Cummings Properties donates $553,000 on behalf of employees

Cummings Properties receptionist Linda Curtis directed $1,000 to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Spinal Muscular Atrophy Program in honor of Stoneham resident Michael Barile. Back row, left to right: Linda Curtis, Bill Cummings, and Kevin and Meg Barile. Front row: Michael and Brenna Barile.

BOSTON– Hundreds of local nonprofits received a little something extra this holiday season: a collective $553,000 in funding from Cummings Properties’ Cummings Community Giving program. This annual philanthropic initiative invites employees of the Woburn-based commercial real estate company to select a local nonprofit to receive a $1,000 donation in their honor.

In 2019, Cummings employees directed funds to 365 charities in 102 local cities and towns. Now in its eighth year, the program is designed to give back in the areas where Cummings Properties team members live and work.

“One meaningful aspect of the program is that it is a broad company-wide initiative yet also deeply personal,” said Dennis Clarke, Cummings Properties chairman and CEO. “All colleagues—whether they were hired yesterday or 40 years ago—have the chance to make an individual decision that helps a local cause that matters greatly to each of them.”

Cummings Properties receptionist Linda Curtis used her donation to honor Stoneham resident Michael Barile, a 7-year-old boy with spinal muscular atrophy. She chose Boston Children’s Hospital’s Spinal Muscular Atrophy Program, which provides children with this rare condition with comprehensive care from a diverse team of experienced specialists.

“I’ve known the Barile family for many years, but only recently learned that it was affected by this disease” said Curtis. “Michael is a sweet boy—with an infectious smile—who inspires so many. I wanted to help him, and I was also hoping to increase awareness of what, to me, isn’t a well-known condition.”

Cummings Properties general worker Matt Dufresne directed his $1,000 donation to P.A.W.S. Project Foundation, an animal rescue organization that focuses on saving southern dogs from high-kill shelters and bringing them to New England for adoption.

“The work Molly has done to rescue animals, starting when she was just 12 years old, is so impressive,” said Dufresne. “We always preach to the younger kids that the future is in their hands. To see someone so young working so hard and making such a large impact, it really speaks to what people are capable of.”

Each eligible organization can receive up to $5,000 per program cycle, allowing multiple staff members to choose the same nonprofit. This year, 15 recipients received the maximum $5,000 donation.

Cummings Community Giving is open to employees of Cummings Properties, as well as its affiliated retirement communities, New Horizons at Choate in Woburn and New Horizons at Marlborough. Colleagues with at least 10 years of seniority are invited to choose two nonprofits to receive $1,000 each. Selected nonprofits must meet a few eligibility requirements and be based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, or Suffolk County, or the city or town where the colleague lives.

The program was expanded in recent years to include longtime clients, Cummings Foundation volunteers, and other friends of the Cummings organization. These participants made their selections earlier in the year.

More information, including the complete 2019 Cummings Community Giving recipient list, is available at

Cummings Properties manages a portfolio of 10 million square feet of commercial space in 11 suburban communities north and west of Boston. Most of these properties are owned by Cummings Foundation, with 100 percent of all rental profits supporting hundreds of local charities. The Cummings organization awards $25 million annually to greater Boston nonprofits, and it has awarded more than $260 million to date.