Press Release

January 2019

The fight against hunger in Cambridge

By | 2019-03-21T18:22:33+00:00 January 15th, 2019|Press Release|

Cambridge is home to hundreds of families with million-dollar annual incomes AND hundreds of families facing hunger year-round. The statistics on food insecurity in the area are startling; according to the 2017 Cambridge Needs Assessment, a study funded by CCF and the City: 12% of Cambridge households are enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a federal program; 45% of students enrolled in Cambridge Public Schools (CPSD) are enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program. For many, this is the one solid meal kids have in the day. Meanwhile as residents struggle to provide food for their families, there is a tremendous amount of wasted food from homes, restaurants, caterers, cafeterias, and grocery stores. Cambridge is fortunate to have a web of nonprofits and programs addressing hunger and food insecurity in our community and CCF is proud to support most of them. These programs include major efforts like Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC), a one-stop shop for social services that also acts as a clearinghouse for food. And Food For Free, a local nonprofit that helps distribute more than 2 million pounds of food to 120 agencies, serving a dozen local pantries in our area. (Food For Free [...]

MLK Day brings neighbors together to help neighbors in the spirit of Dr. King

By | 2019-03-21T21:07:35+00:00 January 15th, 2019|Press Release|

On Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 21, the values of Dr. King and Cambridge will be on display in our city. Every year since 2010, Many Helping Hands 365 has organized the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cambridge Day of Service, drawing thousands of volunteers together for an afternoon of service projects at Central Square locations. It has become one of the largest community service events in New England. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds work on projects aimed to help people in need in our community. Neighbors work side by side to deliver donated food to local food pantries, make valentines for seniors, sort winter clothing for shelters, design and sew fleece blankets and scarves for the homeless children, teens and adults, and deliver them to shelters. Photo by Randy Goodman Last year the impact was incredible, reaching more than 10,000 people in need in our community: 400 bags of groceries were donated by neighbors in Huron Village, an effort that involves dozens of high school students from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School as collectors and deliverers to thirteen food pantries; 660 fleece blankets and scarfs were designed and sewn for homeless children and adults and then delivered; 1,700 toiletry kits were delivered to the homeless and those in shelters, thanks to donations from local hotels; 3,500 Valentine Cards were made and delivered to local seniors, [...]

December 2018

Philanthropy Spotlight: Charlotte Wagner on justice and philanthropy

By | 2019-03-21T21:07:55+00:00 December 21st, 2018|Press Release|

Since 2005, Charlotte Wagner has honed the mission of the Wagner Foundation to focus on justice through economic mobility, health equity, cultural transformation and institutional fairness, including criminal justice reform. Its motto: Just and Robust. The Wagner Foundation is also a long-time supporter of CCF and a major donor to the Family Independence Initiative (FII), a core program of the Foundation’s Strong Families Initiative. Charlotte spoke with the Foundation about the theme of justice. Why invest in this city? Cambridge represents excellence in so many different facets, from Harvard and MIT, and their world-class research and thought leadership, to its amazing cultural and business epicenters. Still, 14 percent of our community residents live in poverty. That disparity concerns me. We support Family Independence Initiative, which has expanded into Cambridge thanks to CCF and other donors. Through FII, families develop a network and get themselves out of poverty through the supportive relationships they form. FII provides resources and empowers families to meet the challenges they face in a way that is best for them. Why do you support CCF? CCF serves as a critical convener and thought leader, bringing together great minds and unique perspectives to solve complex issues. As [...]

