Hope & Comfort Awarded $150,00 Cummings Grant

Needham nonprofit receives 3 years of funding from Cummings Foundation

NEEDHAM, Mass., May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hope & Comfort is one of 150 local nonprofits that will share in $30 million through Cummings Foundation’s major annual grants program. The Needham-based organization was selected from a total of 715 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $150,00 over three years.

The Hope & Comfort team jumping for joy to celebrate the amazing news!

The mission of Hope & Comfort is to provide sustained access to essential hygiene products – such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and menstrual products – to support the health, dignity, and confidence of children and adults in need in MA.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Cummings Foundation for this amazing grant,” said Hope & Comfort CEO Kerry Carter. “At Hope & Comfort we provide basic hygiene products, like soap and toothpaste, to people in need in Massachusetts. Basic hygiene essentials are not covered by SNAP and these items are critical for health, school attendance and job prospects. In addition to helping thousands more people, this grant helps highlight the hidden crisis that is hygiene insecurity.”

This grant will be used to purchase thousands of hygiene products, including soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, and menstrual products for people who can not afford them. With the help of this grant, this year we will increase the number of products distributed by a whopping 40%. Because of the generosity of the Cummings Foundation, thousands more people will have the health, dignity, and confidence to walk out into the world every day.

The Cummings $30 Million Grant Program primarily supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties, plus six communities in Norfolk County: Brookline, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Quincy, and Wellesley.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

Greater Boston is fortunate to have a robust, dedicated, and highly capable nonprofit sector that supports and enhances the community in myriad ways,” said Cummings Foundation executive director and trustee Joyce Vyriotes. “The entire Cummings organization is thankful for their daily work to help all our neighbors thrive.”

The majority of the grant decisions were made by nearly 100 community volunteers. They worked across a variety of committees to review and discuss the proposals and then, together, determine which requests would be funded. Among these community volunteers were business and nonprofit leaders, mayors, college presidents, and experts in areas such as finance and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

“We believe strongly that grant decisions will be more equitable when made by a diverse group of community members,” said Vyriotes. “We’re incredibly grateful to the dozens of individuals who participated in our democratized philanthropic process.”

The Foundation and volunteers first identified 150 organizations to receive three-year grants of up to $300,000 each. The winners included first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings grants. Twenty-five of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected by a panel of community volunteers to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $300,000 to $1 million each.

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including housing and food insecurity, workforce development, immigrant services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 49 different cities and towns.

Cummings Foundation has now awarded $500 million to greater Boston nonprofits. The complete list of this year’s 150 grant winners, plus nearly 2,000 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

About Hope & Comfort
Established in 2011, Hope & Comfort is the only exclusively focused hygiene product hub in Massachusetts. Hope & Comfort focuses on providing sustained access to essential hygiene products – such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and menstrual products – to support the health, dignity, and confidence of children and adults in need in Massachusetts. Hygiene insecurity, or not having access to essential hygiene products, impacts physical and mental health, school attendance, employment, and community engagement, and affects an estimated 2.3 million people in MA. Hope & Comfort works to solve this hidden crisis by distributing more than 3 million hygiene products completely free of charge to over 500 diverse partner recipient organizations – including schools, health centers, shelters, food pantries, recovery centers and more – across the state each year.

About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester, MA and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

Contact: Tanya Capawana, Hope & Comfort, 617-795-1608, [email protected]

Contact: Alison Harding, Cummings Foundation, 781-932-7093, [email protected]

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SOURCE Hope & Comfort