Campus & Community

Home for the homeless: Community Gifts kicks off the season of giving

2 min read

The coats are out and the gloves are on.

It’s November again, signaling the cold autumn preamble to another lengthy Massachusetts winter. And here at Harvard, “giving month” has arrived — kicking off the annual Community Gifts Through Harvard campaign, a campuswide charitable initiative that draws much-needed dollars from generous faculty, staff, and retirees for various Massachusetts Bay charities during the month of November. This year’s goal is to reach upwards of $800,000.

In this time of great need, giving to the community is more important — and likely more difficult — than ever. As the economy continues to struggle, many households are facing a crisis as to how to heat their homes while still providing for their families. Yet for the Greater Boston homeless, who too often bear the brunt of the region’s extreme weather, just having a warm coat or shelter is luxury enough.

Thankfully, there’s Heading Home Inc., a Cambridge-based organization that boasts a bevy of services to aid the homeless. From providing apartments to the homeless with disabilities to housing families in permanent units with support services included, Heading Home seeks to provide a real home and a healthy atmosphere conducive to escaping the streets for good. Heading Home is just one of the many charities available through the campaign.

“We are fortunate that Harvard has been such a strong supporter of United Way and the work we do everyday to advance the common good,” said Michael K. Durkin, president and CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

“Economic changes have made this a critical year for the health and well-being of our region’s children and families. The sustained support of students and staff at Harvard will enable us to help more individuals and families get through these tough times and secure brighter futures.”

Yet whatever issue may lie at the forefront of one’s concerns, Community Gifts Through Harvard provides an opportunity to benefit hundreds of charities on a wide range of timely issues. The campaign closes Nov. 30.