunteers have been vaccinated and will wear masks and gloves throughout the Supper.

WHERE: Mt. Calvary Community Church, 472 Massachusetts Ave, Acton, MA 10720
TIME: Doors will open to enter at 4:15pm (absolutely, not prior). Dinner will be served from 4:45pm-5:45pm
PARKING: All guests must park in the back parking lot off Prospect Street.

November 2021 Meals:
  • 11/3: Hash Browns & Sausage Casserole (Sponsored by Boston Metro West Bible Church)
  • 11/10: American Chop Suey (Sponsored by Bugles Across America)
  • 11/17: Thanksgiving Dinner with all the Fixins (In Memory of Mike Tobia; Sponsored by Betty Andrews and Carol Graton)
  • 11/24: CLOSED so volunteers can enjoy their families during the Holiday.

As in the past, guests are invited to choose a beverage and enjoy a sit-down dinner where they will  be able to join in fellowship and conversation. We have rearranged our set-up so that all can return to eating at long tables, welcomed by our familiar crew of fantastic volunteers.

For those who may not be comfortable eating inside, we offer a “Get to Go” meal which can be picked up inside the church between 5:30pm and 6pm. Park your car, WEAR A MASK, and walk into the lobby. No meals will be distributed until this time. No people may enter until 5:30pm unless coming for Sit-down Supper. Please, bring a bag to carry your food home.


CAREing for our Littlest Learners

ACTON: First Connections welcomes Jacqueline Kraps, Ph.D. for a free webinar on the topic of Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement, or CARE. CARE is a set of strategies that can be used can used by parents, teachers, daycare workers, and anyone else who interacts with young children. It was developed out of the Trauma Treatment Training Center of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as an easy-to-learn communication and caregiving approach appropriate for ages 2-18 that involves two main components: 1. Increasing the positive relationship between children and caregivers; and 2.  Increasing adults’ use of effective directives. These techniques can yield immediate positive behavioral responses from kiddos and is backed by research, professionals, and parents. Dr. Kraps is the Clinical Director of Outpatient Services for the Metrowest area of Justice Resource Institute, a specialist in childhood trauma, developmental disabilities, and LGBTQ-related topics. To register for this program, email with your name, town you live in, and ages of your children.
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Cornerstone Thrift Shop is Back in Action

ACTON: The Cornerstone Thrift Shop is back in action.  They have great deals on lightly used clothing, shoes, boots, coats, books, toys and housewares. Right now, they also have a good selection of Halloween costumes and decorations, dishes for Thanksgiving, and even a sneak peek at Christmas items. Come in and see what treasures you might find!  The shop is open on Mondays and Fridays from 10am to 2pm, Wednesdays from 3pm to 5:30pm, and Saturdays from 10am to noon. It is located in Acton Congregational Church, right in the town center at 12 Concord Road. The Shop is run by volunteers, and all the proceeds go to support the missions and ministry of the church.

Donations of clean, undamaged clothing, housewares, books, and toys are gladly accepted. To view our donation guidelines, go to and click on the Cornerstone button. For November, no appointment is required to donate. Bring your donations during the shop's regular business hours and bring them to the sorting room, which is near the church entrance by the parking lot.
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Theatre III presents Lovers and Other Strangers

WEST ACTON: Live theater is back at Acton’s community theater, Theatre III!  Their fall production is Lovers  and Other Strangers by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor, directed by Shahn and Ed Knights and  produced by Linda Minkoff.  Performances run November 5, 6, 12, 13, 8pm; November 7, 2pm at 250 Central St. For tickets and information, call 978-263-9070, or visit  TIckets are $22; seniors/students/groups of seven or more $19.

