The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF) committee awarded grants to 27 organizations. 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 2009 there was a total of $17,500 available to distribute through TNSF. The committee received 50 proposals representing more than $82,000 in requests and selected 27 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, to assist programs with few other options for support, and to encourage expanded involvement of Tufts volunteers.
The Chinatown grant recipients for 2009 are:
- Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence — $500 to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate materials for community specific outreach initiatives.
- Boston Asian: Youth Essentials Service — $1,260 to purchase food and supplies for a food and conversation club.
- Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center — $800 to support their College Advisory Program at the Oak Street Youth Center.
- Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center — $750 to develop a Chinese booklet "Healthy Eating" to educate Chinese-speaking elders in the importance of healthy eating to prevent the development or progression of chronic diseases.
- Wang YMCA of Chinatown — $1600 to purchase equipment for their Children’s Alphabet Exercise Project.
The Grafton grant recipients for 2009 are:
- Apple Tree Arts — $600 to purchase materials for disadvantaged children and their families that attend their weekly music classes.
- Community Harvest Project — $525 to buy a hydrant system for their soil amendment project
- The Huggable Hounds 4H Club — $200 toward the purchase of wish list items for children to donate to the Why Me/Sherry House which provides support to families with childhood cancer
- Second Chance Fund for Animal Welfare — $300 to purchase equipment to respond to the needs of feral cats.
- St. James Church Outreach Program — $1,000 to expand and provide emergency and supplemental services to families and the elderly.
- St. James Church Parish — $300 to provide food, medicine, bedding and crafts for underprivileged children.
- St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen Ministry — $750 to buy food carts and coolers.
The Medford grant recipients for 2009 are:
- Community Cupboard Food Pantry of the Unitarian Universalist Church — $1,500 to help stock the pantry, providing food for those in need.
- The Community Family, Inc. — $650 toward the purchase of a Wii gaming system and accessories for memory impaired adults.
- Medford Historical Society — $100 to help support a second bike tour through the city of Medford
- Medford Public Schools, Brooks Elementary School and the Columbus Elementary School — $600 to support afterschool programs.
- Medford Senior Center — $915 toward the cost of a large screen television in order to establish a space for Wii exergaming in the senior center.
- Outside the Lines Studio — $200 for partial funding of sensorimotor materials to stimulate group interaction between volunteers and clients and to facilitate relationship building.
- Heading Home — $500 to provide assistance to families moving from shelters into permanent housing.
The Somerville grant recipients for 2009 are:
- Boys and Girls Club of Middlesex County — $500 toward the cost of materials to create a Healthy Habits program that will educate clubhouse members on the importance of a healthy eating lifestyle.
- Cambridge & Somerville Legal Services — $600 to translate outreach materials to Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole.
- CASPAR, Inc. — $500 to purchase winter clothing for unsheltered homeless people.
- Mystic Learning Center — $500 to engage children in their afterschool program in a project that encourages youth to become active stewards of the environment.
- Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE) — $750 to purchase electronic equipment for a new archival and literacy storytelling project called "Connect 2."
- Somerville Homeless Coalition — $750 for a freezer chest in Project SOUP’s emergency food pantry program.
- Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services — $500 for additional meals for their evening, weekend, and emergency home-delivered meals program.
- Wayside Youth and Family Support Network — $350 toward the cost of public transportation passes for the young adult participants in their Shortstop program.
"For the first time in its 14-year history, we received a fairly even distribution of applications from all four of our host communities. This speaks volumes about the need that organizations in all areas are feeling," said Barbara Rubel, director of community relations. "The committee deliberated long and hard about distributing the funds this year and made it a point to allocate the grants where the most need was demonstrated. This isn’t the end of the economic struggle and we know the coming year could be even more difficult for folks, but the university is committed to supporting our host communities."
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 has 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).