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Great Dog Rescue New England, Hidden Battles, Rita O’Brien Dee Center for Behavioral Health & Development Will Present to 100 People Who Care Tewksbury in December

100 People Who Care Tewksbury will surpass the $35,000 giving mark at its third meeting to be held at the Tewksbury Country Club on Dec. 14, 2021. One nonprofit will receive the group’s fourth quarter $10,000+ Impact Award, while sponsors Bernard Jewelers and Best Pets Veterinary Hospital will present $250 to the two runners up.

The three nonprofits chosen to present in December are:

Community Teamwork Inc.’s new Rita O’Brien Dee Center for Behavioral Health & Development, which is based at the James Houlares Early Learning Center. The Center will be the headquarters for programs and services that will promote healthy social-emotional development, increase children’s success in school, strengthen children and families and mitigate adversity through trauma-informed care. The program was kickstarted by a generous anonymous donation and a $20,000 grant through the Greater Lowell Community Foundation and is currently seeking further support as CTI performs a needs assessment, analyzes the behavioral health needs of children and staff and identifies gaps in critical services.

Great Dog Rescue New England, a nonprofit, shelterless, all-breed rescue group that operates across the state, including placing pups in Tewksbury. The group has no set location but comprises volunteers from all over New England who love dogs. In addition to its primary goal of helping homeless and abandoned dogs find loving forever homes, the group donates money to spay and neuter clinics to help solve the problem of pet overpopulation; engages in community outreach activities with local schools to help educate children and young adults about animal rescue and responsible pet ownership; and works with agencies that train dogs to assist the physically disabled and hearing impaired. Many dogs that were abandoned are now helping people lead independent lives.

Hidden Battles, a nonprofit organization that strives to help preserve the healthy minds of military members and veterans and law enforcement, fire, EMS, dispatch and nursing first responders through treatment and counseling for depression, suicidal tendencies and PTSD. Hidden Battles’ primary goal is to raise awareness of suicide-related deaths that are often related to mental health issues stemming from post-traumatic stress disorder, job-related stress, traumatic brain injuries and the daily struggle of transitioning from military service back to civilian life. In partnership with both veteran and civilian organizations, the group offers monthly, confidential peer meetings, buddy pairings and workshops for not only our defenders but for the families and friends of those suffering or who have lost loved ones to suicide. 

This will be Hidden Battles’ second time presenting.

Members will also hear an update from September awardee Lazarus House. At its first meeting in June, the group awarded $10,000 to Alternative House.

Giving manager and nonprofit liaison Beth McFadyen estimates that members have donated at least $25,000 so far in 2021.

100 People Who Care Tewksbury holds quarterly one-hour business meetings preceded by an optional social hour. All members pledge to donate $100 four times per year. Prior to each meeting, members may nominate one nonprofit to be a possible recipient; three organizations are randomly selected by the board of directors using an online pickerwheel. 

During the quarterly meeting, the three selected organizations make presentations to members, who vote to decide which nonprofit will receive the Impact Award. Two generous sponsors make $250 donations to the nonprofits that received fewer votes, and generous members who are touched by the compelling presentations and have the means to do so often choose to donate to all three presenting charities.

The Dec. 14 meeting will be hosted by the Tewksbury Country Club. Tewksbury Telemedia will simulcast the December presentations live on the Tewksbury TV YouTube channel as well as Tewksbury’s public Comcast and Verizon channels. Members may then vote in person or via a secure polling link.

In 2022, 100 People Who Care Tewksbury will officially become 100+ People Who Care Tewksbury and accept new members. To join or for more information visit or email

About 100 Who Care: Realtor Karen Dunigan of Jackson, Michigan, developed the 100 Who Care giving circle model in 2006 when she learned that a local organization desperately needed baby cribs. Dunigan asked 100 friends to donate $100 each and ended up raising over $12,000 to buy cribs for moms in need. Today more than 600 groups have replicated the model across the United States. To learn more about the giving circle model, check out

These posts are from the great organizations around Tewksbury that provide updates to the Carnation.

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