Seduction, infidelity, passion, commitment, marriage! A comedy of 1970s love lives in five one-act vignettes, Lovers and Other Strangers lets us laugh at the timeless truths about relationships - and at  the things that were totally groovy back in 1972. Featured in the cast are Ginny Carpenter (Marlborough), Peter Cavicchio (Lexington), Maren Caulfield (Harvard), John Day (Carlisle), Victoria Doughty (Shirley), Catherine Hersh (Watertown), John Lynch (Lincoln), Carla Perrotta (Lexington), Glenn Pierce (Arlington), and Lee Pallotta (Acton).
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Zoë Lewis Virtual Concert at New Revival Coffeehouse

STOW: The upbeat, fun and funny Zoë Lewis will perform a virtual concert for Stow's New Revival Coffeehouse on November 6 at 7:30pm. Zoë is a Provincetown musician who plays multiple instruments and sings her joyful songs with exciting rhythms from around the world. She plays piano, ukulele, guitar, harmonica, spoons and just about anything else she can get her hands on. “I like to redefine what a musical instrument is,” she says. “There is music in

This streaming concert will be accessible on YouTube Live on both the FPC and Stow TV YouTube channels. The concert link will be posted on the New Revival Coffeehouse's Facebook page at Viewers will have an opportunity to donate to the artist via PayPal or Venmo, or send a check, payable to Zoë Lewis, to First Parish Church, attn: Treasurer, 353 Great Road, Stow, MA 01775. The suggested donation is $20. For more information, call 978-274-2593 or email
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Walk at Half Moon Meadow Brook

BOXBOROUGH: On November 6, join
George Krusen of the Boxborough Historical Society on a walk through Half Moon Meadow Brook, part of the Nashoba Praying Indian Village established in 1651. There are a number of stone structures on the site believed to have been built by Native Americans, including a winter solstice sunrise alignment. This land is featured in the Spring 2021 issue of the Journal of the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA). The land was permanently protected from development by the Sudbury Valley Trustees in 1998. The walk will start at 9am and is co-sponsored by the Sudbury Valley Trustees. The event is free but space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register please sign up at

Boxborough Conservation Trust: Ecosystem Services: What Nature Does for Us and How We Can Talk About It

BOXBOROUGH: Is the barrage of negative news about climate change getting you down? It may be hard to believe, but there is some positive news about climate, and it comes from right in our own backyards. We have an opportunity to act locally, especially with the state's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, to use natural climate solutions to help mitigate climate change impacts. The Boxborough Conservation Trust (BCTrust) and other land conservation partners are striving to protect our natural lands and educate the public on ways to help locally, and we are happy to have Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) as a great regional partner in this work.
Join the Boxborough Conservation Trust for their Fall Speaker event via Zoom, November 9 at 7pm. Christa Collins will discuss the benefits of local protected land in mitigating climate change, in her talk entitled: "Ecosystem Services: What Nature Does for Us and How We Can Talk About It". See for more information and to register for this free talk.

Collins joined Sudbury Valley Trustees in 2002 and currently serves as Director of Land Protection. As such, she represents Sudbury Valley Trustees on matters regarding land protection, leads SVT’s Land Protection team, and manages a portion of SVT’s land protection projects from identification and cultivation through the completion of the transaction, primarily involving assistance to landowners seeking to protect their land with conservation easements, gifts and bequests, or sale to conservation partners.
Christa holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan. Christa lives in Concord, MA with her husband and two children, and currently serves on the board of Gaining Ground, a Concord-based nonprofit that grows and donates food for hunger relief, and on the board of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition. 

ABFN To Host Free Kids Clothing Swap

ACTON: The leaves are turning, the temperatures are cooling, and it’s time to refresh the kids’ closets! On October 23, the Acton-Boxborough Family Network (ABFN) is hosting a Fall Clothing Swap. The clothing swap will be open to the public, outdoors at the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church parking lot, 472 Massachusetts Avenue, and free to attend. 

“Kids grow out of things so fast and clothing gets expensive so this event is a great way to meet both of those needs—clean out outgrown items and pick up new ones,” said Debbie Mecca, an ABFN Board member, Acton resident, and organizer of the clothing swap. “With COVID-19, we know people may not be comfortable going into clothing stores, especially parents with young children, so this is a family-friendly outdoor event.”

