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Community Activities + Programs

We are committed to building and sustaining a strong, vibrant and healthy community.

Inspiring a healthy community

We're here to support our community members throughout their lives. Our center offers a bunch of programs, activities, and resources that promote healthy lifestyles and health education for everyone. We're here to help you with any challenges you may have, whether it's during emergencies, improving access to care, or addressing unique healthcare needs. We appreciate volunteers and donations for our programs, so if you want to chip in, give us a call at 781.338.7552.


Community programs

Our programs vary from providing referrals to support networks to providing access to food and clothing to supporting elders and families with young children in our community.

North Suburban Child + Family Resource Network

The North Suburban Child & Family Resource Network supports all parents, caregivers and educators of children prenatal through entering kindergarten who live in Lynnfield, Malden, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Winchester and other surrounding communities.

We aim to help parents and caregivers create a healthy home environment and promote family well-being through education and community support. We provide parent education workshops, playgroups, support groups, family activities, parenting information, and community resources. Programs and activities are located within our seven-town service area. Resources for services for older children are also available.

For more information and to join our mailing list, please call 781.246.5187.

Funding is provided by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care through the Wakefield Public Schools, in collaboration with MelroseWakefield Healthcare. Additional funding sources are a variety of grants and generous donations from our families and supporters.

We offer numerous programs to help parents and caregivers access the support their families need:

  • Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in Harmony: We offer a support group for grandparents raising their grandchildren or other relatives raising a family member. The program meets twice a month from September through June. For additional information, call 781.246.5187.
  • Ages and Stages Developmental Screenings: As parents, we want to know that our children are on track developing and learning all that they can. Through the Department of Early Education and Care, we have received access to developmental and social-emotional growth questionnaire ages and stages. This screening tool is a great way to learn more about your child’s development. Once completed, you and a staff member can review the results and see what we can do together to help your child reach their full potential. If you have any questions, please call our office at 781.246.5187.
WIC nutrition programs

Are you struggling to meet your weekly food bill with a child under 5 years old? 
Are you a new mom on unpaid maternity leave? 
Has your family recently experienced a reduction in work hours or job loss?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, you may be eligible for WIC (Women, Infants and Children) benefits. The North Suburban WIC is a health and nutrition program sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the USDA, administered locally by MelroseWakefield Hospital.

To find out if you’re eligible, please call 781.338.7578 or apply online.

Current participants can meet with the family support coordinator, who can help them find additional community support such as housing and childcare needs. For further information or to schedule an appointment please call 781.338.7570.

Mobile Food Market

If you need food assistance, we have a program that may help. Once a month, on the second Saturday at 1 p.m., we distribute fresh produce, dairy products and other healthy food items. Pre-registration is required call 781.338.7568.

North Suburban WIC Program/MelroseWakefield Hospital offers this program, in partnership with the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Malden Zonta Club.

Baby Café: Breastfeeding support

We offer free, drop-in virtual support programs several times a week. Breastfeeding and pregnant mothers who want to learn more about breastfeeding are welcome to attend. MelroseWakefield Hospital lactation consultants and counselors facilitate Baby Cafés.

For more information, please call 781-979-MILK (6455), email, or join us for our next session.

Mothers Helping Mothers Clothing Closet

If you need a helping hand, call 781.338.7579 to make an appointment for the store, including books, infant and children’s clothing (up to size 16) and baby essentials.

If you have gently used items you would like to donate, call 781.338.7607. We accept children’s clothes, books, bouncy seats, disposable diapers (open packages are okay), maternity clothes, Pack ‘n Play®, swings and strollers. We do not currently accept adult clothing, toys, cribs or car seats.

Healthy Families

Healthy Families Melrose-Wakefield/MA Home Visiting Initiative is a home visiting program available for first-time parents aged 24 and under. We serve families in Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham and Wakefield. Parents can receive these services during pregnancy through their child’s third birthday. You are eligible for this free and voluntary program if you are a first-time parent, age 24 or younger and your baby is less than one year old at the time of referral. You do not need to receive care from MelroseWakefield Hospital facility or physician to be eligible.

Healthy Families supports you with services, such as:

  • Connection to community resources and activities
  • Information on child development
  • Prenatal and parenting coaching
  • Support groups and activities
  • Support of goal development for the future

For more information, don't hesitate to contact us at 781.338.7550.

