MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. -- The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF) committee recently awarded grants to seven organizations in Somerville and six organizations in Medford. 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 2008 there was a total of $24,000 available to distribute through TNSF. The committee received 45 proposals representing more than $72,000 in requests and selected 26 programs and projects for awards.
"Given the current economic state, the 2008 funding decisions were especially difficult," said Barbara Rubel, director of community relations. "The TNSF committee appreciates the important work that each organization does in their community. We wish we could fund every request we receive. We hope the employee contributions to TNSF demonstrate how vital our host communities are to the entire university."
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 Somerville grant recipients for 2008 are:
- Boys and Girls Club of Middlesex County -- $500 to purchase sports and fitness equipment.
- CASPAR, Inc. -- $2,000 to purchase winter clothing for unsheltered homeless people.
- Centro Presente -- $500 toward a program that addresses the needs of at risk Latino youth.
- Somerville Homeless Coalition -- $2,000 for durable carpet in their "safe and sober" shelter.
- Somerville Homeless Coalition Project Soup -- $2,000 for food for their "Pantry Home Delivery" program.
- Somerville Mental Health Association -- $500 to translate a picture book for immigrant families in the community.
- Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services -- $1,000 for an additional 200 meals for their Evening, Weekend, and Emergency Home-delivered Meals Program.
The Medford grant recipients for 2008 are:
- Boys and Girls Club of Middlesex County-Gene Mack Clubhouse -- $1,500 to purchase craft supplies and locks for lockers.
- Community Cupboard Food Pantry of the Unitarian Universalist Church -- $2,000 to help stock the pantry, providing food for those in need.
- Medford Community Reads - Medford Public Library -- $550 to purchase books for a new program.
- Medford Family Resource Coalition -- $800 for ESL class materials.
- Medford Health Matters -- $250 towards their drug and alcohol peer adviser program.
- Medford Saving Lives -- $400 to provide safety information and safety helmets for youth in Medford.
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 at 617-627-3780.
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.