ABFN is a non-profit organization run by and for local parents. Parents volunteer their time to organize programming and resources to support and connect young families. The group is powered by an annual membership fee, as well as local sponsors, but ABFN also does several events per year that are open to the public. 

Interested in donating to the clothing swap? ABFN seeks gently used clothes in sizes newborn through 6T. Donors are asked to please sort clothes into bags labeled with sizes, if possible. Clothes can be dropped off in advance at three Acton locations: 23 Evergreen Road, 97 Concord Road, and 24 Smart Road, or can be dropped off at the beginning of the event. No stained or ripped clothing, please. Shoes and toys will not be accepted. Any clothing remaining at the end of the event will be donated to The Wish Project. Local organizations that serve families in need of clothing are also welcome to contact Mecca with any requests at

Highrock Church Hosts Grand Opening Service

ACTON: Highrock started as a church in Acton in 2015, meeting in Gates School. Right before COVID, the church purchased and renovated a property on Great Road, the former home of the Makaha restaurant across from Donelan’s grocery store. On October 24 at 10am, the church will host its Great Road Grand Opening service, followed by a reception with delicious food, cozy drinks, and a ministry fair. This is a great chance to make connections for growth and service within and beyond the Highrock church community. Not yet comfortable gathering indoors? As always, services are live-streamed from their YouTube channel and for this special service, a tented outdoor service viewing space will be available. KidsRock children’s ministry will also be available for children ages 0-grade 5.  For the safety of all, masks are currently required for all indoors, but you are welcome to un-mask to enjoy each other’s smiles and food and drink in our outdoor gathering space. For more information, visit or

Final FreeBee Market of the Season

BOXBOROUGH: Harvest season is winding down, and so is Boxborough’s FreeBee Market. On Saturday, October 16, FreeBee will hold its final scheduled Market day of the year from 10:30am to 12pm on the lawn at 30 Middle Road in Boxborough (across from Boxborough Town Hall). Since less local produce is available, FreeBee will focus on collecting and sharing baked goods, pantry items, and some frozen meat as well. The craft swap and book swap will also return for the final Market day, as well as the bounce house for kids. 

This week, FreeBee will be celebrating the end of a successful inaugural season with a Halloween costume exchange, pumpkin decorating, and more fresh-pressed apple cider. 

As always, everything at FreeBee Market is free, and all are welcome. Visitors are encouraged to bring what they can share and take what they can use. 
Since this is the final Market day of the year, the community is encouraged to bring unexpired pantry items, as all non-perishable items remaining at the end of the Market will be donated to the Little Free Pantry at UCC Boxborough

FreeBee plans to return in Spring of 2022 and hopes to further its mission of reducing food insecurity during the off-season by bringing pop-up food tables to other local events. For more information about FreeBee and its plans in the coming months, sign up for the email newsletter at For more information, visit and
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Mothers Out Front Acton presents The Health Effects of Indoor Gas Pollution

ACTON: On October 27, 7-8:30pm, hear a remote presentation by health researcher and author, Andee Krasner, MPH, from Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, and learn about the health impacts of indoor gas pollution.  This presentation will be held via Zoom.  RSVP: with this LINK or For more info contact

Gas stoves and ranges have been heavily marketed by the fossil fuel industry, and many consumers hold onto the notion that “cooking with gas” is superior. (Andee Krasner's researchBut did you know that gas flames, along with being less efficient, and less precise, also emit toxic pollutants indoors? 

There will also be a brief Induction Cooktop demonstration highlighting this remarkable alternative to gas appliances.  

