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Letter from the chair to kick off the 2017 campaign

Vassar College Community Works Campaign 2017

November, 2016

Dear Members of the Vassar Community,

Here in the beautiful Hudson Valley we are fortunate to be served by many dynamic local non-profit agencies that provide crucial services and enrich our lives. We also have many neighbors who truly rely on these agencies, sometimes for their survival. Which is why Vassar’s Community Works program is so important.

Annually since 2001 people who work and study at Vassar have pooled their generosity through Community Works in contributions of all sizes, adding up to more than $1 million of local impact. Once again our committee invited everyone at Vassar to nominate a non-profit for a grant, and we chose ten who operate in Dutchess or Ulster county (or both). Together these groups address some of society’s most pressing concerns, such as domestic violence, mass incarceration, mental health, and environmental protection. Some provide children an academic boost and enriching experiences after school, while others bring artistic uplift and conflict resolution to all of our lives. Community Works will also squarely support the growing local effort sparked by Vassar professor Maria Hoehn to help a handful of refugee families establish a new home in the Poughkeepsie area.

The ten agencies are Center for Creative Education, Exodus Transitional Community, Grace Smith House, Harriet Tubman Academic Skills Center, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Mediation Center of Dutchess County, Mental Health America of Dutchess County, Mid-Hudson Heritage Center/Art Centro, Poughkeepsie Refugee Resettlement Center of Church World Services, and Rural and Migrant Ministry. Each lives up to Vassar’s non-discrimination policy in keeping with Community Works principles. [Read more about the organizations.]

As in past years each non-profit will receive an equal grant. Vassar will also continue to cover the entire administrative cost for Community Works, so that 100% of our contributions go directly to the agencies. You can make your tax-deductible donation via payroll deduction, credit card, or check, and you can use the campaign website for all but donation by check. To contribute through payroll deduction you must sign up by one of these two deadlines: December 9 if you are paid bi-weekly, or January 6 if you are paid monthly.

I appreciate your consideration and hope you join in this truly meaningful way to make a difference where we work and live.


Nicholas de Leeuw
Director, Community Works Campaign
Interim Director, Field Work Program