2012 Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund Recipients

April 1, 2012

The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF) committee awarded grants to eight organizations in Chinatown, five in Grafton, seven in Medford, and twelve 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 2012 there was a total of $20,380 available to distribute through TNSF.  The committee received 49 proposals representing more than $74,000 in requests and selected 32 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 2012 are:

  • Asian American Civic Association, Inc. (AACA) — $300 towards the purchase of a digital camera for the Sampan newspaper for capturing development projects in Chinatown.
  • Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) — $750 to hold educational workshops for Chinatown residents about housing rights, health care options, housing opportunities, and financial literacy.
  • Asian Task For Against Domestic Violence (ATASK) — $500 to support the hosting of the 2013 Denim Day, an anti-violence awareness campaign that empowers youth as activists in educating their community.
  • Boston Asian: Youth Essential Services — $500 towards the cost of materials teen leaders will use to carry out a healthy community campaign.
  • Boston Chinatown Resident Association — $450 to launch an education campaign for members addressing the presence of rodents in the community.
  • Boston Chinese Evangelical Church — $600 to replace outdated cassette tape duplicators in their ESL and citizenship classes.
  • Chinese Economic Development Council, Inc. — $600 to advertise their speaker series about educating Chinatown residents about cardiovascular disease.
  • Josiah Quincy Elementary School — $650 for a continuation of healthy eating/cooking class workshops sponsored by TNSF last year.

The Grafton grant recipients for 2012 are:

  • Community Harvest Project — $500 towards the purchase of energy-efficient irrigation system upgrades.
  • Grafton Public Schools — $350 for the production of a “Pet Wellness Day” to take place at Grafton elementary schools.
  • Grafton Senior Center — $800 for two and a half months’ worth of transportation services for seniors and disabled persons in the community.
  • St. James Church Outreach Program — $1,850 to expand their emergency relief funds for community members who are in need of assistance.
  • St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen Ministry — $1,825 to extend their Market Sunday Ministry to include perishable foods for the community during winter months.

The Medford grant recipients for 2012 are:

  • Coalition for Arts, Culture, and a Healthy Economy (CACHE) — $250 for assistance with production costs of the annual Circle the Square festivals.
  • Community Cupboard Food Pantry of the Unitarian Universalist Church — $2,000 towards increased costs of operation during the winter months, including serving a larger number of clients with a supply of staple foods, as well as the cost of fuel during the winter.
  • Heading Home — $250 towards educational programs at the Medford Family Life Education Center (MFLEC).
  • Medford Family Resource Coalition — $1,000 for financial aid assistance for students attending the Medford Public Schools After School Program.
  • Medford Historical Society — $500 for the cost of an archiving kit for the “Archiving Your Medford” project, a free symposium for local not-for-profit organizations to gather and preserve their historical records.
  • Outside the Lines Studio — $500 for two months of for art materials.
  • Saint Clement School — $500 towards the cost of science lab equipment.

The Somerville grant recipients for 2012 are:

  • Community Action Agency of Somerville — $500 for cab vouchers for emergency transportation for low-income Somerville residents.
  • Eagle Eye Institute, Inc. — $500 to enhance their environmental youth leadership program series at the Healey Boys and Girls Club and at the Mystic Learning Center.
  • East Somerville Community School — $400 for refreshments at their Welcome Back Day, to mark the opening of the new school building.
  • El Sistema Somerville — $400 for musical instrument accessories.
  • Groundwork Somerville — $500 for translation services and childcare at community meetings that will engage community members of color and low-income residents in the redevelopment of a state park near Assembly Square.
  • Mystic Learning Center, Inc. — $500 for the purchase of five new chairs at the center for the youth who participate in the afterschool and evening programs.
  • RESPOND, Inc. — $500            for short term money in gift card form for victims to buy food, clothing, medication, and baby needs.
  • Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services — $500 for additional meals for their Meals on Wheels program.
  • Somerville High School — $400 to purchase a Vernier LabQuest standalone interface used to collect sensor data that will replace outdated equipment in a classroom.
  • Somerville Homeless Coalition — $500 to develop a food rescue network that prevents the waste of excess food by connecting those with surplus (grocery stores, farmers markets, local growers, restaurants) with those in need (food pantries, shelters and residence homes) by way of volunteer transporters.
  • Somerville Public Library — $500 to expand programs involving computer training and job/interview training for Somerville residents.
  • The Welcome Project — $500 to support the training of 15 bilingual Somerville high school students to learn professional language interpretation skills.

“Each year, the range of grant requests from community agencies is more diverse and more telling, meaning that the committee faces an increasingly more difficult decision.  This year’s grant proposals were thoughtful and compelling. We wish we could fund all of them,” said Barbara Rubel, director of Community Relations.  “We hope the employee contributions to TNSF demonstrate how vital our host communities are to the university and we want to thank the Tufts volunteers, faculty, and staff who made this possible.”

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).