GROTON -- According to a popular carol, December is "the most wonderful time of the year." And at Cummings Properties, most would agree.
The Woburn-based commercial real estate company just donated $357,000 to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations via its Employee Directed Giving program. Through this annual philanthropic initiative, employees are invited to select a local nonprofit to receive a $1,000 donation in their honor.
Lawrence Academy in Groton received a $1,000 donation from Heather Lauten, operations counsel at Cummings Properties.
"My son attended Lawrence Academy. He had a great experience, and I was so impressed with the teachers and staff," Lauten said. "I'm really happy that I can give back to the school in this way."
In 2017, Employee Directed Giving benefitted 242 nonprofits in 77 local cities and towns. Now in its fifth year, the program is designed to give back in the areas where Cummings Properties employees live and work.
Each eligible organization can receive up to $5,000 per program cycle, allowing multiple staff members choose the same nonprofit.
"There's a definite buzz in the air during Employee Directed Giving," said Dennis Clarke, Cummings Properties' president and CEO. "Staff members often take the time to deliver their donations personally to their chosen organization. We receive a lot of photos with some very happy - and surprised - people in them. It's wonderful.
Employee Directed Giving is open to all regular full-time employees of Cummings Properties, as well as its affiliated retirement communities, New Horizons at Choate in Woburn and New Horizons at Marlborough. 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.