We want to be sure you know that as a member of LexFUN!, your membership supports charities and organizations in and beyond our community–both monetary and in-kind. LexFUND consists of scholarships and assistance granted to Lexington families in-need as well as financial contributions to support community organizations. It is funded by proceeds from our events, donations received from members, and generous contributions from our annual business sponsors. Preschool scholarships are publicized through local preschools and LexFUN! functions, and are awarded to preschool aged Lexington area residents who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend preschool. Over the years, LexFUN! has awarded thens of thousands of dollars to our Scholarship Fund which enables families-in-need to send their child to a year of preschool before entering kindergarten.
Annually, we make financial contributions to organizations in alignment with our goals such as the Early Childhood Committee; the Cary Memorial Library (Children’s fish tank maintenance and passes to the Boston Children’s Museum); and the Lexington Education Foundation. In 2012 and 2013 LexFUND make contributions towards the Lincoln Park Bathroom Project.
–LexFUN! has created a lasting relationship with COMPASS for Kids, who provides direct services for homeless parents and children living in under-resourced shelters since 2002.
–LexFUN! works in conjunction with Cradles to Crayons and every fall, we help host and secure donations for the Cradles to Crayons/LexFUN! Lexington Community Drive, where we aim to fill up a large moving truck with lots of warm clothing.
–At many of the special events we sponsor–including Tanglewood Marionettes, we ask that member families bring non-perishable foods to support the Lexington Food Pantry.
–Every Friday a member of LexFUN!–often accompanied by their children–deliver Meals on Wheels to those in-need of a meal. We are happy to be responsible for two routes.
Please consider getting involved with the Community Service team! We have many terrific projects throughout the year involving preschoolers. Volunteering for LexFUN! is a great way to meet people and have fun. For more information about volunteer positions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youville Craft Visit: Get to know an older generation of Lexington Residents! Every month from September to May we bring whoever is not napping or in school to Lexington’s Youville Place to engage in a craft activity, stories, singing, a yummy snack, and making wonderful connections with the incredible residents and staff of Youville. All ages are welcome to this truly special place. Youville Place is located at 10 Pelham Road in Lexington (off Mass. Ave.). For more information and exact dates of our visit this season, refer to your LexFUN! Monthly Newsletter or Big Tent.
Halloween Parade: This annual event is always held the last weekend in October. This is fun for the whole family with a walk around the Battle Green in costume followed by pumpkin decorating and crafts, treats, and playing in the hay. Each year we collect several bins of donated food as well as monetary contributions for the Lexington Food Pantry.
Here is a recent thank you note from Food Pantry Coordinator, Carolyn Wortman:
Thank you LexFUN! for your recent donation of food and money for the Lexington Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry. Your continued support is appreciated. The Food Pantry opened its doors 23 years ago this month to provide food assistance for those in need on both a short term and long term basis. Throughout these years, hundreds of people of all ages who have many different reasons for needing help have walked through our doors for that assistance. The amount of food they receive is based on the number of family members. Our clients actually “shop” as opposed to being handed a bag of food which we feel adds some dignity to what is already a humiliating experience for some.
The Pantry is a totally volunteer organization supported by food and money donated by individuals, schools, houses of worship and companies mostly from Lexington, but also from other communities. We are fortunate to be well supported by this town. To quote a former volunteer “As our community support grows…so does our ability to support our community”. To learn more about what to donate and where visit our their at lexingtonfoodpantry.wordpress.com. PLEASE remember to check expiration dates on your donations as outdated food is discarded.
Fire Station Visit: We are lucky to have the opportunity to visit one of our local fire departments every September. Some of Lexington’s best community helpers welcome our group every year to allow our little ones to check out the ambulance, sit in the fire trucks and learn some valuable things about being safe…and we are pretty sure they truly appreciate the yummy treats that we bring them and welcome them any time. For more information and exact dates of our visit this season, refer to your LexFUN! Monthly Newsletter or Big Tent.
Meals on Wheels: One of the most amazing and easy ways to help our seniors that is sure to leave you feeling good. We are responsible for two routes every Friday throughout the year. Deliveries can be made with or without children and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children and a wonderful way to share our young children’s masterpieces of art. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please contact Anne Boulter.
LexFUN!’s Lexington Community Drive: Our annual Winter Drive that supports Cradles to Crayons is a big success every Fall. Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth to age 12, living in low-income and homeless situations, with the essential items they need to thrive- at home, at school and at play. The items are supplied free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. This drive is our focused time of year when we engage local schools and communities to collect needed items and then get together on one day at St. Brigid’s parish in Lexington, to sort through the generous donations. However, there is a lot that can be done throughout the year to support this incredible organization such as volunteering with or without your child at their warehouse in Brighton, MA. There is now a permanent large storage unit located in the parking lot of St. Brigid’s Parish (2001 Mass Ave) that welcomes children’s clothing (all seasons, ages zero up to adult size medium), winter coats, boots, sneakers, books, toys, baby gear, baby bedding, and new school supplies. For more information about items collected and about the amazing organization, Cradles to Crayons, please visit their website at cradlestocrayons.org.
Gift Card Drive for COMPASS: Every year in December LexFUN! holds a gift card drive to support COMPASS. These gift cards empower the parents, struggling to make ends meet, to be able to pick something out and buy it for their child during the holiday season.
Club Shake It: This is a super fun evening for adults every spring that directly supports the COMPASS for Kids organization. Club Shake It is an evening outside under a tent filled with cocktails, music and dancing, live and silent auctions, and of course costumes! LexFUN! sponsors this event and provides volunteers – it is a great event that has been held in Lexington for over 10 years.
Drives: Throughout the school year LexFUN! holds fundraising drives to support various local organizations:
–Project Smile is a federally tax exempt non-profit organization which donates new and previously owned stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys and children’s reading books for police officers, fire fighters and paramedics to give to children. The goal of Project Smile is to provide all emergency responders throughout New England and eventually throughout the nation, with a continual supply of comfort items to help ease the pain and fear of traumatized children. For more information check out their website at projectsmile.org.
–On the Rise creates a community where women have the relationships, safety and resources they need to move out of homelessness. They engage with those most in need and support their initiative and strength as they move beyond crisis and discover new possibilities. For more information please visit ontherise.org.
–Swim for Life directly supports the fight against cancer for Dana Farber. The LYAC (Lexington Youth Against Cancer) group has organized a swim meet the past two years that involves teams of all ages, including the Lexington Fire and Police Departments and LexFUN!, to raise money for a great cause.