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September 2019

Cambridge summer programs give all kids access to learning and fun

2019-09-25T17:42:30+00:00September 25th, 2019|Grantmaking, Press Release, Uncategorized|

Cambridge summer programs give all kids access to learning & fun Summer experiences for urban kids run the gamut—from sleep away camps and specialty classes like Mindcraft coding or art, to nothing at all, which means some kids end up on digital devices sitting at home or caring for younger siblings. Research tells us that kids from low-income families suffer from a summertime opportunity gap—a lack of access to learning opportunities—that becomes an educational gap, with kids losing two months of reading and math skills each summer. So why shouldn’t all Cambridge kids, regardless of their parents’ income, have access to summer learning experiences?  The good news is, in our city, they can. Thanks to nearly a dozen of our nonprofit partners, and many other programs, Cambridge kids have access to summer enrichment opportunities regardless of their economic background. The Cambridge Community Foundation is a partner of the Summer Fund, a collaborative that supports a network of high-quality summer programs for under-served communities in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area.  In Cambridge, the Summer Fund contributed $72,000 to support 1,054 local kids in camps. We are also long-time financial supporters of nearly a dozen local nonprofits that give hundreds [...]

February 2019

Family Independence Initiative: Trusting and investing in families

2019-03-21T18:28:59+00:00February 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 [...]

November 2018

CEOC: A Passionate Advocate With a Very Wide Reach

2018-11-20T16:54:25+00:00November 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

What’s happening in Central Square?

2018-10-12T20:40:23+00:00October 10th, 2018|Press Release, Uncategorized|

What’s happening in Central Square? To us, Central Square is home.  It’s the heart of our city—our historic downtown, the city’s cultural district and a space shared by businesses, dozens of nonprofits, many of whom we support, and residents of all income levels.  It’s an urban expression of the values of Cambridge—diversity, creativity, spontaneity, and compassion and care for others. So, when something new happens at home—whether it’s a new picture on the wall, a big party, or a major spring clean—you notice, right?  Well, Central Square is getting all three this fall thanks to efforts coordinated by the Central Square Business Association. Central Square Mural Project: Last week “Queendom,” a new abstract, interpretative mural by Cambridge-based artist Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez brought a regal girl, a zebra and vibrant colors and graphic elements to the brick wall above H-Mart on Mass Ave.  It’s the second in a series of 10 murals by 10 artists to be completed in Central Square this month. The Mural Project celebrates the neighborhood’s long historic past, its life in the present moment, and its hope for the future. It is also a colorful recognition of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s designation of the area as [...]

September 2018

Marla Felcher joins CCF Board of Directors

2018-10-12T20:40:24+00:00September 6th, 2018|Press Release, Uncategorized|

Marla Felcher joins CCF Board of Directors This summer Marla Felcher joined our Board of Directors, and shortly after she traveled to McAllen, Texas with Grannies Respond/Abuelas Respond to learn first-hand what’s happening at the border with hundreds of detained immigrants, many of whom are asylum-seeking families and children.  That’s just who Marla is. Marla comes to us with an impressive resume.  She co-founded The Philanthropy Connection, a women’s grantmaking organization, and has worked as a marketing professor, investigative journalist, marketing consultant, and consumer advocate. She’s taught at Northwestern University, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and UMass-Boston’s McCormack School of Policy Studies. In November, she’ll be teaching a course at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education on philanthropy. Throughout her busy career, she’s served on boards of organizations working to make a difference in people’s lives.  She recently confessed that she loved teaching, but what she loved even more was working with non-profit leaders. Now, being on our board is part of her new full-time job, and we’re delighted to have her. We wanted to introduce you. Why did you join the Cambridge Community Foundation board? When I stepped down from The Philanthropy Connection, I realized I had spare [...]

Brownies for Immigrant Legal Defense

2018-09-06T15:59:55+00:00September 6th, 2018|Press Release, Uncategorized|

Brownies for Immigrant Legal Defense Meet Amanda Formica, a new CCF donor The people of Cambridge answer the call for donations when it comes to supporting people who are being oppressed or are in need, Mayor Marc McGovern recently said, adding: “That’s part of who we are as a caring community.” We agree. To date, more than 250 people have donated to the Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants. Amanda Formica, a graduate student at Tufts is one of our new donors. Amanda attended our CCF Forum, Lives in Limbo, on June 27th and after hearing more from local scholars and lawyers, she wanted to help.  She organized a bake sale in Harvard Square in August and with the help of Caroline Hedberg, fellow graduate student in international affairs at Fletcher, and Katharina Quecke, a local artist, she raised $350 for the fund. How did you get involved with CCF? I met CCF staff at the Central Square Flea this summer. I was interested in the Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants because of my background in immigration (I spent four years in El Paso, Texas, volunteering in a migrant shelter, and later in Mexico).  CCF staff invited me [...]

June 2018

April 2018

$1.3 Million CCF Grants – FY18

2018-07-27T15:55:33+00:00April 10th, 2018|Grantmaking, Press Release, Uncategorized|

$535,000 awarded to 62 local nonprofits this spring The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) is distributing $535,000 in grants this spring to more than 60 nonprofits, including $130,000 for the Family Independence Initiative (FII), the largest grant in this cycle, to help advance social and economic mobility for local low-income families.  This is the second cycle of grant making this year, bringing CCF’s support of local non-profits to over $1 Million dollars to date.  Every year, the CCF distributes approximately $1.3 Million to support community organizations throughout the city, CCF’s special initiatives, and organizations supported by donor-advised funds. The only foundation focused exclusively on the needs of Cambridge residents, CCF and its nonprofit partners support a wide range of services, and, this year, focused on addressing the urgent needs of local residents, including immigrant families and workers. “We are seeing growing community needs related to issues of economic security and immigrant issues that threaten the wellbeing of families, children, workers and the immigrant population in Cambridge,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation.  “We received a record number of requests from 100 organizations seeking funding this spring.  The Foundation and its donors are committed to helping as many [...]

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