Tufts University employee fund supports local community organizations across Greater Boston

Recipients of Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund grants pose with Tufts University President Tony Monaco, Senior Vice President Mary Jeka and members of the Office of Government and Community Relations during a reception on the Medford/Somerville campus on April 26, 2019.

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (May 3, 2019) – Thirty-six local organizations in four communities have been awarded a record $28,000 in grants from the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF). The TNSF, fully funded by donations from faculty and staff at Tufts University, awards small grants to community-based charitable organizations that serve one of Tufts’ host communities of Boston, Grafton, Medford and Somerville.

“The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund is a great way for our employees to support nonprofit organizations in our host communities,” said Rocco DiRico, director of Tufts Government and Community Relations office. “All of the money raised goes directly to organizations that must also have Tufts students, faculty and staff as volunteers. In this way, the TNSF not only supports our host communities, but also reflects the great charitable work of individuals at Tufts."

The 11 Boston grant recipients are:

  • Art Resource Collaborative for Kids - $500 to support a public art festival in the Fenway
  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center - $500 for transportation costs of their college access program
  • Chinese Progressive Association - $500 towards funding the Chinatown block party which supports preservation of affordable housing
  • Friday Night Supper Program - $1,000 for purchase of fresh produce for a weekly meal for homeless individuals
  • Gentle Giant Rowing Club - $250 towards the purchase of a coaching boat
  • Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center - $1,000 to expand their Memory Café program which serves memory impaired individuals
  • Josiah Quincy Elementary School - $1,000 for AV upgrades in their auditorium
  • Josiah Quincy Upper School - $1,000 for a student Chromebook charging station
  • Peer Health Exchange - $250 for T-passes for student volunteers providing health education in underserved Boston Public Schools
  • Ricesticks and Tea - $1,000 towards stocking their food pantry serving Chinatown
  • Strong Women Strong Girls - $1,000 to fund training of undergraduate student mentors working with girls in Boston Public Schools

The three Grafton grant recipients are:

  • Apple Tree Arts - $500 for new instruments for their Head Start Music Outreach program
  • Saint James Outreach - $2,000 for their emergency relief fund which supports residents in need
  • St. Mary Parish Market Sunday - $650 for new utility carts used to transport food pantry items

The 11 Medford grant recipients are:

  • Boston Shakespeare Project - $500 to support the “Shakespeare in Motion” theater literacy program in Medford
  • Columbus School PTO - $500 to support costs for their Annual Science Night
  • Community Cupboard - $2,000 towards the purchase of food for their food pantry
  • Congregational Church of West Medford dba Sanctuary - $2,000 to fund cost of preparing 10,000 free meals at a volunteer event
  • Malden YMCA - $1,000 to fund “Pop Up” food markets in Medford for individuals dealing with food insecurity
  • Medford Family Resource Coalition/Medford Public Schools - $250 for resources for a Social Emotional Learning lending library in the Medford Family Network Center
  • Medford High School/Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility - $250 for building supplies for “Little Free Library” project
  • Mystic River Watershed Association - $250 for educational signage at MacDonald Park
  • Roberts Elementary School - $250 to support purchase of supplies for annual Field Day
  • Walnut Street Center - $640 towards the purchase of an adjustable changing table for the mobility impaired
  • West Medford Community Center - $250 for their Girls Basketball program

The 11 Somerville grant recipients are:

  • CASPAR - $500 for bed linens and towels for their Emergency Services Shelter
  • Catholic Charities - $500 to repair their shelter’s kitchen floor damaged by water
  • Friends of Healey - $250 for a scholarship to Nature’s classroom
  • Hearty Meals for All - $2,000 to fund their monthly free meal program
  • Mystic Learning Center - $565 for a piano bench, humidifier and seating for their performance area
  • RESPOND, Inc - $1,000 to fund summer programs for children living in their shelter
  • Second Chances, Inc. - $1,000 for upgrades to clothing donation bins
  • Somerville Council on Aging - $250 to hire visiting instructor for their Memory Café, which support individuals with dementia or cognitive decline
  • Somerville Food Security Coalition - $600 for their monthly free meal and pop-up food pantry
  • Somerville Homeless Coalition, Project SOUP - $1,295 to pay for a weekly truck rental to transport donated food to their pantry
  • Somerville Public Library - $1,000 to enhance their “Citizenship Corner” with educational resources for immigrants working towards US citizenship

Once a year, a committee comprised of Tufts administrators, faculty and staff meets to review proposals and select grant recipients. This year, the committee received 63 proposals and ultimately awarded 36 programs and projects. 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.

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 impact of the Tufts community on local and global efforts.

Questions regarding the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund can be directed to the Office of Government and Community Relations at Tufts University online or by phone at 617-627-3780.


About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, 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.

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