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Indian Circle For Caring Awarded $100K Cummings Grant

Press Release

The Indian Circle for Caring USA, Inc. is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 each through the Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. The Waltham-based ICC was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process. 

A $100,000 grant will support ICC’s efforts to educate the South Asian Americans living in New England about how to prevent and manage heart disease and diabetes – two of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the community. Organized around ICC’s core pillars of support during crisis and education initiatives, the lifestyle program will highlight the disproportionate impact faced by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent – and their descendant – due to genetic factors. Trainings will also focus on proven strategies to empower individuals to improve their own health and the health of their communities by using a balanced approach of medical care and lifestyle changes.  

ICC will conduct a series of educational seminars on these interrelated, twin epidemics, bringing reputable speakers with medical and lifestyle expertise to provide culturally competent training to members of the community.  The organization aims to reach at least 1,000 people each year through free workshops. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the initial tranche of funding will be used to support virtual convenings. ICC leaders expect the lifestyle program to achieve a significant reduction in heart disease and diabetes among participants and better health outcomes for the community at large. 

“For the past 34 years, the Cummings Foundation has made critical investments in the ingenuity and expertise of local leaders driving local solutions,” said ICC Founder and Executive Director Girish A. Mehta. “We are grateful to receive this generous gift, which serves validation of ICC’s approach to empower a cohort of volunteer leaders to step up and improve their own destinies while helping to shape a better future for us all.” 

Reflecting on the initiative and supporting grant, ICC Director Sangeeta Saxena added, “This grant is a just-in-time force multiplier for ICC that will enable the organization to scale its impact.” Krishna Kalghatgi, Director of ICC considers the grant to be an additional opportunity to serve our community’s vital needs. 

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts 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, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation. 

“We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.” 

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $280 million to greater Boston nonprofits. 

Social distancing requirements will prevent Foundation and grant winner representatives from convening for a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, as planned, to celebrate the $20 million infusion into greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. Instead, Cummings Foundation expects hundreds of individuals to gather virtually for a modified celebration in mid-June. 

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program resulted from a merger of the Foundation’s two flagship grant programs, $100K for 100 and Sustaining Grants. 

The Foundation and its volunteers first identified 130 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners are first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that have previously received Cummings Foundation grants. A limited number of this latter group of repeat recipients will be invited to make in-person presentations in the fall, when public health related circumstances allow, proposing that their grants be elevated to long-term awards. Thirty such requests will be granted in the form of 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each. 

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 40 different cities and towns, and most will receive their grants over two to five years. 

The complete list of 130 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

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