School on Wheels of Massachusetts Celebrates 20th Anniversary in 2024
Image: SOWMA website. Illustration by Lydia Roy, Massachusetts College of Art & Design
School on Wheels of Massachusetts (SOWMA) was founded in 2004 by teacher and child advocate Cheryl Opper. She had read an article about Agnes Stevens, founder of School on Wheels of California, and the non-profit Stevens began after noticing the many children living on Skid Row who were not attending school.

In 2004, Cheryl started SOWMA out of her home, where she invited volunteers to her table and filled her house with backpacks and school supplies.

Since the start of the 2023/2024 school year, SOWMA has donated more than 10,000 backpacks to children and at-risk youth living in 38 Massachusetts communities.Their Bridge mentoring program also helps high school and college-age students with financial support and post-secondary plans, including college, vocational training and jobs.

SOWMA is a non profit organization funded through the generosity of individuals, communities, business, corporations and foundations. For ways to volunteer or help, reach out at

Article by Erin Payne, BuzzAround Intern, SNHU
Historical Tidbit:
The Orr Family

Hugh Orr, born in Scotland in 1715, came to this area and became a well-known iron manufacturer, supplying hundreds of muskets for colonists in this area during the Revolutionary War.

His son, Hector Orr, born here in March 1770, was one of the most famous doctors of the East Parish of Bridgewater (later becoming East Bridgewater).
" Hector graduated from Harvard in 1792 and served an apprenticeship with a physician on Randolph." ( Doctors of that time often learned their skill on the job, EB was very fortunate to have a doctor that had an apprenticeship first. )

"In 1796, he was commissioned by President John Adams to accompany an expedition to India.
An active member of the Freemasons, Dr. Orr organized the Fellowship Lodge of Bridgewater, which had its first meeting in the East Parish meeting house, and there he met another Mason of some standing, Paul Revere." (Pg 19)

Dr. Orr practiced here for almost sixty years until his death in 1855. His son Samuel lived in the house facing the Common, now the rectory of St. John's Parish. Samuel followed his father in the medical profession and he too served the East Parish of Bridgewater.

Written by J. Rose

Resource: The EB Sesquicentennial Commemorative Booklet 1823- 1973,
 by David K. Wilson
Image credit: J. Rose
Town Hall
175 Central St

E. Bridgewater Public Library
32 Union St 508-378-1616

Council on Aging 
355 Plymouth St 508-378-1610
Email & phone contact only

Food Pantries
Union Congregational Church
105 Pleasant St
2nd Wednesday from 12:30 - 2p
& last Saturday from 9:30 - 11a
Pre-Packed bags for pick up only.

St Vincent dePaul Food Pantry
St. John's Catholic Church
210 Center St, EB
(508) 378-3760
Pantry days will be the first Monday of the month, except for holidays, 3 - 5:30p, and the third Monday, 3p - 4:30p, except for holidays. 

Free Community Meal
EBUMC 54 N. Central St.
Every Wednesday 5:30 - 6:30.
Donations welcome.
Christine Mcelhinney
won a 45-minute Reiki Treatment with
Jacquelyn Rose

Bee sure to play our Historical Tidbit Trivia Game at the bottom of this newsletter.

Enter for this week's prize of
$25 gift certificate to Johnny Macaroni's Restaurant, East Bridgewater & Halifax
Crafts with Kathy and Sue
Thur, Jan 18
355 Plymouth St
EB Council on Aging

The holidays may be over, but the Winter snow is not! Join Kathy and Sue for a craft class, where you will make a 6 1/2" snowman, made with 'snow' covered styrofoam. The class is free, but call the COA to sign up, space is limited! You can reach the COA at 598-378-1610
East Bridgewater Music Parents Association Fundraiser and Meeting

Thursday, January 18th in the EBJSHS Lecture Hall, and will be combined with the mattress fundraiser kickoff meeting. The event is open for as many parents/guardians as possible to attend. Higher attendance means a greater chance of receiving a substantial bonus from Custom Fundraising Solutions Boston.

