In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.
These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.
In today’s edition - Friday, November 12 - applications are being accepted for the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program, Cookie Lady's Daughter is hosting two Thanksgiving themed classes this month, students at Shepherd Hill Regional High School are asking for donations for a food drive, the Worcester Chamber Music Society hosts at the BrickBox theater on Sunday and information on the increasing threat of conjunctivitis as temperatures continue to drop.
The Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program seeks proposals for projects and programming located within eligible communities that entail community-driven responses to community-defined economic opportunities, and that build leadership, collaboration, and capacity at the local level.
The program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development [EOHED] and offers flexible grant funding to support local partnerships.
The program will make general operating grants, on a competitive basis, primarily to projects proposing to mitigate the negative impacts of incarceration through education, training, and small business development, as well as recovery, prevention, and other social support services to individuals and families, that to help reduce justice system involvement.
To learn more about the program and access an application, visit Mass.gov.
Cookie Lady’s Daughter, which specializes in sugar cookie decorating classes and take-home cookie decorating activities in the Worcester area, holds two Thanksgiving cookies classes in November.
On Tuesday, November 16, at 7 PM, the class is in session at Sail to Trail Wineworks, at 100 Barber Avenue inside the Higgins Armory Building in Worcester.
On Tuesday, November 23, Redemption Rock Brewing Co. at 333 Shrewsbury Street in Worcester hosts cookie class at 7 PM.
For more information, visit the Cookie Lady's Daughter website.
The Shepherd Hill National Honor Society is holding a food drive to support the Charlton Chip-In Food Pantry and Webster Dudley Food Share.
To contribute, bring your donation of non-perishable food items to the main office at Shepherd Hill Regional High School at 68 Dudley Oxford Road in Dudley.
Donations are accepted until November 19.
The Worcester Chamber Music Society presents “French Connections” as part of its 16th season on Sunday, November 14, at 4 PM, at the BrickBox theater at the Jean McDonough Arts Center at 20 Franklin Street in Worcester.
“French Connections” is a showcase of the innovative music and cultural exchange that occurred in early 20th Century Paris.
The program will be available On-Demand from November 29 through December 6 and features:
For more information and tickets, visit the Worcester Chamber Music Society website.
The regional medical director of American Family Care provides insight into on the threat of conjunctivitis as more cold weather sets in.
American Family Care in Worcester, with an urgent care clinic at 115 Stafford Street in Worcester, provides online check-in and current wait times on its website.
As colder months set in, many adults and children deal with a common yet extremely irritating eye ailment: conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye.
“Conjunctivitis is an unpleasant eye condition that is a very common health issue among both kids and adults,” said Dr. Vincent Meoli, regional medical director of American Family Care (AFC) in Worcester. “Pink eye is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue that lines the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. The condition is commonly caused by viruses, bacteria and allergens, but other irritants can cause pink eye as well.”
One of the most obvious signs of pink eye is reflected in its common name: a red or pink color in the white of one or both eyes. Other symptoms include itching, irritation, discharge of pus or mucus, crusting of eyelids or eyelashes, increased tear production and a feeling like something is in the eye. Pink eye is rarely ever serious, but a person’s vision can be affected if it is not treated promptly.
“Some of the viruses and bacteria that cause pink eye can be very contagious. They are usually spread through contact such as handshaking, through the air by sneezes or coughs or by touching something with germs on it then touching your eyes,” said Dr. Meoli. “Because of its contagious nature, pink eye spreads fast in settings such as daycares and schools.”
It’s not always necessary to seek medical attention for pink eye. In fact, using cold compresses and eyedrops at home can help relieve pink eye symptoms. Contact lenses should not be worn while dealing with pink eye. Dispose of any products that have come in contact with the affected eyes, such as makeup, to prevent reinfection.
“Pink eye caused by a virus will usually clear up in one to two weeks without treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed for bacterial conjunctivitis, but this type of pink eye often improves in two to five days without treatment,” said Dr. Meoli. “When it comes to pink eye caused by allergies, removing the allergen will likely lead to improvement.”
Medical attention should be sought if a person has pink eye along with eye pain, sensitivity to light or blurred vision that doesn’t improve, intense eye redness, or a weakened immune system.
“The spread of conjunctivitis can be prevented if people focus on good hygiene and infection control measures,” said Dr. Meoli. “If you have pink eye—or if you’re around someone who does—wash your hands often with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes and do not share personal items.”
The AFC staff in Worcester offers convenient, walk-in care seven days a week for patients of all ages, including colds, flu, infections, diagnostic rapid tests and antibody tests for COVID-19, physicals, on-site x-rays, care for minor bone breaks, burns and stitches for cuts and lacerations.
Lead image courtesy: The Cookie Lady's Daughter/Facebook (cropped)