Please note that Mothers Out Front Acton, in collaboration with the Acton Memorial Library, now has an induction cook plate and pan to borrow from the library. Click HERE to connect to Acton Memorial Library.  Keep up with Mothers Out Front Acton on Twitter, Instagram: MothersOutFront_Acton and Facebook.
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Acton-Boxborough United Way Virtual Volunteer Information Session October 14th

ACTON/BOXBOROUGH: Join Acton-Boxborough United Way for a no-obligation virtual Volunteer Information Session on Thursday, October 14 at 7pm. Acton-Boxborough United Way mobilizes the caring power of community to drive positive, lasting change. Their Thrive2024 Strategic Roadmap outlines 5 focus areas:
  • Equity & Racial Justice
  • Mental Health
  • Early Childhood Success
  • Financial Stability
  • Crisis Preparedness

Join the info session to learn how you can help make Acton and Boxborough a place where everyone belongs and thrives!
Register to receive your Zoom link:

Maynard Cultural Council Seeks Funding Proposals

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MAYNARD: Maynard Cultural Council seeks funding proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs due October 15. Organizations, schools, and individuals can apply for grants that support cultural activities in the community. 

These grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in Maynard -- including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures. This year the council would like to have greater impact and will be funding a small portion of larger grants ($1,500 or more).  Grants typically range from $50 to $1500. 

Who Can Apply? Individuals, organizations, agencies, schools, and non-profits may apply for grants that support activities in culture, humanities, arts, and sciences publicly benefiting the local community. Projects must take place between January 1, 2021 and be completed by December 31, 2022. All applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts. 

The Maynard Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community. 

Questions? Contact Sara Lundberg at Application forms and more information about this Local Cultural Council Program are available online at and at public applicant guidelines.aspx.
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“STANDUP TO STIGMA” Scarecrow Contest at Cucurbit Farm

ACTON: Once again Cucurbit Farm and NAMI Central Middlesex is sponsoring the “STANDUP TO STIGMA” Scarecrow Contest. All proceeds raised from this local charity event will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Middlesex – which serves Acton and surrounding towns. All participants in the contest and folks visiting the farm or simply passing by will feel joy and enjoy the creativity coming alive!

Stop by Cucurbit Farm at 32 Parker Street to pick up your scarecrow starter frame for $25. Enjoy creating a friendly scarecrow with family or friends, then drop off your scarecrow at the farm
stand. Individuals, organizations, and businesses are invited to participate.

The scarecrows will be on display for the month of October, and the public is invited to cast their vote for the winning entry. Our goal is 100 scarecrows along the wall and many conversations about mental health! You can also submit your carved pumpkin to the “Jack O’ Lantern Glow By” event, set for Halloween weekend. Plus, there’s a corn maze!

Additional info can be found at and

Stow-Area Veterans to be Recognized with Drive-Through Lunch

STOW: To honor Stow-area veterans, for the second year in a row, the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is providing a pre-packaged lunch and the opportunity to meet with town and state officials on Veterans Day, November 11. Lunch will include a sandwich, chips, salad, beverage, dessert, and more, and volunteers will provide the lunches to participants who will remain in their cars.

Veterans and significant others must RSVP in advance and can pick up their meals between 11:30am and 1pm at First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, 353 Great Road (Route 117). Participants must pre-register at 978-627-4135 or Please specify your expected time of arrival and a choice of sandwich when registering: Chicken Salad, Turkey Club, Ham and Swiss, or Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil.

This Veterans Day appreciation lunch is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, Friends of the Stow Council on Aging, Worker’s Credit Union, Shaw’s Stow, and Honey Pot Hill Orchards. The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is always open to new members. Formed in 1905, Rotary International is the world's first service club organization with over 1.3 million members in 34,000 clubs worldwide. The Nashoba Valley club serves the towns of Lancaster, Bolton, and Stow and beyond, giving life to the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self." For more information about the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, contact or visit You can also find us on Facebook at

CROP Walk for the Hungry

CONCORD: At 2:15pm on October 17,  concerned residents from Concord, Carlisle, Bedford, Sudbury, Lincoln, Acton and other area towns will step off from First Parish, 20 Lexington Road in Concord for the 41st annual Concord Area CROP Walk for the Hungry.  A scenic 2.25 mile route through Minuteman National Park across the Old North Bridge, the Walk takes about one hour. The Concord-Carlisle High School Band will provide music during registration, beginning at 1:30pm. 