Adult Book Club
Tues, Jan 23, 7:30p
East Bridgewater Public Library
32 Union St

This month's book selection is the captivating story of "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng. Come by the community room for an interesting discussion with your peers! Copies of the book are available at the main circulation desk of the library.

Longtime Library Assistant Retires

Chris Schaad Beall worked at the East Bridgewater Public Library for 13 years, and has helped countless patrons find books, adults and children alike. Her last day was Friday, January 5th, and she plans to spend her retirement with her dogs, her family, and her crafts!

Memory Lane Cafe
Mon, Jan 22, 1p
East Bridgewater Council on Aging
355 Plymouth St

The Memory Lane Cafe is a welcoming space for those experiencing memory loss, along with their care partners and families. Come by to relax, socialize, and enjoy refreshments & entertainment.

Walk-ins are welcome, but RSVPs at 508-378-1610 are appreciated. For more information and any updates, visit the Council on Aging FB page.
Source Credit: EB COA FB
Teen Book Club
Mon, Jan 22, 6:30-7:30p
EB Public Library
32 Union St

This month, Teen Book Club is discussing the thrilling story of "Their Vicious Games" by Joelle Wellington. Come by to talk about the book and for snacks and games afterwards!

Source Credit: EB Public Library FB
9th Annual East Bridgewater Music Parents Mattress Fundraiser
Sat, Jan 27, 10a-4p
East Bridgewater JR./SR. High School

The EB Music Parents invite you to get a better night's sleep and support an amazing cause! Come view a showroom of over 25 models that are available to the school district and local community for up to 50% savings! There will also be adjustable bases, luxury sheets & pillows, weighted blankets, and more! All the proceeds will go to choral students.

Plus, get free sheets with any bed purchase or an additional $50 off any set over $299 if you show the FB event post linked below.

Climate Can Do: Climate Resolutions 

The new year is a time for fresh starts and new goals. Head into 2024 with climate resolutions.

Help your personal & our collective environment by disposing of unwanted items properly. To avoid sending to the landfill; schedule a home textile pickup with CMRK. This company collects clothing, shoes, and household items. For more information, visit

If you have unwanted, but still useable items, donate them to organizations or those in need. For example:
  • My Brother’s Keeper: This organization accepts furniture donations and gives the items to underprivileged families. 
  • AMVETS: Schedule a pickup with AMVETS and help provide resources to veterans. 
  • Books: Donate to your local library 
  • Sports equipment: The Bench, located at 47 Broad St, Bridgewater, MA, is a sporting goods store that sells used sports equipment. also offers resources for disposal and donations that you can use. Here are some options to get you started:
  • Beyond the Bin: This is a research tool that helps you find nearby drop off locations based on the type of material you’d like to recycle. This includes everything from electronics to clothing to toys! 
  • Cradles to Crayons: If you have goods suitable for children from ages newborn through 12, find a Cradles to Crayons drop-off location near you, and they will make care packages with the donations for local children in need. 

There are many ways to make a positive impact on both your community and the environment. Use these ideas to spark some of your own, and let’s make a resolution to bring sustainability into the new year!

This Climate Can-Do Article was written by Alexa Pennington, Southern New Hampshire University, BuzzAround Intern. BuzzAround focuses on actions we can do to live more sustainably. We can do it!
Salon Esprit
Salon Esprit is now on TikTok, and we're bringing all the fun, creativity, and excitement of our salon to this amazing platform!

225 Bedford St/Route 18 -
Carriage Crossing
East Bridgewater, MA

Union Congregational Church
Weekly Services - 10AM Sunday
including uplifting music: choir, bells, and instrumentals and a meaningful message.

Rev. Gordon Crouch, Pastor

...and you're welcome to stay for coffee hour and say "hello"

An Open & Affirming Congregation

Union Congregational Church
105 Pleasant St East Bridgewater, MA
EB Youth Lacrosse

Registration is now open on the EB Lax website!
Season is Friday, March 1, 2024 - Sunday, June 30, 2024 For Girls & Boys Pre K to Grade 8.

