Harvard Square Businesses Use Leaf to Collect More than Spare Change for the Homeless

Leaf, creators of the world’s first tablet that is purpose-built for commerce, today announced a partnership with the Harvard Square Business Association (HSBA) to support charities that aid the homeless in Harvard Square. Through an initiative that will be introduced this morning at HSBA’s 103rd annual meeting, people will be able to help provide food, clothing, shelter and other services for the homeless in Harvard Square by making credit card donations at local businesses.

Harvard Square is a true urban environment that brings together leaders in business and education, but it’s also someplace where homelessness is a real issue that’s facing new and unique challenges. People are becoming less inclined to make direct donations to those living on the street, or they just don’t carry cash or change anymore.

“Walking around the Square, you can’t help but notice people in need. But even if you have spare change to put ‘in the cup’ you can’t be sure how it’ll be spent,” said Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association. “We’ve been working with the business community to help solve this dilemma and considered donation boxes, but for many reasons, dealing with cash or change ourselves was less than ideal. When we learned about Leaf and the charitable component to its business, we knew it was a perfect match.”

Starting this month, Leaf tablets will be available in many Harvard Square businesses including Black Ink, Brattle Square Florist, Concepts, Curious George, Market in the Square, Tistik and The Tannery, enabling patrons to donate with the swipe of a credit card. HSBA will work directly with local charities including Youth on Fire, Harvard Square Meals Program, On The Rise, Bread and Jams’ Self Advocacy Center, CASPAR, Spare Change and The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter to ensure that the money is put to good use. Donors can select the amount they wish to give – starting at one dollar – and will know exactly how their money will be spent. For example:

$1 can provide a pair of socks

$5 can provide three hot meals

$10 can provide one onsite medical visit

$20 can provide one meeting with a counselor

$50 can provide a living wage (3.5 hours of paid work)

$100 can provide shelter for a week

This program builds upon the recent progress that HSBA and community leaders have made in helping the homeless. To recognize the effort and impact they’ve made in the community, HSBA will also be presenting Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas and Director of Youth on Fire, Ayala Livny, with prestigious Cobble Awards at the organization’s 103rd annual breakfast.

Leaf tablets will be available at the breakfast to demonstrate how quick and simple they are for anyone to use, and to encourage attendees to make donations themselves.

“Giving back to the community is core to our business and has been since Leaf’s inception,” said CEO Aron Schwarzkopf. “As a platform that helps local businesses standout in this new digital age, we are committed to giving back to local communities and collectively making a difference, it’s in our DNA. By working with HSBA and donating LeafPresenter tablets to Harvard Square businesses, we can make a real impact in our local community.”

About Harvard Square Business Association

The Harvard Square Business Association (HSBA) was established in 1910 and incorporated on May 20, 1936. The signed and sealed document of incorporation states, “The object of the Association shall be to advance the commercial, industrial, and public interests of Harvard Square; to promote a commercial exchange; to accumulate and give to its members business information; to adjust controversies and misunderstandings; to establish and maintain uniformity in commercial transactions; and to promote just and equitable principles of trade.”

During the past century, The Harvard Square Business Association has spearheaded initiatives that resulted in and continue to enhance Harvard Square: from the earliest incarnation of electrified lampposts, to the latest technologies, such as free outdoor public Wi-Fi access and a mobile version of www.harvardsquare.com.

About Leaf

Leaf empowers local merchants to run and grow their businesses by providing a mobile payment platform built for local commerce. Leaf’s cost-effective product helps retail stores, restaurants, and other local merchants improve the speed and ease of checkout and offers easy-to-use business management, analytics, and customer engagement. By making the mundane tasks of running a business easy, Leaf allows merchants to spend more time focusing on what’s important – the needs of their customers. For more information on how Leaf is transforming Point of Sale into Point of Smart, visit http://www.leaf.me.

For more information about the Harvard Square Business Association or events in Harvard Square, please visit www.harvardsquare.com