In 2020, despite the COVID pandemic, Concord CROP Walk raised $20,400 in a virtual walk, bringing the 40 year total to $1.26 million. 75% of funds raised by the walk help Church World Service (CWS) programs to fight the causes of hunger and provide emergency response to disasters in the U. S. and worldwide. 

Locally, 25% of funds raised go directly to support hunger relief programs in nine area towns including Open Table in Concord and Maynard, Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry, Bedford Community Table and Pantry, and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry serving Ayer, Devens, Groton, Harvard, Littleton and Shirley.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, all local food programs have had to respond quickly and creatively to meet the rising need.  For health safety, community suppers have been suspended and pantries moved outside.  In January, 2021, the Greater Boston Food Bank reported that in Eastern Massachusetts one in eight individuals are now food insecure. One in five children in Eastern Massachusetts, a 117% increase, now live in a food insecure home.   

In 2021, Open Table, with the help of local chefs and hundreds of new volunteers, launched a rapidly growing prepared-meals program with a goal of serving 1,000 meals per week.  In the first week of August, 981 meals including 195 sandwiches for kids were created and distributed.  Meals and prepacked groceries are available for those in need residing in twenty-one central Middlesex County towns.  More information is available at  All local programs have websites with details about location, days and times for food distribution.

CROP Walk events will be held outside with COVID safety protocols.  Those who prefer may do a virtual walk.  For more information, to donate or sponsor a walker, visit

Anniversary Author Celebration at the Maynard Public Library

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MAYNARD: The Maynard Public Library is proud to announce its celebration of Maynard’s 150th anniversary, as well as the library’s 140th anniversary and 15 years in the Roosevelt School building on Nason Street! We have invited two acclaimed authors-Jerry Craft and William Kent Krueger-to talk about their latest books. These virtual events are a special opportunity to hear authors from outside of New England.   

October 11 @ 5pm (Zoom) Author Jerry Craft is the New York Times bestselling, Newbery Medal winning and Coretta Scott King Author Award winning author of the graphic novel for middle grade readers, New Kid. It's about living in two worlds, trying to fit in and staying true to yourself. His second graphic novel, Class Act, is a companion book to New Kid that delves into the role socio-economic status and race play while growing up and finding your place in the world. Craft is also the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip which won the African American Literary Award five times. Craft will talk about his journey to becoming a published author/illustrator and the creative process behind New Kid and Class Act. He will show some of his work, and a Q&A will follow. 

October 14 @ 7pm (Zoom) Author William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels This Tender Land and Ordinary Grace, which was the winner of the Edgar Award for best novel. He also pens the acclaimed Cork O’Connor mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota, including 2021’s Lightning Strike. About This Tender Land, Booklist wrote "More than a simple journey; it is a deeply satisfying odyssey, a quest in search of self and home. Richly imagined and exceptionally well plotted and written, the novel is, most of all, a compelling, often haunting story that will captivate both adult and young adult readers." Krueger will be in conversation with novelist Hallie Ephron, whose latest novel is Careful What You Wish For, followed by a Q&A session.

Readers can find copies of New Kid, Class Act, This Tender Land and Lightning Strike to borrow at the library’s Circulation Desk. Register for both programs and read more at These programs are free and open to all, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link.
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Historical Society Invites All to Birthday Party

BOXBOROUGH: On October 24, the Boxborough Historical Society will celebrate its founding in 1961. It will also celebrate the beginning of the Boxborough Museum in October of 2005.
Both anniversaries will be celebrated at the Museum at 575 Middle Road from 2pm to 4pm with refreshments and a musical presentation, with a spoken history of some of the older tunes.  Admission is free, and all are welcome.

The Museum will be open for visitors to see some of  Boxborough’s historic treasures including an arrowhead display of artifacts dug from Boxborough a century ago by a local resident, a 1850s scale sensitive enough to weigh a penny and accurate enough to weigh 50 pounds, and two hearses, one built in 1881 and the other much older. The Town of Boxborough requires everyone must wear a mask when inside the Museum.

