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2020 Community Works Campaign Kicks OffEmployees Can Make a Real Impact on the Community

Vassar employees make generous annual contributions to the College’s Community Works campaign, which funnels donations to a rotating roster of about a dozen agencies and organizations that make our community a better place. This year’s goal is $80,000.

Since its inception in 2001, Community Works has provided more than $1 million in grants to more than 50 different groups in the Hudson Valley. This year, campaign chair John Bradley said, donations to Community Works are more vital than ever. “This is an unprecedented time in our country and our region,” said Bradley, Director of Vassar’s Urban Education Initiative. “The twin pandemics of COVID-19 and social injustice have placed a lot of stress on our community, so it’s more important than ever for us to do our part.”

Vassar has a long track record of supporting Dutchess Outreach, a Poughkeepsie-based agency that provides food, medicine and housing assistance and other support for local families. The agency’s Emergency Relief Fund will be a recipient of a grant through the 2020 Community Works campaign.

Bradley noted that while Vassar is facing its own financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, its employees have been spared the worst effects of the crisis. “Many people in our community are facing far more serious losses than many of us,” he said, “and while we haven’t been as connected physically to the surrounding community, it’s important for us to make a statement that our commitment is still there.”

Agencies and organizations that receive donations from the Community Works campaign are chosen every year by a committee of Vassar employees. This year’s recipients offer a range of services, including emergency food and housing assistance and emotional and financial support for many of our community’s most vulnerable citizens.

We focus on local nonprofit organizations that are mostly small to medium sized. They must have a 501(c)(3) legal status and agree to adhere to Vassar College’s nondiscrimination policy. Local programs of statewide or national organizations are not eligible for a grant, because we cannot guarantee that Community Works funds will be spent in the Hudson Valley.

Mid-Hudson Aquatics, an organization that provides free and reduced priced swimming instruction and competition for children in the Poughkeepsie area, was a recipient of funds from last year’s Community Works campaign.

For a complete list of this year’s Community Works recipients and information on how to make a donation, go to The deadline for making a donation through payroll deduction is December 15.