71st Annual Columbia Community Service Campaign

October 30, 2017

Dear fellow members of the University community:

We are writing, as we do each fall, to ask for your support of a singular University charitable campaign, Columbia Community Service (CCS).

Many of you are no doubt familiar with CCS.  Collectively, the social service organizations and agencies that receive support from CCS constitute an essential pillar of our extended northern Manhattan neighborhood.  By donating to CCS, you are supporting approximately 60 different groups and improving the lives of many families and individuals in our community and beyond.

The fact that CCS touches lives in a variety of ways has been and will remain a defining feature of this campaign and the work it supports.  What has changed this year is an escalating level of need.  Changes in policy are shrinking government funding and restricting programs.  An unusual number of natural disasters has only exacerbated this unfortunate turn of events.

For example, the loosening of environmental regulations has made the advocacy provided by West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT) all the more essential.  And persistent uncertainty about the direction of immigration law has increased the number of individuals seeking representation and other support from groups such as the Riverside Language Program. Cuts in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families would leave organizations like the West Side Campaign Against Hunger and the New York Common Pantry with more mouths to feed.  These and many other programs have a heightened need for your support.

It bears mentioning that the organizations supported by CCS are also actively assisting populations from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere who have been gravely affected by earthquakes and hurricanes, with displaced families either relocating to our community or seeking financial assistance from relatives and friends.

Every year, thousands of Columbia employees and retirees do their part to make possible the work of these dedicated organizations that are the backbone of our community.  The level of participation throughout the University and the number of years we have been involved in this effort are a source of pride for Columbia.  Contributions can be made via the Columbia Community Service website.  We hope that this year we will see a record fundraising effort.


Lee C. Bollinger        
CCS Chair            
President, Columbia University        

Sian Leah Beilock
CCS Co-Chair
President, Barnard College

Susan H. Fuhrman
CCS Co-Chair
President, Teachers College