The outdoor concert on the lawn of the Museum of 18th and 19th century fiddle music by Dave Reiner, a renowned fiddler and co-author of the book "Old Time Fiddling Across American" will start at 2:30pm. Seating is limited, and masks are recommended outdoors.
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Cornerstone Thrift Shop Reopens

ACTON: The wait is over! The Cornerstone Thrift Shop will reopen for business on Monday, October 4. They've been working hard to get the shop ready, and are looking forward to welcoming customers.

Please note: Masks are required for all customers (volunteers will be wearing them, too). There will be hand sanitizer available. Please observe social distancing as best you can - occupancy limit of 10 customers at a time. Please be patient and be aware that you may need to wait to enter the shop. When the shop is busy, you are asked to limit your time in the shop to under 30 minutes. This is all to protect the Shop staff and customers.
Donations are currently being accepted by appointment ONLY. To make an appointment, visit, and click on the "Cornerstone Thrift Shop" button. If you can't access this, you may call the church office at 978-263-2728.

The shop is located in Acton Congregational Church, 12 Concord Road. It is open on Mondays and Fridays from 10an to 2pm, Wednesdays from 3pm to 5:30pm, and Saturdays from 10am to noon. The shop is closed on Federal holidays and school vacation weeks. The shop is run by volunteers, and all the proceeds go to support the missions and ministry of the church.

Friends of the Maynard Public Library Used Book Sale

MAYNARD: The Friends of the Maynard Public Library will hold their annual fall book sale on Saturday, October 2 from 10am to 4pm as part of Maynard Fest. The sale then continues on Sunday, October 3 from Noon to 3pm, with all items at half price that day. There will be thousands of hard cover, quality paperback and mass-market paperback titles in fiction and non-fiction. Choose from cookbooks, gardening, biography, travel, mystery and poetry as well as DVDs and music CDs (including many classical CDs.) There will also be an excellent selection of children’s and young adult books. Sale items will be spread over the first floor of the library and on the library patio to promote social distancing. Shoppers are encouraged to attend the sale Saturday afternoon and Sunday, when it is less crowded.

Masks are required inside the Maynard Library. Most items are priced between $0.50 and $2, so bring a bag and stock up on materials for the whole family! Cash and checks preferred. Proceeds of this sale benefit the Maynard Library. Book dealers, please note that use of electronic scanners is welcome on Sunday only. For questions about the sale or to volunteer, send email to
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Maynard Boy Scouts Host Electronics Recycling and Can / Bottle Drive

MAYNARD: The Maynard Boy Scouts will host an electronics recycling and can / bottle drive from 9am to noon on October 30 at the Mill & Main parking lot off Sudbury Street. Computers, monitors, microwaves, air conditioners and all unwanted electronics will be collected, as well as white goods, such as refrigerators and washers. The recycling company will take anything with a plug. Proceeds from fees charged for each dropped-off item will benefit the local scouts.

Home-pickup for all electronics is available for an extra fee of $10. The troop will also pick up all white goods, except refrigerators, for a fee of $30.  Pickups from neighboring towns are welcome for minimum orders of $50. 

In addition to electronics recycling, the troop will collect returnable bottles and cans. The Bottles and cans must be returnable in MA and be clean with nothing inside of them. Dirty bottles and cans will have to be refused. Please do not bring trash with the bottles and cans.

All proceeds are used to buy tents and equipment, sponsor camping scholarships, and other incidentals. Maynard Troop 130 serves more than 40 boys ages 11 to 17 from Maynard and nearby towns. The troop meets weekly during the school year and sponsors a camping trip each month, a week-long Boy Scout camp each summer, and a high adventure trip every other year.  For more information visit
To schedule a delivery, email

The Spirit of Giving at FreeBee Market

BOXBOROUGH: On October 2, FreeBee Market is back with gleaned and donated produce, meat, baked goods, pantry items, flowers, books, arts & crafts supplies, party supplies, and friendly conversation with friends and neighbors. As always, everything at FreeBee Market is free. All are welcome to give what they have in excess and take what they can use. 

