Cummings Properties recently adopted a new variation to its charitable giving, inviting staff members to each select a local charity to receive a $1,000 donation. At the end of August, through its Employee Directed Giving program, the commercial real estate firm distributed a total of $182,000 to local nonprofits.
The program was open to all full-time staff with one or more years of seniority at any Cummings entity, including the firm's affiliated New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. In an effort to support local communities, the program guidelines stated that selected organizations must be based and provide services in or near colleagues' hometowns.
Cummings Properties sustainability coordinator Gary Gresh, a Reading resident, recommended Friends of Reading Recreation. "It is a privilege to have a donation made in my name to an organization in which I am personally involved," said Gresh, an active member of the community. "I am extremely grateful to be given this opportunity by Cummings Properties."
The diversity of the recipient list is striking, with participants choosing to support education, youth sports, animal welfare, social services, healthcare, historic preservation, the arts, and more. Several charities received $2,000 or $3,000, thanks to multiple employee nominations.
Many suburban organizations were recommended, such as Woburn Council of Social Concern and Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham, as well as Boston-based charities, such as Brigham and Women's Hospital and New England Center for Homeless Veterans.
Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham executive director Gerard DeViller said, "We are so appreciative of this donation. Our upcoming 2014 season is shaping up to be very exciting, with new programming and equipment, thanks to the support of the Cummings organization."
Cummings Properties president and CEO Dennis Clarke said, "The Company is proud give back to the community and to support such deserving local charities, especially in honor of valued staff members."
Several employees elected to hand-deliver the donation to their selected organization, while the remaining checks were mailed directly to nonprofits during the last week of August.
Friends of Reading Recreation board member Peter Coumounduros (left) received three Employee Directed Giving checks on behalf of the organization, from Cummings Properties communications director Joyce Vyriotes, leasing officer David Ryder (back), and sustainability coordinator Gary Gresh (right).