MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF) committee recently awarded grants to 31 programs in Medford and Somerville. TNSF collects donations from university employees throughout the year and then awards grants to community-based, charitable organizations that serve Tufts’ host communities (Boston’s Chinatown, Grafton, Medford and Somerville) and 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 2015, there was a total of $18,500 available to distribute through TNSF. The committee received 53 proposals representing more than $79,000 in requests and selected 38 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 Medford and Somerville grant recipients for 2015 are:
· CASPAR, Inc. – $500 to provide clean beds at their shelter.
· City of Somerville Health & Human Services Department – $500 towards a series of Community Conversations on Race and Racism.
· Coalition for Arts, Culture, and a Healthy Economy (CACHE) – $300 towards the 5th annual Circle the Square program.
· Community Action Agency of Somerville – $500 to support the Homeless Prevention Program.
· Community Conservation Education Partnership at Medford High School – $300 for Walkie Talkies for teachers to use while exploring the Fells with students.
· Community Cupboard Food Pantry – $1000 for food for their Food Pantry.
· English at Large – $250 for One-on-One tutoring and Conversation Group programs.
· Friends of the Community Growing Center, Inc. – $500 for materials to install raised beds.
· Friends of Medford Community Gardens – $254 for a picnic table at the Condon Community Garden.
· Friends of the Medford Public Library – $250 for the Community Read program.
· Groundwork Somerville – $500 for construction of a greenhouse at the South Street Farm.
· Housing Families – $250 for supplies for their After-School Photography Program.
· Just-A-Start House – $500 to support program activities.
· Medford Boys and Girls Club – $500 for continued support for the “Art Attack” program.
· Medford Council on Aging – $390 for reception area equipment for seniors.
· Medford Family Resource Coalition – $500 for Welcome to Kindergarten bags.
· Medford Middle School String Ensemble – $260 to purchase a microphone.
· Mystic Learning Center, Inc. – $250 to support their Garden Club afterschool program.
· Mystic River Watershed Association – $400 to host two Earth Day River Cleanups.
· RESPOND, Inc. – $200 for gift cards for survivors.
· Somerville Boys & Girls Club at Healey School – $500 to implement a Scrapbooking Club.
· Somerville Cares About Prevention – $200 to create a Social Hub for youth and adult members.
· Somerville Community Access Television – $200 to produce videos with Teen Empowerment.
· Somerville Food Security Coalition – $400 for kitchen supplies.
· Somerville Homeless Coalition – $400 to help with the cost of moving Project Soup.
· Somerville YMCA – $500 to incorporate the Afterschool Y Readers program.
· Somerville YMCA Preschool – $500 to bring in an outside music enrichment program.
· Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, Inc. – $300 for their evening, weekend, and emergency home-delivered Meal-on-Wheels Program.
· The Community Family – $500 to support the Activity Program at the Medford Center.
· West Medford Community Center – $300 to purchase folding tables and $500 to help install the West Medford Afro-African Remembrance Project exhibit at the Center.
Award grants were also made to organizations in Tufts’ host communities of Boston’s Chinatown and Grafton.
“The range of work and services that each agency provides the community continues to impress the TNSF committee,” said Barbara Rubel, director of Community Relations. “It is no wonder that these agencies attract so many Tufts volunteers to work with them. We hope the employee contributions to TNSF demonstrate how vital our host communities are to the university.”
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).