Press Release

March 2019

Cambridge Housing Authority’s Work Force Program and uAspire receive grants from TFC Financial

By | 2019-04-29T15:56:09+00:00 March 21st, 2019|Press Release|

When TFC Financial launched the TFC Financial Charitable Foundation, advancing their commitment to promoting financial literacy and supporting the Greater Boston community, they turned to the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) for counsel on funding strategies and a deeper look at organizations that work in the community. Daniel Kern, TFC’s Chief Investment Officer and a CCF Board member, made the connection between Renée Kwok, TFC Financial CEO, Leann Sullivan, a TFC financial planner, and CCF staff. In February, 2019, following the review of several programs, the TFC Charitable Foundation offered grants to organizations supporting Cambridge and Boston-based families: Cambridge Housing Authority’s Work Force Program and uAspire.   There was immediate resonance with the Work Force and uAspire’s work in advancing social equity in distinct areas of people’s lives, specifically through workforce training and college preparation. For young people from low-income families, the opportunity to attend college can be transformational, launching them and their future families on a path to prosperity.  However, navigating the unchartered territories of a college environment, self-advocating, learning how to take leadership, managing tight budgets, and dealing with financial issues and paperwork around loans and financial aid are intimidating challenges, especially for first-generation college students.  For Renée Kwok, TFC’s new philanthropic organization was a move that was ‘on mission.’ “As a wealth management firm, we frequently counsel clients on charitable giving strategies. With the new Foundation, we are establishing our own philanthropic [...]

Nonprofits offer social supports for top tier needs

By | 2019-03-21T18:08:32+00:00 March 21st, 2019|Press Release|

An essential aspect of ensuring social equity is the focus on individual, family and community well-being.  It is about asking if we have the policies, systems, structures and social supports to buffer the stresses of day to day living and traumas that arise from crisis. Ultimately it is about building our social capital and connections in the community, so everyone feels they have someone to turn to should the need arise.    The 2017 Cambridge Needs Assessment study, co-funded by the City of Cambridge and CCF, highlighted Economic Security; Housing Affordability and Mental Health as three of the city’s top tier needs.   According to the study, Cambridge is a relatively healthy city compared to the state. The city’s parks and open spaces, bicycle pathways, transit access are amenities that support health lifestyles. 99.6% of Cambridge residents are covered by health insurance. However, low- and middle-income households, as well as particular racial groups that face inequity are both most at risk to experience adverse health outcomes and are the most challenged to address them.   The report points to the Cambridge Public Health Department’s Community Health Assessment which identified ‘Mental/Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse’ as the number one health priority for Cambridge.  Recent and ongoing research and thinking are increasingly substantiating [...]

New United Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants to extend legal services to Somerville

By | 2019-03-21T18:19:40+00:00 March 18th, 2019|Press Release|

The Cambridge Community Foundation, in partnership with Cambridge Mayor Marc C. McGovern and Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, has expanded its immigrant legal defense fund to support individuals who live and work in the Somerville community, as well as Cambridge.  The expanded fund has been renamed the United Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants, reflecting the growing need for legal support for immigrants across city borders.  By unifying efforts to raise funds for the most vulnerable families in our community, we can help valued neighbors and stabilize families impacted by the stress and uncertainty of ongoing shifts in TPS and DACA status, and those seeking asylum.  CCF expects to distribute grants from the United Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants in the fall of 2019, to address this urgent need. The Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants was launched in March 2018 with an ambitious goal of raising $500,000 to help immigrants get the legal services they need to stay, legally, in their community. Last year, the Cambridge Community Foundation distributed $255,000 in grants to four local non-profit legal assistance organizations—De Novo (formerly Community Legal Services and Counseling Center), Greater Boston Legal Services, Irish Immigrant Center (IIC), and Political Asylum Immigration [...]

February 2019

Job Opening: Marketing & Development Associate

By | 2019-02-26T20:35:25+00:00 February 26th, 2019|Press Release|

Marketing and Development Associate The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) seeks a full-time Marketing and Development Associate to join our growing team. The Marketing and Development Associate will be responsible for supporting CCF’s marketing efforts, including social media activity; website updates; writing content for e-newsletters; and database management. This person will also work closely with development colleagues to support our development activity, including assisting gift processing, assisting with database support, and appeals. As an essential part of CCF’s team, the Marketing and Development Associate will support other office functions as necessary. The successful candidate will be energetic, a team player, and enjoy working within a dynamic environment that is mission- and result-driven. The ideal candidate must have a demonstrated capacity to work independently and be a self-starter; have excellent technical, verbal and written communication skills; be able to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations; have strong organizational orientation; and maintain a balance among multiple priorities. This is a full-time, salaried position with benefits. Compensation commensurate with experience. Roles and Responsibilities Help develop, manage and distribute marketing copy and content for annual report, social media, website, email campaigns, newsletters, press releases, promotional materials and other marketing related collateral Serve [...]