Civic Leadership Spotlight: Cambridge family brings civil rights and math to kids

By | 2019-03-21T21:08:51+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Press Release|

Bob Moses is a “big picture” person whose life work has been continental in scope.  A civil rights leader described as an inspiration by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Bob launched the Algebra Project in Cambridge with the proceeds of a MacArthur Fellowship (known as the “Genius” grant) he was awarded in 1982. Bob, Maisha, and Janet Moses Civil Rights are important to Bob and Janet, his wife and partner at the Algebra Project, but equally important are the very specific and very local needs of children—their own and those in our community. The Algebra Project began when Bob realized that structural gaps in local education blocked access to key upper level math courses for certain children – specifically low-income children and children of color. He began teaching math to kids at the MLK School on Saturdays and after school, beginning with his daughter, Maisha, and her classmates. Bob has always been an important presence in the community, says Khari Milner, who grew up with the Moses children in the neighborhood known now as “The Port.” Today, Milner carries the same Moses family-like focus on effective education as co-director for Cambridge Agenda for Children Out-of-School Time [...]

Civic Leadership Spotlight: Elaine DeRosa, sharing luck and giving back through CEOC

By | 2019-03-21T21:08:24+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Press Release|

By Deborah Blackwell Cambridge Community Foundation Correspondent If it weren’t for the Yellow Pages, a ride from a friend, and some good luck, Elaine DeRosa may not have spent nearly four decades changing lives. The former executive director of the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC), who retired March 2018, has always been pretty lucky, and her mission has always been to share it. DeRosa was the second generation in her Sicilian family to be born in America, and the first to go to college. In her junior year she hitched that ride to Cambridge hoping she might find work for her Springfield College required field placement and landed at CCF who sent her right to CEOC - an organization offering assistance such as housing, health, and food services to less fortunate members residing in the economically diverse community of Cambridge. “My family were the lucky ones, we had the luck of the draw, the benefits, and we were able to figure it out,” said DeRosa. “But I’ve known my whole life it shouldn’t be the luck of the draw, these are real issues to me. Thank you CCF, it was a remarkable connection.” When DeRosa arrived at CEOC on [...]

Civic Leadership Spotlight: The comprehensive way to address domestic violence

By | 2019-03-21T21:12:25+00:00 December 5th, 2018|Press Release|

Domestic Violence is hard to talk about and deeply personal. It’s also pervasive and universal, affecting people of all backgrounds, including Cambridge residents. While the executive director of Transition House, domestic violence was Risa Mednick’s adversary.  She knows first-hand a problem this big can’t be solved by a single domestic violence organization quietly working alone. “Historically, shelter was seen as the antidote to domestic violence, but it’s a tiny drop in the bucket of possible responses,” said Mednick. “It’s not the solution to an issue that’s driven by a culture of misogyny, violence and inequity.” Transition House provides transitional housing for about 100 people every year and serves over 1,000 community members of all ages and backgrounds with a wide range of support services, education, training, and prevention tools.  Cambridge Community Foundation has funded Transition House since it started more than 40 years ago as the first domestic violence shelter on the East Coast and only the second in the country. Under Mednick’s leadership, Transition House analyzed what was and wasn’t working in domestic violence prevention and re-committed to finding solutions.  As a result, the organization looked for reliable partners to create new strategies to both deliver services to [...]

CCF awards $467,000 in new grants, bringing total nonprofit investments to $722,000 this fall

By | 2018-12-04T16:25:08+00:00 December 4th, 2018|Press Release|

The Cambridge Community Foundation awards $467,000 in new grants; brings CCF nonprofit investments to $722,000 this fall Jump to a list of fall 2018 grants December 4, 2018—Cambridge, MA The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) has announced the recipients of its fall 2018 grantmaking cycle, awarding a total of $367,000 in grants to 56 local nonprofits meeting a wide range of social and educational needs, and committing an additional $100,000 to support four initiatives: strengthening the nonprofit sector in Cambridge, preserving and promoting Central Square as the heart of the City, connecting local youth to innovation through trainings, and supporting the growth of businesses owned by local women of color. This support, in addition to $255,000 in grants to four legal defense organizations in October, brings a total of $722,000 to local nonprofits this fall. CCF’s grantmaking is an important part of its century-long mandate to support the wellbeing of Cambridge and all its residents. “Listening to the community and responding to its needs is essential for a local philanthropic platform that supports shared prosperity, social equity, and cultural richness in our community,” said CCF President Geeta Pradhan. “This year we can clearly see that the need in the nonprofit [...]

