Creative Living is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. The Andover-based organization was chosen from a total of 597 applicants, during a competitive review process.
For the past 32 years Creative Living has enriched the lives of young adults and adults with developmental disabilities through life skills, respite, social, educational, and recreational programs. Creative Living is the only site-based, planned respite home in the area for individuals with developmental disabilities. The GetAway Weekends/Escapadas program and Summer and Vacation Break Camps allow families and caregivers a break from 24/7 care while providing adventure and skill-building opportunities for guests. The nonprofit offers social programs such as Friday Night Out for young adults and the Social Club for older adults. Creative Living has also partnered with the Andover Public Schools, Newburyport Public Schools, Wakefield Public Schools, American Training, Fidelity House, NuPath, and SEEM Collaborative to provide programs and services to the community.
“It is with appreciation and gratitude that we accept this generous grant,” said the president of the Creative Living board of directors, Lucille Giannone. “This will enhance our programs and will have an enormous impact on our organization in many ways.”
Creative Living will join approximately 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $220 million to Greater Boston nonprofits alone.
“[The Cummings Foundation] understands that the core of an organization must be strong for it to add programs and to better serve the community" - Gale Batsimm, Creative Living Development and Outreach Director
“This support, spread over a four-year period, will enable Creative Living to focus on positive growth for the future,” said Gale Batsimm, Development and Outreach Director at Creative Living. “The Cummings Foundation supports general operating expenses—typically the most difficult type of funding to secure from foundations—because it understands that the core of an organization must be strong for it to add programs and to better serve the community.”
The nonprofit aims to expand collaborative programming, maximize the use of its space on Route 28 in Andover, increase visibility and community awareness, and develop its board of directors, while maintaining the caring and quality programming it is known for.
The $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.
“We are indebted to the nonprofit organizations like Creative Living that have a meaningful positive impact on the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work.” - Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation executive director
“We are indebted to the nonprofit organizations like Creative Living that have a meaningful positive impact on the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to invest in their important programs and services.”
This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention and affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years. The complete list of 100 grant winners will be available beginning June 7 at www.CummingsFoundation.org.
Cummings Foundation announced an additional $10 million in early May through its new Sustaining Grants, which extend “$100K for 100” funding for previous winners for 10 more years. Beginning in 2019, the Foundation will increase its total giving through these two programs from $20 million to $25 million.
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Bill Cummings released his self-written memoir, “Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist,” in March 2018. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org and cummings.com/book.
Creative Living, also founded in 1986, was created by Rosalie Ruggiero and Dr. Larry Larsen. Envisioned as a place to build independent living skills and social and community connection, the agency incorporates that mission into each of its programs. Last year Creative Living provided more than 12,000 hours of respite to families and caregivers. For more information visit www.creativelivingandover.org.