This week, FreeBee will continue to pay homage to Boxborough’s Harvest Fair tradition by inviting a Harvest Fair staple: animals! A petting zoo on the lawn next to the Market will include goats, lambs, bunnies, and a donkey.  And FreeBee is proud to offer some special opportunities at this Saturday’s Market for those inspired by the spirit of giving.  

First, visitors of all ages are invited to participate in a FreeBee Community Art Project: painting and decorating rocks for a community art installation. FreeBee will supply rocks and art supplies for decorating, and will keep the painted rocks to display at the next FreeBee market on October 16

FreeBee visitors will also have an opportunity to make a particularly meaningful gift: joining the Be The Match Registry. The Be The Match Registry, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, is a registry of potential bone marrow donors. Joining the registry as a potential donor requires a simple cheek swab. If a donor on the registry matches with a patient seeking a transplant, the donor undergoes further testing and may be asked to donate via either a bone marrow donation or a peripheral blood stem cell donation. 

On Saturday, FreeBee will host a Be The Match Registry drive supported by and in honor of Lauren Grady, a Boxborough resident and former Blanchard Memorial School teacher who was recently diagnosed with acute leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant in early September. 

Visit the FreeBee Market October 2 from 10:30am to 12pm at 30 Middle Road (across from Boxborough Town Hall). For more information, visit and If you can’t make it to the Market but are interested in joining the Be The Match registry, text “BEETHECURE” to 61474.
If you’ve ever dealt with someone making threats against you, been the subject of physical or verbal attacks, had rumors floated about you, or been purposely excluded from a group, then you know what it’s like to be bullied. During October, we recognize National Bullying Prevention Month and raise awareness and focus on bullying.

Bullying is any unwanted and aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. It’s typically behavior that is repeated again and again over a period of time.

Technology, with all the benefits it provides, also has made bullying easier and more widespread. Cyberbullying includes the distribution of mean or inappropriate email or text messages, the use of social media to post rumors or embarrassing photos, videos, messages, and even fake profiles.

For more information on ways to prevent, respond, or act against bullying, visit, which is a special initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services.

If your child has been the victim of bullying and you’ve noticed a change in his or her mental health as a result, or if your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. In Massachusetts, every 5.28 days on an average a young person (ages 10-24) is lost to the silent epidemic of youth suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource.  The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide through educational programs that equip youth, parents, educators, and the community with the tools and resources to identify and assist at-risk youth. One element of these tools and resources is free online training that anyone may utilize. Among the training modules available is one dedicated to the study of bullying and suicide. Visit and click Training for more information. 

Minuteman Auto Students Repair Car Provided To Veteran

LEXINGTON: Recently, a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe that was repaired by Minuteman High School automotive technology students was provided to a U.S. Army and Navy veteran in a ceremony with Second Chance Cars and Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston.
Automotive teacher John Primpas was on hand with students Cole Traywick of Acton and Samuel Staiti of Arlington, both juniors, when the car was transferred to veteran John Harrold as part of Vertex’s 13th annual Day of Service. Employees spent the morning detailing 10 cars that will be provided to veterans at low-cost, no-interest loans through Second Chance Cars, including the one Harrold received.
All of the vehicles were donated to Second Chance Cars. The vehicle Harrold received was donated by the widow of a Korean War veteran who passed away last year.
“This is amazing,” Harrold said. “To a homeless veteran, this is a ‘hand up’ in the right direction.” Harrold recently had hip and knee surgery. He was walking two miles to his job at a medical company, but no longer has to do that. In addition, he said he will use his vehicle to help other veterans travel to and from work. Harrold currently lives in housing for veterans in Devens.
“I take immense amount of pride in it,” Traywick, one of the Minuteman students, said of his work. “It’s a really cool sense of community and working for someone who you know needs it.”
“It’s important for us to help veterans however we can,” Staiti said. “Something as small as a car could be the difference between getting to work or ensuring safe travels for their kids.”
Second Chance Cars is a non-profit organization that awards affordable, donated cars for veterans and low-income people in need to get to work. Donated cars are refurbished by a network of vocational schools and are worth, on average, about $5,000. Once fixed up, the cars are detailed and awarded to recipients via a $900, no-interest loan through Metro Credit Union.
Second Chance Cars works with Veterans Inc., a Massachusetts-based organization dedicated to ending homelessness for veterans.

