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The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF) committee recently awarded grants to 10 organizations in Somerville. 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 faculty and administrators meet annually to review proposals and select grant recipients. In 2011 there was a total of $19,500 available to distribute through TNSF. The committee received 49 proposals, representing more than $75,000 in requests, and selected 29 programs and projects for awards. 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.
The Somerville grant recipients for 2011 are:
- Community Action Agency of Somerville, Inc. (CAAS) -- $750 towards supplies and cab vouchers for emergency transportation for low-income Somerville residents
- Eagle Eye Institute, Inc. -- $450 to enhance youth leadership program at the Healey Boys & Girls Club
- Gentle Giant Rowing Club -- $500 towards the purchase of a rowing machine for Somerville high school athletes
- Groundwork Somerville -- $750 towards the design of an agricultural site at 100 South Street
- Second Chances, Inc. -- $750 to help with its clothing donation program
- Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services -- $500 for additional meals for its Meals on Wheels program
- Somerville Children’s Network -- $300 to expand its Not Just Lego program
- Somerville Church of God -- $250 towards the cost of serving Thanksgiving dinner to homeless members in Somerville
- Somerville Homeless Coalition -- $1,000 to purchase a walk-in refrigeration unit for Project SOUP
- Somerville Public Library -- $750 for its workshop series on best practices for job searching
“It’s a sign of the times when we receive grant applications from food banks in all four of our host communities,” said Director of Community Relations Barbara Rubel. “The TNSF committee spent a lot of time considering the proposals and deliberating about distribution of the funds and made it a point to allocate the grants where the most need was demonstrated. Employee contributions make the grants possible and we thank the faculty and staff who donate to the TNSF. We are considering new ways to engage employee contributors and other fundraising so that more requests can be funded in the future.”
TNSF is a giving option of the annual Tufts Community Appeal (TCA), in which the university encourages its employees from all campuses to contribute to charitable organizations at the local, regional, national and international levels. The TCA 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, 617-627-3780.