Back-to-School Season Gets a Boost from Tufts Health Plan

Funding for Chromebooks, Wi-Fi-access, backpacks and school supplies provided to local nonprofits

September 17, 2020  

Watertown, MA – Back-to-school brings on new meaning this year due to the coronavirus pandemic gripping the world. With students and families facing new learning environments, there is an exceptional need for new kinds of school supplies. Because of this, Tufts Health Plan has teamed with area nonprofits to provide children with essential back-to-school items to set them up for success. Supplies include Chromebooks for those in remote or hybrid learning environments, accessible Wi-Fi connections in remote areas and traditional school items, such as backpacks.

“While school looks different this fall, the need for school supplies remains, especially as many families grapple to meet basic needs,” said Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan. “We hope these supplies and donations contribute in some small way to students’ success this school year.”

In total, 17 organizations throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut received funding and supplies from Tufts Health Plan as part of the organization’s efforts to address common barriers many children and families face. In addition to company donations, more than 100 employees at Tufts Health Plan contributed back-to-school items. In total, Tufts Health Plan has donated close to $60,000, including in-kind donations, to area nonprofits providing children across the region with essential back-to-school items.

“Tufts Health Plan’s contribution of backpacks and school supplies ensures that the many children in the Worcester Community will have the basic tools they need to start off this school year,” said Gordon P. Hargrove, executive director of Friendly House, Inc. “Tufts Health Plan’s support of Friendly House throughout the years has made a positive impact on hundreds of families and we are truly grateful.”

“What may have been considered a convenience before the pandemic, is now accepted as crucial for learning, working and accessing important services,” said Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders. “The pandemic has shuttered libraries, coffee shops, community centers and other places that generally offer free Wi-Fi. In response, we launched a fundraising campaign to bring free, high-speed Internet to the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence. With generous support from Tufts Health Plan, we are one step closer to implementing ONE Neighborhood Connects: Community Wi-Fi, that will reach over 1500 households.”

The full list of organizations include:


  • Catholic Charities
  • Chelsea Public Schools
  • Children and Family Services
  • Eliot Family Resource Center
  • Friendly House
  • Higher Ground Boston
  • Square One
  • Watertown Boys and Girls Club

Rhode Island:

  • Boys and Girls Club Providence
  • City of Central Falls
  • Fogarty Elementary
  • One Neighborhood Builders
  • Paul Cuffee School
  • Restoration Church
  • R.I.S.E. (Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education)

Connecticut’s Coalition to End Homelessness and New Hampshire’s Families in Transition also received back-to-school funds.