Community Works

Current total
2014 campaign

Current total for the 2014 campaign: $70,000

Last year we gave a total of $77,815.62. Thanks to all who contributed.

2014 Committee

Sue Edmonds-Leggiere
Accounting Specialist, OAAD

Tom Ellman
Assoc. Prof. of Computer Science, Community Works Chair

Darcy Gordineer
Administrative Assistant, American Culture and Media Studies programs

Doreen Hammell-Backer
Accounting Specialist, B&G

Anna Belle Jones
Coordinator of Residential Operations Center

Jeff Kosmacher
Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs

Peter Leonard
Director of Field Work

Erin McCloskey
Assistant Professor of Education

David Ringwood
Associate Director of Alumnae/i Affairs

Julia Sheehy
Programmer/Analyst, CIS

Carl Weaver
Administrative Support, Financial Aid

Vassar College

November 2013

Dear friends and colleagues,

Why is Community Works so crucial? Consider that in 2008 the City of Poughkeepsie population living below the poverty line grew to more than 22%, nearly twice the national rate and three times the overall rate for Dutchess County. And that was only in the first year of our continuing recession. Today nearly 80% percent of students in the city’s schools qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches.

Many of the ten non-profits that Community Works will support in the coming year provide urgent help for people who are struggling the most. But looked at together these agencies also work hard to help all people live healthy, respected, and hopeful lives (read more about the agencies):

Our Community Works giving brings about a considerable impact. Since 2001 we have pooled roughly $1million for dozens of local agencies, and every cent continues to go directly to their services because Vassar covers all of the campaign’s administrative expenses.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that Community Works takes a stand on our principles of inclusion and tolerance. Until 2000 Vassar supported the Boy Scouts of America through the United Way of Dutchess County, but that year the Boy Scouts won a Supreme Court case to continue excluding gay men as group leaders.  Because this exclusion violates Vassar’s non-discrimination policy, we withdrew from the United Way and started Community Works.

With this history in mind it’s heartening to see how Community Works has become far more than a way to contribute money. It has deepened Vassar’s relationship with the Poughkeepsie community, because we engage directly with people who make so much difference in our community.  

You can make your tax-deductible gift via payroll deduction, credit card, or check.  Download and return the form or log on to the campaign’s website. On behalf of the selected agencies and the Community Works Campaign committee, I thank you for your support.


Tom Ellman
Chair, 2013/14 Community Works Campaign
Associate Professor of Computer Science