In Brief

Offering a Helping Hand

The annual Tufts Community Appeal, which runs through Dec. 31, gives assistance to those in need
December 6, 2016

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Caleb Davis, administrative director at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, has worked at the university for nearly a decade, and throughout that time, he has made donations to the Tufts Community Appeal (TCA) to support financial aid at the School of Arts and Sciences.

This year, he says, he was honored to be asked to join the annual appeal as a co-chair. He and his 10 fellow chairs have been tasked with educating and encouraging faculty and staff to support the campaign.

“If you’re giving to the university, the TCA allows you to donate whatever amount you’re comfortable with,” Davis says. “You may not be able to donate large sums of money yourself, but if your donation is combined with others through the TCA, it becomes something much greater. And making a donation of any kind puts you in the position to help make change.”

In addition to supporting financial aid at Tufts, the annual appeal offers options for donating to local and global nonprofits, such as the United Way of Central Massachusetts and Global Impact Charities. Or you can donate to the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF), which assists nonprofits in Tufts’ host communities—Somerville, Medford, Grafton, and Boston’s Chinatown and Mission Hill neighborhoods—or to a nonprofit that is personally meaningful.

Last year, 575 faculty and staff donated more than $300,000 to the appeal. Nearly 75 percent of those gifts were for financial aid. Another $18,000 went to the TNSF; recipients will be chosen at the end of the year. In the previous year, TNSF funding supported 38 community programs and projects, including a cancer prevention awareness program for Boston’s Chinese community, transportation for central Massachusetts residents to attend nutrition programs, a series of community conversations on race and racism in Somerville, and walkie-talkies for Medford High School teachers to use while exploring the Middlesex Fells with their students.

Because last year’s campaign was so successful, Tufts is raising the bar, hoping that 650 faculty and staff will contribute to this year’s campaign. Thanks to the work of Davis and his co-chairs, as well as faculty and staff who participated in the Giving Tuesday campaign on Nov. 29, more than 500 faculty and staff have already contributed to the 2016 community appeal.

Giving to the TCA demonstrates a commitment to Tufts’ mission of active citizenship, says campaign co-chair David M. Gute, a professor of civil and environmental engineering. “The community appeal allows us all to do our small part to improve the quality of life for students, faculty and staff at Tufts,” he says. “And at the same time, you can give to the causes you value.”

Davis and Gute are joined on the TCA committee by President Anthony Monaco; Elizabeth Ammons, the Harriet H. Fay Professor of Literature; Jean Poteete, the senior campus planner at Cummings School; Beatrice Rogers, a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; Deb Mascara, a senior telecom analyst with Tufts Technology Services; Christine Robertson, coordinator for the Department of Public Health and Community Service at the School of Dental Medicine; Laurie Hurley, director of admissions and financial aid at the Fletcher School; John Leong, professor and chair of molecular biology and microbiology at the School of Medicine; and Jessica Byrnes, special projects administrator at Tisch College.

The appeal runs through Dec. 31, and Davis notes that anyone who is contemplating making a gift to their favorite charity to receive a year-end tax deduction can do so through the appeal. In addition to his usual gift to financial aid, this year he said he also plans to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union. “Public aid is becoming vulnerable,” he says. “This is an important moment in history to support the causes you are passionate about.”

Make your gift today. Contribute to Tufts Community Appeal by making a gift online or returning this form to the Office of Community Relations, or make your donation through payroll deduction via Employee Self Service.

Contact Divya Amladi at divya.amladi@tufts.edu.