Skip to contentSkip to site navigation


Vassar’s annual giving campaign, raises nearly $77,000 for local non-profit organizations

Community Works, Vassar College’s annual giving campaign, exceeded its fund raising goal by raising a total of $76,152 for ten local non-profit organizations in the Poughkeepsie community.

Funded by donations from employees and students Community Works has provided more than $1 million in grants to more than 50 different groups since its inception in 2001. Recipients are selected each year by an employee committee based upon nominations from members of the college community. And 100% of contributions go to support the local groups working to make our community a better place, because the college pays for all the campaign’s administrative costs.

“I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the charitable and compassionate Vassar community. These local organizations do important and much needed work in areas such as victim services, literacy, poverty, arts, education, prison reform, housing, immigration, athletics and animal welfare,” said Tracy Sutherland, Community Works committee chair.

2019 recipients include:

Peoples Place in Kingston
A not-for-profit organization feeding, clothing and responding to the needs of the people in Ulster County with kindness, compassion and the preservation of human dignity since 1972.

Mid Hudson Aquatics
Provides swim lessons, teams and lifeguard training serving low income, majority minority families in Poughkeepsie. Pools for city residents to participate in lessons have disappeared (closing of the YMCA and YWCA) and lack of public lessons or low cost lessons at the remaining pools in Dutchess create a barrier to many families. MHA provides no or low cost swim lessons to families for swim lessons, provides swim suits, goggles and caps whenever possible, provides bi-lingual instruction, provides one on one lessons for children with autism and other disabilities. MHA also provides a low cost competitive swim team for low income swimmers - less than 50% the cost of the other club team that serves the the town of Poughkeepsie.

Family Services - Victim Services

Family Services seeks to meet the changing needs of individuals and families in our community by helping to shape policy, enhance systems and services, and improve the quality of community life, while still maintaining the direct services that support their neighbors. Family Services provides programs and services throughout the Hudson Valley including: Youth Services, Family Programs, Victim Services, Prevention, Community Safety and the Family Partnership Center—all geared to provide hope, improve lives and strengthen community.

Arts MidHudson
Provides vision and leadership to support thriving and diverse arts in the MidHudson Valley. They value the abundant presence of art in the Mid-Hudson Valley and its ability to uplift, empower and engage, while honoring diversity and celebrate creativity. They are committed to playing a central role in supporting and promoting all of the arts in the communities they serve.

Ulster Literacy Association
Empowering People Through Literacy. At Ulster Literacy, they have been providing their neighbors with one-to-one free tutoring in basic reading and writing skills as well as teaching English as a new language for over 35 years.

Hudson Valley Animal Rescue & Sanctuary
Hudson Valley Animal Rescue & Sanctuary (HVARS) is a 501(c)(3) charity organization, located in New York State. We rescue domestic animals, farm animals and rehabilitate wildlife. We also run a low cost spay/neuter program for cats and small dogs.

Exodus Transitional Community
Exodus transitional community offers services to individuals recently released from jail/prison. They provide job readiness programming (including job search, resume counseling, mock interviews, “dress for success” style clothes loaning), anger management programming, assistance with housing, transportation, ID services, Medicaid & SNAP, and general case management.

Hudson River Housing
Hudson River Housing provides a continuum of services that improves lives and communities through housing with compassion and development with vision. We create pathways out of homelessness through empowerment, education, and advocacy. We strengthen communities by developing and preserving affordable housing and creating opportunities for people and places to thrive.

Nobody Leaves Mid Hudson
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is a grassroots community organization based in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster Counties that strives for all people to have their basic human needs met. The organization’s current focus is on immigration assistance and utility access assistance; Nobody Leaves works with thousands of low-income people, immigrants, and people of color across the area. NLMH is an immigrant support organization led by immigrants: Four of the six staff members are immigrants, and a fifth is the only US-born member of her undocumented family. Two of the staff are also Vassar alum.

REAL Skills Network
A non-profit organization located in Poughkeepsie, NY that serves area youth along their paths to leadership. Programs that operate under R.E.A.L. are designed to help students that have had difficulty navigating the paths of traditional social, educational, and judicial systems to understand and obtain mainstream skill competency levels and social values that would EMPOWER them to interact in their community, school or job more successfully.

Vassar College is a coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, January 28, 2019