Jumbo Helping Hands

The annual Tufts Community Appeal to benefit charities continues through the end of December

Every year, the Tufts community comes together to help others who live just around the corner and around the world. Through donations to the Tufts Community Appeal, a woman living in a Somerville shelter will receive a warm winter coat, while a child blinded by shrapnel in Afghanistan will get medical care.

The university’s annual appeal, which supports numerous charities and nonprofit organizations, runs through the end of December. Donations can be made to a variety of recipients: the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund, which supports Tufts’ host communities and the important work that is done by Tufts volunteers at community organizations; Tufts Financial Aid, helping to make it possible for students to attend the university; one of the many coalition charity organizations the Tufts Community Appeal supports, such as United Way of Mass Bay; or a nonprofit of the donor’s choice.

Barbara Rubel, director of the Tufts Office of Community Relations, which oversees the appeal, says the program’s slogan is “Helping to Make a Difference Together,” demonstrating that “the university is one community, and we all have the opportunity to help others.”

One organization the appeal supports is Global Impact, which raises money for humanitarian needs around the world. Global Impact helps fund Doctors Without Borders, among other groups, enabling those in many countries to receive much-needed medical care. One Doctors medical facility in Afghanistan treated two brothers who were severely wounded when they picked up what they thought was a battery while playing in a field. The device turned out to be a detonator that exploded a bomb, severely wounding them. Global Impact also supports such organizations as Heifer International, Save the Children and World Vision.

Last year Tufts faculty and staff pledged $160,102 to the community appeal. The goal this year, says Rubel, is to increase the number of university employees who give. Those who do will be eligible for raffle drawings for gift cards from a variety of vendors, including Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond and Barnes & Noble. (All staff and faculty can participate in the raffle; simply send in the form to be eligible.)

Several weeks ago, all Tufts employees received a letter at work from President Anthony P. Monaco that included a pledge form and descriptions of ways to contribute. Employees can choose payroll deduction for specific agencies or use a credit card if donating to Tufts Financial Aid or the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund. In addition, participants can write a check to any agency or initiative they choose to support.

To learn more about how you can help, visit the Tufts Community Appeal website.

Marjorie Howard can be reached at marjorie.howard@tufts.edu.

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