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The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF) committee awarded grants to seven organizations in Chinatown, four organizations in Grafton, nine organizations in Medford, and nine organizations in Somerville.

TNSF collects donations from university employees throughout the year and then awards grants to community-based, charitable organizations that serve Tufts’ host communities (Somerville, Medford, Grafton and Boston’s Chinatown) and that actively engage Tufts volunteers in their work.

A committee comprised of Tufts administrators, faculty and staff meets annually to review proposals and select grant recipients.  In 2013 there was a total of $19,300 available to distribute through TNSF.  The committee received 69 proposals representing more than $105,000 in requests and selected 29 programs and projects for awards. Members of the TNSF committee base their decisions on a desire to address the most pressing needs in the communities and to encourage expanded involvement of Tufts volunteers.

The Grafton grant recipients for 2013 are:

  • Apple Tree Arts — $600 towards the cost of materials for Head Start classrooms.
  • Community Harvest Project — $500 extend their farmland irrigation system.
  • St. James Church Outreach Program — $1,500 for emergency relief and food supplies.
  • St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen Ministry — $1,500 for additional non-perishable foods.

The Chinatown grant recipients for 2013 are:

  • 8centric — $300 for video production supplies for an English conversion program.
  • Asian American Civic Association (AACA) — $500 to support their job training program.
  • Boston Asian: Youth Essential Services — $800 to offer fun weekly activities for Chinatown teens.
  • Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center — $500 towards translation costs and marketing an educational program created to reduce social and health disparities among Chinese American Women in the Chinatown area.
  • Josiah Quincy Elementary School — $400 to supplies to run healthy eating/cooking workshops.
  • RiceSticks — $1,500 to purchase culturally appropriate food to feed their clients.
  • Wang YMCA of Chinatown — $600 for exercise equipment for a program designed to combat adolescent obesity.

The Medford grant recipients for 2013 are:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Middlesex County — $300 to purchase t-shirts for the Medford Clubhouse’s Running Club.
  • Coalition for Arts, Culture, and a Healthy Economy (CACHE) — $300 for assistance with production costs of the annual Circle the Square festivals.
  • Columbus Elementary School — $400 to support the school’s annual Science Night.
  • Community Cupboard Food Pantry of the Unitarian Universalist Church — $2,000 for continued support for local families that use the pantry for their food needs.
  • Heading Home — $500 to support the Medford Family Life Education Center’s educational programs.
  • Medford Council on Aging — $400 to purchase books for Book Club participants who cannot afford them.
  • Medford Family Resource Coalition — $500 for costs associated with their Outreach to Medford Families Project.
  • Mystic Valley Elder Services — $1000 to support the Senior Nutrition Outreach Program’s food pantry.
  • Outside the Lines Studio — $250 for art supplies for the artists.

The Somerville grant recipients for 2013 are:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Middlesex County — $350 towards the cost to implement the “Rob Squad” at the Healey Clubhouse.
  • Center for Arabic Culture — $400 towards advertising their “Arab Women Authors” talk series.
  • Community Cooks — $600 to purchase healthy grocery supplies for their “Healthy Cooking on Budget” workshops.
  • Eagle Eye Institute, Inc. — $350 to help create an EAGLE club at Medford High School.
  • Mystic Learning Center, Inc. — $350 towards the cost of a field trip for their “Leader in Training” program.
  • ShortStop Somerville Wayside Youth and Family Services — $1000 to buy bus passes, winter clothing, and blankets for homeless youth.
  • Somerville Council on Aging — $400 towards supplies for a hand building skills workshop.
  • Somerville Homeless Coalition — $1000 to purchase a washer and dryer for the adult shelter.
  • Somerville Public Library — $500 to offer programs involving job/interview training for Somerville residents.

“This was the largest applicant pool since the fund’s inception in 1995 and it demonstrates the growing economic needs in our communities,” said Barbara Rubel, Director of Community Relations.  “The TNSF committee appreciates the important work that each organization does and wishes it could fund every request. The decisions are never easy and the committee carefully considers the areas of greatest demonstrated need in their allocation decisions.”

TNSF is a giving option of the annual Tufts Community Appeal (TCA), in which the university encourages its employees to contribute to charitable organizations at the regional, national and international levels. The TCA unites faculty and staff across all campuses of the university, and demonstrates the support the Tufts community for local and global efforts. It reflects the university community’s belief that individual action can make a difference in the world.

Questions regarding the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund can be directed to the Community Relations Office at Tufts University (617-627-3780).