Recent CSF Grant Recipients

Cambridge Community Center

The Cambridge Community Center offers activities that respond to the needs and serve the interests of people and groups in Cambridge and the surrounding communities. The Center uses innovative and highly effective programming to serve as a bridge for learners moving from childhood to adulthood. Its Out-of-School Time Program enrolls over 100 children aged 4 to 13 from many different cultures and national origins. The programs and atmosphere of the Cambridge Community Center build a cycle of interdependence where each student acts as a key collaborator in developing into a healthy, inspired, compassionate, capable, and successful citizen of the world, while simultaneously partnering to insure that those around them do the same and that no one gets left behind. MIT staff members have been involved with the Center as volunteers and board members for a large part of its 75-year history.

Cambridge School Volunteers

Founded in 1966, Cambridge School Volunteers is responsible for the recruitment, training, placement, support, and evaluation of volunteers in the Cambridge Public Schools. Through CSV, members of the MIT community serve as electronic pen pals to Cambridge fifth graders and teach writing and word-processing skills to a special needs class at a local elementary school. Hundreds of MIT students volunteer each year in the Cambridge Public Schools, tutoring students and assisting teachers through a variety of programs, many of them coordinated by MIT's Public Service Center. CSF has made a financial contribution to Cambridge School Volunteers virtually every year for over a decade.

Camp Kesem

Camp Kesem (Kesem is the Hebrew word for "magic") provides a safe, supportive, and exciting overnight camp experience for children who have a parent who has died from cancer, is currently in treatment for cancer, or is in remission from cancer.   Campers have the unique opportunity to build friendships and gain strength from peers facing similar challenges. The MIT branch of Camp Kesem is completely run by student volunteers.


Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation is a community-based non profit organization founded in 1970 to provide comprehensive prevention, intervention, and treatment to individuals and families whose lives are affected by substance use disorders. MIT student and staff volunteer at the CASPAR Emergency Service Center.

Charles River Conservancy

The Charles River conservancy is an advocacy group dedicated to the reburbishment of the Charles River basin parklands. The CRC's Stewardship Initiative uses the labor and energy of MIT volunteers to make a marked difference in how the parklands look.


CitySprouts is an independent nonprofit school garden program with gardens in eight Cambridge Public Schools. CitySprouts provides public school communities with sustainable gardens that support school educational goals and inspire urban schoolchildren to participate in the food cycle.


CommuniTech@MIT is a student initiative that seeks to bridge the Digital Divide between those who have access to computer and technology and those who do not. There are two complimentary branches under the CommunTech program: FACT and UCF. Families Accessing Computer Technology (FACT) helps underserved families cross the Digital Divide by teaching them the basics of computer technology. The Used Computer Factory (UCF) provides each of the families participating in the program with a computer (refurbished by MIT volunteers) at the end of their FACT course.

Community Art Center

The Community Art Center's (CAC) aim is to open doors for youth to new and far reaching worlds and cultures, engaging their imagination and determination to move in unfamiliar places, and encouraging their vision for higher education and/or careers in a profession of their choice. The CAC has been a staple in the lives of the Cambridge community for 75 years. Families depend on the Centerto provide a safe and creative environment for their children and teens.

Freshman Urban Program

The Freshman Urban Program (FUP) is a five day pre-orientation program for MIT students that focuses on civic leadership, service, and urban issues. Now in its ninth year, FUP is organized and run by a group of sixteen undergraduates who volunteer their time and effort to serve as coordinators and counselors. The counselors are committed to introducing urban issues and service options early to give incoming freshmen a chance to explore their role in their community right away.   Through activities and resulting discussions, the students will begin to understand the community and the role they can play in making a difference.

Just A Start

Just-A-Start is a non-profit community development corporation whose programs focus on training and human development, stabilizing occupied housing and preventing homelessness, developing and retaining affordable housing, and community building and economic development.

Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House

The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House (MFNH), located in Area 4 of Cambridge, was founded is 1902 and has been a catalyst for social services in Cambridge for over 100 years. Today the MFNH provides crucial support and programs to over 1,500 children, elders, adults and families each year, most from Area IV of Cambridge, adjacent to MIT.

MIT/Cambridge Science Expo

The Science Expo is an annual one-day, non-competitive science fair for 7 th and 8 th grade Cambridge middle school students. It is an opportunity for young scientists in Cambridge to meet, talk to, learn from, and have fun with MIT students who serve as volunteer science project advisors.   The Cambridge students also spend part of the day touring various MIT labs, and participating in science demonstrations.

National Braille Press

The guiding purposes of National Braille Press are to promote the literacy of blind children through braille, and to provide access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs. The National Braille Press connection to individual volunteers from MIT has a long history, and includes MIT staff who currently sit on our Board of Trustees.

On The Rise

On The Rise's effective and innovative program annually reaches and assists nearly 300 women who are homeless or in crisis, by providing the emotional, practical and professional support to help each woman improve health, find jobs and secure housing.

People Making a Difference

Founded by former MIT student Lori Tsuruda, this program, through its network of motivated volunteers, organizes one-day, hands-on community service projects to assist other greater Boston charities. MIT students have participated in recent PMD projects by assembling books for the National Braille Press, staffing the Cambridge Family Literacy Collaborative's Family Fun Day, and serving as judges, timekeepers, and scorekeepers at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl regional competition. CSF has provided funds for program costs and core operating expenses for PMD since 1996.

Project Manna

Project Manna, the Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Church's outreach to the homeless and hungry, has been in continuous operation since August 4, 1989. Today, it serves approximately 200 meals per week.   In addition to its meals program, Project Manna operates a food pantry to provide nutritional assistance, aimed at increasing the nutritional competency of needy families in our community.   In the past year, over 1,500 families received assistance through the food pantry.

Science Club for Girls

Science Club for Girls sparks the interest and maintains the confidence of girls in science and technology through hands-on activities and leadership programs. Girls from kindergarten through high school work with mentor-scientists who model and foster leadership, affirm college as an expectation, and promote careers in science and technology as goals and options.

Shelter, Inc.

It is the mission of Shelter, Inc. to end homelessness in the lives of individuals and families by providing effective shelter, housing and supportive services and by promoting policy and practice necessary to change those conditions that create homelessness.

Tutoring Plus

Tutoring Plus of Cambridge aims to support and encourage the academic, personal and social growth of children and youth in Cambridge through the use of volunteers and existing community resources. Today, Tutoring Plus serves 80-100 children through five tutoring and mentoring programs: a One-on-One Tutoring program, a Middle School Tutoring Center, a High School Tutoring program (two locations), Science Explorers Program, and an MCAS Math Preparation Program.  All of our programs are staffed by Site Managers, Site Coordinators, and Volunteers. All programs are offered free of charge to all interested children and youth.