Tufts Awards 35 Grants to Support Local Initiatives

A Cummings Foundation matching gift doubled the amount of the grant awards made this year to community-based charitable organizations in Boston, Grafton, Medford, and Somerville

Thirty-five local organizations in Tufts’ four host communities have been awarded $70,000 in grants from the Tufts Community Grants (TCG) program. The grants, which are funded by donations from Tufts University faculty and staff, are awarded each year to community-based charitable organizations in Boston, Grafton, Medford, and Somerville. This year, individual grant awards were doubled, from $1,000 to $2,000, thanks to a generous matching gift from Cummings Foundation.

TCG is a giving option of the annual Tufts Community Appeal, an internal fundraising campaign for Tufts faculty and staff. Through their donations to the TCG program, university employees directly support the work of Tufts’ community partners and the welfare of Tufts’ host communities.

During the 2022 appeal, a record number of staff and faculty donors made gifts to TCG.

“Philanthropy is often most effective when decisions are made at a very local level,” said Bill Cummings, A58, H06, J97P, M97P, founder of Cummings Properties and co-founder of Cummings Foundation. “For this reason, we greatly admire programs like Tufts Community Grants and are delighted to amplify their impact through matching funds.” Cummings is a business leader, philanthropist, and trustee emeritus of Tufts who grew up in Medford.

Once a year, a volunteer board of Tufts faculty and staff members reviews proposals and selects grant recipients. Board members represent all of Tufts’ Massachusetts campuses and a variety of different disciplines and roles from across the university. Members of the TCG board look for applicants that offer important services and programming for residents of our host communities, and that are also engaged with Tufts volunteers drawn from among the faculty, staff, and student communities.

We are always inspired by the many ways in which Tufts’ community partners serve and improve our host communities through their vital work—as their compelling proposals to the TCG program make clear once again.

Community Programs Specialist Leah Boudreau

“The TCG Board had the challenging task of selecting grantees from the largest applicant pool in the program’s history,” said Leah Boudreau, community programs specialist in Tufts University’s office of Government and Community Relations. “We are always inspired by the many ways in which Tufts’ community partners serve and improve our host communities through their vital work—as their compelling proposals to the TCG program make clear once again.”

This year, the committee received 90 proposals and chose 35 programs and projects to fund. Each organization selected will receive a $2,000 grant. Programs supported will address a variety of needs and service areas such as food insecurity, educational access, health services, art and cultural programs, and environmental causes. 

Funding from the 2022 Tufts Community Grant supports:


Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence: Purchase of culturally specific food for an emergency shelter that provides a refuge for pan-Asian survivors of domestic violence

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center: A mental wellness initiative providing culturally appropriate support to Asian immigrant and Asian American youth leaders

Daily Table: Coupons for economically vulnerable residents in Dorchester and Roxbury, supporting the purchase of fresh, culturally diverse produce and grocery staples

Fenway Cares: Purchase of food supplies for a biweekly food distribution initiative supporting food insecure families and seniors in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood

Fenway Community Center: Free programming for Fenway-area seniors attending in-person community-building events

Friday Night Supper Program: Purchase of 100 pairs of waterproof boots and warm socks for homeless and low-income individuals

Haley House: Purchase of durable furniture to create an outside dining option for their soup kitchen

Soccer Without Borders: Summer work stipends for five high school student leaders to coach soccer programs for refugee, immigrant, and asylee youth

Sociedad Latina: Mental health and wellness care packages for 50 high school youth enrolled in the Summer Learning Academy

Wang YMCA of Chinatown: Supplies and program enhancements for youth and senior activities including Take a Book/Leave a Book, Community Night Badminton and Ping Pong, and Teen Night


Apple Tree Arts: Youth theatre arts summer program expenses

Community Harvest: Supplies for the Volunteer Farming Program, which grows fruits and vegetables for food-insecure households

Grafton Food Bank: Funding for toiletry, personal care items, and underwear for clients, many of whom are seniors

Grafton Senior Center: Six months of free van rides for Grafton seniors to provide access to medical care and other necessities

Saint James Outreach: Gift cards for fresh produce, personal care items, and back-to-school items for financially insecure households in Grafton


Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility: Trash bags, first aid supplies, trash grabbers, gloves, and other materials for a Middlesex Fells Reservation cleanup

Community Cupboard Food Pantry: Purchase of food pantry items and supermarket gift cards for food-insecure Medford residents

English At Large: Dictionaries, textbooks, and software for use in beginner English classes for immigrants

Friends of the Middlesex Fells: Funding for the Fells Trail Adopter Program, a volunteer trail maintenance and preservation initiative

Medford Community Chorale and Youth/Young Adult Chorus: Sheet music for community spring concert in the Caron Theatre at Medford High School

Medford Family Network: Funding for new programs for children diagnosed with autism, including adaptive swim, soccer lessons, and nature hikes

Medford Farmers Market: Additional funds for SNAP/EBT eligible customers to purchase fresh, healthy, and local food at the weekly market

Mystic River Watershed Association: Cleanup supplies and educational materials for youth engagement programs at the Mystic River

Mystic Valley YMCA: Three rolling shelves to transport, store, and display food at the Mystic Community Market, a full-service food pantry open six days a week

Sanctuary UCC: Funding to support a citywide meal-packing event, preparing 25,000 meals for food-insecure residents


The Beautiful Stuff Project: Supplies and an instructor stipend for a fused-glass interdisciplinary course with Somerville High School's art and science departments

Breakthrough Greater Boston: Funding to purchase copies of the community novel and literature books for the summer program's 245 middle school students

CASPAR: New undergarments for shelter residents and homeless individuals receiving support from the street outreach team

Community Cooks: Updated technology to improve the coordination and delivery of home-cooked meals to vulnerable populations seeking support at local human service agencies

East Somerville Main Streets: Marketing and operation costs to start a new Sunday Farmers Market in East Somerville that will be free for vendors to participate for the first year

Mystic Learning Center: Purchase of translation devices and interpreters' services to improve multilingual communication with families and community members

Partners for Youth With Disabilities: Funding for closed captioning and personal care attendant services to support the Mentor Match program

RESPOND: Paint, furniture, sensory toys, and books to revitalize the counseling office and children's playspace at the shelter

Somerville Homeless Coalition: Basic supplies and funding for street outreach program to assist individuals with vital document/ID fees, cell phones, and transportation costs

Somerville High School: Lab coats for participants in the high school's dental assistant program  

TCG is just one of the many ways in which the university assists members of our host communities. Tufts University’s Government and Community Relations team provides event sponsorships for local organizations, host community events on campus, and, in collaboration with other offices at Tufts, helps to support over 1,000 student volunteers with their community engagement work.

Questions regarding TCG can be directed to the office of Government and Community Relations at communityrelations@tufts.edu or 617-627-3780.

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