Screens and Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers

ACTON: Join First Connections on October 5 at 7pm for a free program on parenting in the digital world when you have young children. This can be difficult in normal circumstances, but overwhelming and complicated as we cope with the ongoing pandemic. What can we do to ensure our children are developing the necessary "soft skills," like resilience, cooperation, independence, and curiosity to be successful in school and in the future? And how does technology interfere with the development of these skills? Adrienne Principe, Founder & Executive Director of Turning Life on by Keeping Tech in Check, a local non-profit grassroots movement committed to digital wellness and improving the lives of family through healthy and balanced technology use, will guide parents through a presentation and discussion of the latest research regarding technology and child development, geared toward ages 0-5. Given the continued rise in COVID cases in our state, this program will be held virtually. Please email to register and receive the link.

A Friend in Need

ACTON: A Friend in Need (AFIN) is an arm of the South Acton Congregational Church (SACC)  It is a small, all-volunteer organization dedicated to offering financial aid to people in need in the Acton/Boxboro/Maynard area.

Because her husband is very ill, a client had to choose part-time work in order to be home and care for him. They have no savings and have an outstanding balance on their utility bill. They have been threatened with shutoff and are struggling financially.  A Friend in Need stepped in to help with this bill.

A gentleman lost his job during COVID and is in the process of applying for a new one.  In the meantime he owes the utility company and is also being threatened with shutoff. He has applied for fuel assistance which will take some time to process.  A Friend in Need agreed to help him with this bill.

Usually there is a one-time limit for help given to any family, but due to the economy, AFIN is trying to be a bit more flexibleTheir mission is to provide immediate help until the family can receive more substantial aid from other agencies. Much of their money comes through pleas published in local newspapers, from generous community residentsm and grants from organizations such as Acton-Boxborough United Way and the Maynard Community Chest.

AFIN will consider helping anyone who is recommended by clergy or social professionals associated with a local agency.  Anyone in urgent need can be considered for financial assistance by going to a member of the clergy or social service representative and asking them to contact A Friend in Need on their behalf.   For more information, email
If you would like to make a donation, please send your check to A Friend in Need, c/o South Acton Congregational Church, 35 School Street, Acton MA 01720.

Discovery Museum Announces Fall Schedule of Free Admission Events for Families of Children with Disabilities

ACTON: Discovery Museum has announced the dates of their Especially for Me events for the remainder of 2021. The events provide free admission for families with children on the autism spectrum, with hearing or vision loss, or facing other developmental challenges, during dedicated hours when the Museum is closed to the general public and building capacity is limited.

Discovery Museum is ADA-compliant and all exhibits are accessible, designed according to Universal Design principles to be both aesthetically pleasing and useable by the widest possible range of people, without regards to age or ability. During these events, accommodations are offered that increase access to Museum exhibits.

Any family who can benefit from a limited capacity visit is welcome at these events. A medical diagnosis is not required.

All Especially for Me events are free to attend, but preregistration is required online at as space is limited.
  • Sunday, October 3, 3pm - 4:30pm: Afternoon for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing and KODA Children
  • Sunday, October 10, 3pm - 4:30pm: Autism-Friendly Afternoon
  • Saturday, October 16, 5pm - 8pm: All Access Event (dinner provided)
  • Sunday, October 24, 5pm - 8pm: All Access Afternoon
  • Sunday, November 21, 3pm - 4:30pm: Afternoon for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing and KODA Children
  • Sunday, December 5, 3pm - 4:30pm: Autism-Friendly Afternoon

For more information please visit

Especially for Me is supported by the Alexion Charitable Foundation, the Corning Foundation, and Mass Cultural Council.