The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF) committee awarded grants to 29 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 2011 there was a total of $19,500 available to distribute through TNSF. The committee received 49 proposals representing more than $75,000 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 Chinatown grant recipients for 2011 are:
- Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) — $400 to pilot a financial awareness series for parents.
- Asian Task For Against Domestic Violence (ATASK) — $500 for the creation of a PSA on dating violence.
- Boston Asian: Youth Essential Services — $500 to develop their Asian Teen Out and Beyond program to expose Chinatown teens to environments outside of Chinatown.
- Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) — $330 to support their Youth Center’s College Access program.
- Chinese Progressive Association — $600 to purchase 20 portable walking canes/stools.
- Josiah Quincy Elementary School — $650 for supplies to run their healthy eating/cooking class.
- RiceSticks — $1,000 to purchase culturally appropriate food to feed their clients.
- The Chinatown Coalition (TCC) — $500 for furniture in their new Reading Room.
- Wang YMCA of Chinatown — $500 for the materials to run a program about nutrition.
The Grafton grant recipients for 2011 are:
- Alternatives Unlimited, Inc. — $750 towards permanently installing propane filled power generators in their facility.
- Apple Tree Arts — $570 for the purchase of musical instruments which will enhance their multi-culture music classes.
- Community Harvest Project — $450 towards the purchase of a floor scale.
- Saint James Outreach — $2,000 to enhance their emergency relief food bank.
- Saint Mary’s Church — $500 to build a food storage cupboard for their food pantry.
The Medford grant recipients for 2011 are:
• Boys and Girls Clubs of Middlesex County – Gene Mack Clubhouse — $1,000 to enhance their STEM program.
• Columbus Elementary School — $250 to support their End of the Year Celebration and Art Show.
• Community Cupboard Food Pantry of the Unitarian Universalist Church — $2,000 to help stock the pantry, providing food for those in need.
• Medford Family Resource Coalition — $500 for supplies to help families in need.
• Outside the Lines Studio — $500 for materials to equip their Zen Room Project for autistic clients.
The Somerville grant recipients for 2011 are:
- Community Action Agency of Somerville, Inc. (CAAS) — $750 towards supplies and cab vouchers for emergency transportation for low-income Somerville residents.
- Eagle Eye Institute, Inc. — $450 to enhance their youth leadership program at the Healey Boys & Girls Club.
- Gentle Giant Rowing Club — $500 towards the purchase of a rowing machine for Somerville High School athletes.
- Groundwork Somerville — $750 towards the design of an agricultural site at 100 South Street.
- Second Chances, Inc. — $750 to help with their clothing donation program.
- Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services — $500 for additional meals for their Meals on Wheels program.
- Somerville Children’s Network — $300 to expand their Not Just Lego program.
- Somerville Church of God — $250 towards the cost of serving Thanksgiving dinner to homeless members in Somerville.
- Somerville Homeless Coalition — $1,000 to purchase a walk-in refrigeration unit for Project SOUP.
- Somerville Public Library — $750 for their workshop series on best practices for job searching.
“It’s a sign of the times when you receive grant applications from food banks in all four of our host communities,” said Barbara Rubel, Director of Community Relations. “The TNSF committee spent a lot of time considering the proposals and deliberating about distribution of the funds this year and made it a point to allocate the grants where the most need was demonstrated. Employee contributions make the grants possible and we thank the faculty and staff who donate to the TNSF. We are considering new ways to engage employee contributors and other fundraising so that more requests can be funded in the future.”
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).