Healthy Families is funded by the Children’s Trust. The MA Home Visiting Initiative is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Services are free to families that meet the eligibility guidelines with no income requirement.

Aging in Balance

Aging in Balance is a senior outreach program providing educational programs, blood pressure monitoring and ask-a-nurse clinics at low-income elder housing sites and community-based venues. We offer evidence-based educational programs on a variety of topics, based on the needs of our communities, such as sleep health, improving balance for fall prevention, meditation and heart health.

For further information, please contact us at 781.338.7823.


The Community Family – Dutton Center

The Community Family – Dutton Center offers a low-cost option for the care of elderly and disabled adults, offering nursing care, therapeutic activities, nutrition and socialization opportunities, as well as much-needed respite for their care providers.

For more information, visit their website or call 781.246.2820.

Philips Lifeline

Philips Lifeline provides 24/7 personal emergency response services to thousands of subscribers. These services are available to patients and community members. You can get help anytime with the press of a button. Specialty services such as fall detection, medication management and medicine lockboxes are available.

To learn more about Philips Lifeline or to order a personal emergency response device, talk with your physician provider or call Philips Lifeline at:

  • MassHealth customers: 800-368-2925
  • Private pay customers: 800-242-1306 ext 4939
Additional community resources

These are great community programs that are not affiliated or funded by us. We’ve pulled together this list of helpful support services available to parents and caregivers throughout north suburban Boston.

  • Action for Boston Community Development: Need help staying warm in winter? Finding a summer job? Becoming a U.S. citizen? Training for a promising career? You may be interested in one program and find others to help you transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. Action for Boston Community Development is here for you in many ways from fuel assistance to tax preparations and many more! For more information, call 781-321-2501.
  • Autism Support Center: Created to support parents and professionals who need assistance finding information and support about autism spectrum disorders. This group meets in Danvers, MA. For more information please call 978-777-9135 or e-mail
  • Childcare and preschool information: Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care provides a town-by-town list if you are looking for a licensed childcare or preschool.
  • Early intervention: Any parent or guardian with concerns about their child’s development can request an evaluation for their birth to three years old. An assessment will be scheduled to determine your child’s strengths and needs to determine if your family is eligible for services.
    • Criterion Stoneham Early Intervention: 781-935-3855
    • Eliot Human Services Early Intervention: 781-306-4820
  • EMARC: Their mission is to support, serve, and advocate for people with developmental disabilities and their families to ensure they are valued, respected and can fully participate in their communities. For additional information, call 781-587-2314.
  • Northeast Arc: Dedicated to providing lifelong individualized support to people with or at risk of developing disabilities and their families, ensuring opportunities to choose and realize their goals of where and how they learn, live, work, socialize and play. They offer a variety of programs, including early intervention, recreation, personal assistance, advocacy, transition services and more. For more information, please call 978-762-4878 or visit Northeast Arc.
  • “MA 211” information center: Will assist you with finding information about resources available in your area. For more information, please visit or call 211.
  • Melrose Family Room: A non-profit, cooperative organization providing a gathering place for member families with infants, toddlers and preschool children. The room is a wonderful place to play, talk, discuss parenting concerns, and in general, get to know families from Melrose and surrounding communities. The room is open to members for drop-in playtime Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. For more information visit Melrose Family Room.
  • One Tough Job: Created by the Children’s Trust, One Tough Job connects parents in Massachusetts and beyond with the latest and greatest parenting information, ideas and on-the-ground resources. They also provide a bridge to help you find other moms and dads who have asked the same questions and faced similar challenges. For more information visit
  • Parents Helping Parents: Are you a parent feeling overwhelmed, isolated or stressed? Parents Helping Parents offers weekly support groups where parents discuss family problems and figure out ways to improve things. For location and meeting times visit or call 1.800.632.8188. This number also functions as a 24-hour helpline for parents.
  • Parents of Tots: Parents of Tots is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families with young children under six years old in Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Woburn and surrounding towns. Their mission is to provide parents with the means to build a supportive social network for parents with young children.
  • The Center for Early Relationship Support of Jewish Family & Children’s Service: The JCC provides a variety of support services to parents of children birth to five, including free weekly Moms groups, free home visiting from volunteer mothers called “Visiting Moms,” postpartum depression support including a free weekly group on the North Shore, and parent consultations.
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