Regular Registration Cost: $75.00 - $150.00
Source Credit: EBYL

Ousamequin Club Scholarships

The Ousamequin Club is pleased to offer three $1,000.00 scholarships to graduating seniors who reside in any of the three Bridgewaters, regardless of the school they attend. Our criteria is volunteerism, community involvement and academic achievement. Future education can be at a two or four year college or a training/technical school. Applications are due by March 31st.

For an application please seek one out at your high school guidance office or call Sharon Graves at 508-378-4261.
Music Scholarship Applications Now Open!

Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra is now accepting applications from now until February 1 for their high school junior music scholarship! Juniors living in or attending school in Plymouth County are eligible for the $2,500 award.

For more information and to apply, visit the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra website.

Anne Kenneally Hynes Memorial Scholarship Cash Calendar Contest

Anne Kenneally Hynes Memorial Scholarship's February Cash Calendar is now available for purchase! Enter for 29 chances to win -- you'll be supporting a great cause! Cost is $10 per calendar.

For more information on the contest directions, visit the organization's FB page. You can also message them to inquire about purchasing a calendar:
Coffee and Community Togetherness

This past year, a group of kind community members got together three times each week for coffee hour at the YMCA and donated a dollar each to support the East Bridgewater Old Colony YMCA. In doing so, they raised a total of $2,303 in 2023! Thank you to this generous group for showing us what possibilities can be achieved when we come together. Because of their commitment and generosity, the money they raised will help send 5 participants through Old Colony's Livestrong Cancer Survivor Program or give 5 kids a chance to experience summer camp.

Every little effort counts towards making a difference, small acts of kindness add up to make big impacts!

For more information about Old Colony's programs or to donate, visit their

Photo & Source Credits: Old Colony YMCA EB FB
Story written by Alexa Pennington, BuzzAround Intern, Southern New Hampshire University

Have fun with us and bee entered to win:
$25 gift certificate to Johnny Macaroni's Restaurant, East Bridgewater & Halifax

Historical Tidbit Question:
What did Hugh Orr become well-known for?

Email us your answer at:
Please include your name and phone number with your answer.

By entering, you give us permission to print your name in next week's Buzz Around.
On January 17, 2023, before 2p, we will randomly pick a winner from the correct answers.
The Buzz Around is brought to you this week by: Bailey Henschen, Erin Payne, Alexa Pennington, Jamie Puhi, Jacquelyn Rose & Greg Venezia.
Only Love Can Do That.

As children, we learn a little about him and think he must have been pretty important, everyone gets a day off. We learn quotes, and that he was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement. But it wasn't until my graduate studies in Interfaith that I really studied his works and his life. 

How he motivated an interfaith coalition to peacefully make change happen in our laws and institutions. How he withstood death threats and direct abuse to stand up for human dignity and racial equality. How he trained others to do the same, leaning on their deep spiritual understanding; and how the Civil Rights movement was grounded in a moral imperative. 

The quotes we have and share are supported by actions he took in his lifetime, and was finally killed for. His resistance to our systemic brutality eventually caused his death.

When I read "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." I cannot nicely tuck it into my feel good quote pile. It is a call to action. Our America and our world call all of us to drive out hate. To learn what we need to learn, to read and listen to the stories of people different from us, whoever we are.

Martin Luther King, Jr, his actions and his life, have had a profound effect on me, and motivate me daily as he modeled how peaceful resistance and love overcome hatred and injustice.
Happy MLK Day, folks. Loving radically, we have a long way to go. One step forward at a time, you and I, together ~ Jacquie
Your BuzzAround supports the dignity of all human beings, is actively anti-racist, and supportive of good law enforcement policies. 
Copyright 2024 Buzz Around East Bridgewater. You have our permission to share and copy this issue in its entirety as much as you like. If you take it in part, please give credit. ("Buzz Around East Bridgewater 1/14/24")
Disclaimer: At the Buzz Around, we promote community and family. There are links to town committees and other non-profit groups, in the newsletters. Individual groups are responsible for how they represent themselves on their websites and in their promotional materials. BuzzAround is not responsible for the media content of other organizations.