In the spirit of Martin and Coretta: equity, justice and power

By | 2019-03-21T18:19:29+00:00 February 21st, 2019|Press Release|

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta drove a movement that elevated the people. On February 9, 2019 at the 33rd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Brunch, a power-house crowd of elected officials, civic leaders, social justice architects, and engaged Cambridge residents, both young and old, came together to honor their legacy and nurture the flame of the civil rights movement, which is very much alive in our community. The Cambridge NAACP entitled the event “A Tribute to Women” and honored and acknowledged six exceptional Cambridge women and their tireless efforts toward social justice and community building, as well as all those in our community who fight for justice. The voice of every speaker was strong and resolute, from the invocation by Reverend Brenda Brown, to remarks by NAACP leaders, including the Cambridge branch’s President Kenneth Reeves and First Vice President Richard Harding, to elected officials and the honorees themselves. But one voice rose up among them all. Photo credit: Seacia Pavao “The oppressed and marginalized are not voiceless, they’re simply unheard,” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley in her keynote address. “When we actively listen to the people, when we are motivated and [...]

Family Independence Initiative: Trusting and investing in families

By | 2019-03-21T18:28:59+00:00 February 21st, 2019|Press Release, Uncategorized|

A group of FII families meet to support one another to achieve their goals. By Jessica Taubner As a society, we’ve come to view government and the social sector as the experts on the needs of people but the reality is that while government and funding priorities often shift, the industriousness and drive of families doesn’t waiver. What if we considered families the experts and allowed them to define their own success? We are conditioned to be a helper or a helpee in this country. Data shows that families know what they need, and the systems meant to help are getting in the way of their initiative and innovation. We are intentionally creating and practicing new ways of being in relationship with people, and that is what I love about being FII-Greater Boston’s Site Director. The Family Independence Initiative (FII) has been listening to families for the past 17 years. Instead of the client services model typically deployed in the social sector, FII, aided by a widening pool of philanthropic partners, is trusting and investing in families. This means investing direct dollars in the initiatives of families, giving them choice and control over their funds, and charting the incredible progress they [...]

Through the Bob Shea Memorial Fund, a friend’s memory lives on

By | 2019-03-21T18:19:18+00:00 February 20th, 2019|Press Release|

Bob Shea, a homeless man, lived on the streets of Cambridge for 30 years. He served three tours of duty with the army in Vietnam. He suffered from alcoholism and possibly neurological conditions. He bounced in and out of jail and rehab. At best he was a colorful character. At worst he was one in an army of invisible people living in the shadows of wealth and privilege. To those lucky enough to know him, Bob was something more: a protector of the weak, a raconteur blessed with an almost encyclopedic memory, a man with an eye for beauty and grace in unlikely places. For CCF Board Member Phil Johnson, founder and CEO of PJA Advertising + Marketing, Bob was above all a friend. “I was attracted to his strong sense of humanity, his wit, and his often sharp insights,” said Phil. “All the best qualities you would look for in a friend. He was easy to be with.” Bob drifted in and out of Harvard Square for more than 30 years, and he was in Phil’s life for 25. Their first slightly awkward encounter took place on Arrow Street where Phil had an office. Begrudging nods turned to [...]

Housing crisis grips Cambridge

By | 2019-05-29T18:37:48+00:00 February 20th, 2019|Press Release|

Cambridge’s growing housing crisis is putting a financial burden on many people in Cambridge, and renter households in particular. From low-income to moderate and middle-income families, everyone is feeling the squeeze. The cost of housing in Cambridge is staggering: The median market rate of a single-family home in Cambridge was $1,377,500 in 2017. A condominium in Cambridge cost on average $730,000 in 2017. The average rent for a Cambridge apartment was $2,337 for a one-bedroom unit, $2,689 for a two bedroom and $2,827 for a three-bedroom unit in October 2018, according to’s rent index. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in Cambridgeport a renter must earn $44 dollars per hour in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, more than three times the current Massachusetts minimum wage ($12/hr. as of 1/1/2019) Why is this happening? What does it mean for our families? And what can we do to address such a complex problem? CCF spoke with leaders in the local housing arena to gain insight. This is what we learned. Why is this happening? There was a time when Cambridge lost residents to suburban towns, but today, the desire for urban housing is on the rise. People [...]

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, [...]

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