INFORMS Open Forum

1.  A New Tradition of Giving INFORMS Conferences – Invitation to all Conference Attendees to Give a Little

Posted 10-25-2016 16:15

nI5kH4yoQXGJSQRq04QH_probono_safehaven.jpgWe are building a new tradition of giving back to the community starting in Nashville. INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics is teaming up with Safe Haven of Nashville to help families move from a shelter to a permanent home and become self-sufficient. Safe Haven is a homeless shelter organization that specializes in proactive programs to assist families. The fundamental program is a rapid re-housing program that assists homeless families in finding housing and attaining financial stability via employment.* Safe Haven utilizes an incentive program to reward families with the household items they need to turn their new house into a “home.” While at the shelter, residents earn “bucks” for successfully completing tasks to help them become self-sufficient. Once a family is placed in permanent housing, they can go shopping in their “Bucks store” for important items such as dishware, pots and pans, kitchen appliances, and other essential items.

You can help in any of a few ways – make a card, donate money, or become a Pro Bono Analytics volunteer.

We invite all Annual meeting attendees to visit the INFORMS Center to create cards of encouragement to families as they move to a permanent home, or to wish happy holidays for program families. Members can also donate any amount (tax deductible) through this PayPal link, even if you can't make the meeting in Nashville, or on site at our booth. Your contributions will go directly towards purchasing household good to assure the “Buck” store is stocked year-around, and thus help the families have a good start.

We hope you’ll take a moment to stop by the INFORMS Center to help us make a difference. At the booth you can also learn more and sign up to become a Pro Bono analytics volunteer.

Thank you!

*Other Safe Haven programs include Trauma Informed Care, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, a children’s education program, summer camp, work development programs, and other services. INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics is currently engaged in a project with Safe Haven assessing the social and cognitive levels of children before and after enrolling in the program by assisting with the design and implementation of a survey, and conducting analysis of the survey data.

Rina Schneur
Waltham MA

2.  RE: A New Tradition of Giving INFORMS Conferences – Invitation to all Conference Attendees to Give a Little

Posted 10-26-2016 23:54

Rina - thank you for all the hard work you have put into creating a new tradition of giving back to the conference host city by supporting a local nonprofit organization. The first recipient, Safe Haven of Nashville which has a vision of reducing and eventually eliminating family homelessness in Middle Tennessee, is a great organization for launching this INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics tradition.

I’d like to encourage everyone to stop by the INFORMS booth during the conference to learn more about Safe Haven, and also to learn more about Pro Bono Analytics and the various ways we have been supporting nonprofit organizations through OR and analytics. Finally, if you can fit it into your schedule, please attend sessions MB 51 and MC 52 where you hear from some other Nashville nonprofit organizations and from some Pro Bono Analytics volunteers.


David Hunt
Oliver Wyman
Princeton NJ

3.  RE: A New Tradition of Giving INFORMS Conferences – Invitation to all Conference Attendees to Give a Little

Posted 10-31-2016 12:14

This is cool! (Do people still say "cool"? "Rad" is too rad for me.) Thanks to Rina and Mary L. for setting it up.

For anyone planning to donate, you'll see that the nominal recipient is "INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics". Rest assured that the money will end up going to Safe Haven of Nashville. I'm told that for legal reasons, the donation has to go to INFORMS first.


Paul Rubin
Professor Emeritus
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI

4.  RE: A New Tradition of Giving INFORMS Conferences – Invitation to all Conference Attendees to Give a Little

Posted 11-04-2016 10:34

As a new member of the Pro-Bono Committee, I am very excited about this new direction for INFORMS.  I hope that the greater membership of INFORMS will hear about the activities of the committee and about the specific ideas of donation both our services and our direct financial support.  It is a great opportunity for both new and seasoned practitioners to make a contribution.  The donation of our time and services are to non-profit organizations that can benefit from the tools and capabilities of operations research and analytics.  Also, we are offering an opportunity a financial donation as described by Rina in the initial post for this thread.

Please stop by to the booth we will have at the Nashville meeting to learn more about Pro-Bono Analytics and sign up to help.

Arnold Greenland
Professor of the Practice
University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business
College Park MD