November 2018

CEOC: A Passionate Advocate With a Very Wide Reach

By | 2018-11-20T16:54:25+00:00 November 20th, 2018|Press Release, Uncategorized|

CEOC: A Passionate Advocate With a Very Wide Reach Volunteer Fernende Desir offers a box of cereal to a client at the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee food bank. People carrying shopping bags line up early at the basement door of 11 Inman St. four days a week. What brings them here is the hope of taking home a box of free groceries to help feed their families for another few days.     For some, the food pantry at the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC) is the difference between having a meal that day or going to bed hungry. Volunteer Fernende Desir is very aware of the difference the small agency is making in the community every day as she prepares each food parcel with bread, fruits and vegetables, canned goods and maybe a carton of eggs or a pack of hot dogs.   Volunteer Fernende Desir helps clients at the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee food bank.  “Oh, my God they are a blessing. I am blessed, blessed, blessed,” said Desir, wearing a white apron, slipping a baguette into a plastic bag. “There are good people here with good hearts. They understand people’s problems and they help.”   The CEOC is a one-stop shop for Cambridge residents in need of immediate help, and assistance navigating the complicated web of federal and local social service programs available to them. For more than 50 years, the agency has provided a wide [...]

October 2018

Cambridge Community Foundation to Distribute a Quarter of a Million Dollars in Grants to Legal Defense Organizations Supporting Immigrants

By | 2018-10-30T19:06:12+00:00 October 30th, 2018|Press Release|

Cambridge Community Foundation to Distribute a Quarter of a Million Dollars in Grants to Legal Defense Organizations Supporting Immigrants October 30, 2018--Cambridge, MA The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) will award a total of $255,000 in grants to four nonprofits to provide more legal services for immigrant families from Cambridge and the surrounding communities who are facing detention or possible deportation.  Community Legal Services and Counseling Center (CLSACC), Greater Boston Legal Services, and Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) will each receive two-year grants totaling $80,000 to help hire a new attorney or expand their capacity with existing legal staff.  In addition, the Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project, Inc. (PAIR) will receive a grant of $15,000 to reach more Cambridge-connected immigrants. “Local families grappling with shifting immigration policies are facing urgent needs for quality legal defense,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation.  “The real problem isn’t getting immigrant families to legal resources, it’s for legal defense organizations to have the capacity to serve people when they arrive.” “We are so thankful to our donors for playing such a critical role in expanding the capacity of these four exceptional organizations to defend immigrant families in need,” Pradhan said. The [...]

Lives in Limbo: Trauma, Healing and the Immigrant Experience

By | 2018-10-24T14:45:21+00:00 October 11th, 2018|Press Release|

Lives in Limbo: Trauma, Healing and the Immigrant Experience REGISTER HERE Monday, October 29 Wong Auditorium, MIT Tang Center, Building E51 2 Amherst St, Cambridge 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Immigration policies, along with anti-immigrant rhetoric at the local and national levels, have generated trauma with lasting impacts on children, families and residents who consider the United States their home.  In this CCF forum, researchers, primary care physicians, and mental health practitioners will discuss the impact of current immigration policies on the health and wellbeing of immigrant populations, offering practical strategies for individuals coping with trauma and the clinical teams supporting them. Admission is free; voluntary donations to the Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants are welcome. The lecture hall is at the corner of Amherst and Wadsworth Streets, a two-block walk from the Kendall Square/MIT MBTA Station. Parking is limited. For detailed directions, visit the MIT Building E51 webpage. Forum Speakers Renee D. Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD Primary Care Pediatrician, Boston Medical Center Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine Founding Director, Vital Village Community Engagement Network Diya Kallivayalil, PhD Staff Psychologist, Outpatient Psychiatry Department, Cambridge Health Alliance Co-author, The Trauma Recovery Group: A Guide for Practitioners Smith Guillaume [...]

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