Doing good is going to get a whole lot easier for the Phillips Brooks House Association. The omnipresent Harvard non-profit got a mid-finals period pick-me-up when it won $25,000 in the Chase Community Giving competition for being voted into the top 100 charities in the United States.
With JPMorgan Chase & Co. providing the money and Facebook providing the voting platform (Facebook users logged on to vote and were encouraged to become "fans" of their favorite charities), 100 organizations—including our very own PBHA—emerged as the cream of the crop among small, local charities. Emily M. Parrott '09, a PBHA nonprofit management fellow, told us that PBHA is the only charity out of the top 100 to serve the Cambridge and greater Boston areas. Starting Jan. 15, the association will be competing in another round of voting for the grand prize: a cool $1 million. What's PBHA doing with its newly won money?
"SUP," Parrott said.
PBHA plans to use the funds to match donations made to its Summer Urban Program, which is comprised of 12 camps run by Harvard undergraduates for low-income youth in the community. When voting for charities opened to 350 million Facebook users in early November, the first person to cast a vote for PBHA out of 500,000 other local charities was local high school student Philip Chu, who has attended SUP camps since the age of six and has recently served as a junior counselor for SUP's Chinatown Adventure program.
PBHA president Richard S. Kelley '10 said that he was "thrilled" by PBHA's win and happy that more kids in the area will get the funding they need to attend camp. According to Parrott, just $1,500 would cover expenses for one camper's entire summer at SUP.
"That's what many other camps would cost for just a week," she said.
Now that PBHA is entering a final round of voting to vie against charities such as the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Parrott emphasized that the association needs "everyone at Harvard to vote."
Other top 100 competitors include nonprofit networking Web site Idealist.org, the Yalie-founded college advising group ReadySetLaunch, and Big Cats Rescue, the world's largest sanctuary for tigers and such. Our favorite top 100 charity, besides PBHA? The Feel Your Boobies Foundation.