While these are undoubtedly tough times, this crisis has also shown us just how resilient and caring our community can be when faced with a challenge. In honor of all of the front-line workers, caring volunteers, companies that have stepped up to help and local organizations providing support we wanted to share some of the good news with you and how your donations are being put to work to help. Here are some things that happened this week that give us hope.
BY THE NUMBERS
$4 MILLION DISTRIBUTED TO DATE FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
Thanks to your generous support of our COVID-19 relief funds, we have distributed $4 million to 158 community-based organizations in our COVID-19 Family Support Fund network across the region to help individuals and families impacted by the crisis. Your donations have helped expand food distribution to over 16,000 households and provided critical financial assistance to over 35,000. Learn more about the organizations that have received funds and how we’re partnering with elected officials and community leaders in more than a dozen Gateway cities and towns to lead a coordinated, unified response to the financial impact of the crisis.
MORE THAN 60,000 PEOPLE SEEKING SUPPORT CONNECTED TO RESOURCES THROUGH MASS 211
Available 24/7 in 150+ different languages, Mass 211 is the official support hotline for COVID-19 in Massachusetts. Since the pandemic began, they have fielded 60,609 calls, connecting callers to resources, support and local agencies that can address their needs. Thank you to the Mass 211 team for stepping up to handle this tremendous increase in call volume and providing this critical service to the community. If you have questions, check out our partnership with WCVB-TV around the top 211 Questions of the Day.
UNITED WAY NEWS
LOCAL COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS LAUNCHED IN BROCKTON AND LAWRENCE
This week, we created two more local funds to support residents in Brockton and Lawrence who are struggling financially as a result of the pandemic. 100% of donations to our local funds go directly to providing emergency assistance to families and individuals impacted by the pandemic. You can read more about our Brockton Together Fund here and our One Lawrence Fund here. Special thanks to State Representative Andy Vargas, the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Community Action Inc. and Emmaus for hosting a Facebook live event highlighting the need in Haverhill and how people can help.
THE ANNUAL COMMUNITY BABY SHOWERS WENT VIRTUAL
The United Way Community Baby Shower is a time-honored tradition for expecting parents in need. This year, we moved the Baby Shower online, reaching more than 550 new and expectant parents with online resources. We also distributed 468 gift cards in Boston and 346 in the Greater Seacoast to help families purchase the baby basics they need for their little ones. You can check out our Greater Boston Community Baby Shower here and learn more about our Seacoast region Community Baby Shower here or watch the video below.
NEWS FROM OUR AGENCY PARTNERS
LATINOS UNIDOS EN MASSACHUSETTS DISTRIBUTED FUNDS AND FRESH GROCERIES
Using funds from the Everett Community Care Fund, our partner Latinos Unidos En Massachusetts (LUMA) offered fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and eggs to more than 200 residents. They also distributed $200 each to 100 families to help them meet basic needs such as food and housing.
GOOD360 DONATED MORE THAN 100 BRAND NEW MATTRESSES TO VICTORY PROGRAMS
We partnered with Good360 and Tempur Sealy Inc to help donate 128 brand new Tempurpedic mattresses to our partner agency Victory Programs. Victory Programs helps more than 3,200 people each year with shelter, sustenance, recovery, care, and professional, compassionate support. Most of their clients struggle with substance use and mental health, and many live with HIV/AIDS putting them at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Thanks to caring companies coming together, 128 of their clients will get to sleep in brand new beds of their own.
YOUTHCONNECT DISTRIBUTED MORE THAN $10,000 IN GIFT CARDS TO STRUGGLING FAMILIES
YouthConnect quickly pivoted to telehealth services in the wake of Governor Baker’s state of emergency. Since then, support from our COVID-19 Family Support Fund has helped their social workers stay connected to and support more than 150 families and distribute more than $10,000 in gift cards to help families meet basic needs. They’re also conducting virtual telehealth sessions to continue providing support and therapy to teens and parents.
1,500 POUNDS OF FOOD COLLECTED AT DRIVE-THRU FOOD DRIVE FOR WEYMOUTH FOOD PANTRY
More than $2,200 in donations and 1,500 pounds of food collected over the weekend by the Norfolk County Labor Council food drive in partnership with United Way for Weymouth Food Pantry. A huge thanks to Mayor Bob Hedlund for joining us and to everyone who showed up for our neighbors in need. It was an amazing show of community support at a distance.
IBA PIONEERED CREATIVE SUPPORT FOR TEENS DURING COVID-19
Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) has adapted its youth workshops to go virtual. IBA serves over 1,500 low-income and culturally diverse kids and understands the importance of continuing SEL-programming through the crisis. You can read more about their programs here.
GIRLS INC OF LYNN DISTRIBUTED REMOTE LEARNING SUPPLIES
Thanks to your generous donations to our Lynn Community Care Fund, Girls Inc of Lynn was able to deliver packages of books and activities to the girls in school-age child care so they can use them during virtual learning sessions. That’s some good news.
PATRICIA JOHNSON HOSTED YOGA CLASS TO BENEFIT THE COVID-19 FAMILY SUPPORT FUND
On Tuesday night, yoga teacher Patricia Johnson (@patricia_jo on Instagram) hosted a yoga class to benefit our One Chelsea Fund to provide emergency assistance to residents in Chelsea hardest-hit by the crisis. The donation based class raised $500 to support our neighbors in Chelsea.
HUNGRY DONATED 20% FROM ORDERS TO COVID-19 RELIEF
Grab some good food for a good cause and dine-in and support COVID19 relief with HUNGRY! HUNGRY provides gourmet catering through top Boston area chefs. From BBQ to Italian, they have a wide variety of options to pick from and all items are made fresh. Order at home.tryhungry.com and use code UNITEDWAY to receive free delivery and donate 20% to our COVID-19 relief fund!
NEWTON TEEN CREATED T-SHIRTS TO BENEFIT THE NEWTON COMMUNITY CARE FUND
Shirts For Covid-19 is a project started by Ian Luchars to raise funds for Covid-19 relief in Newton, Massachusetts. All profits from t-shirt sales go to the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund, with the goal of helping families and individuals who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. You can get yours here.
BUILDIUM DONATED 20 FAMILY-STYLE MEALS TO HUNGRY FAMILIES
Buildium donated 20 family-style meals to The Chelsea Collaborative through HUNGRY last week. Thanks to their generosity, 20 families were able to enjoy a gourmet home-cooked meal with their loved ones in spite of the odds they may be facing during this pandemic. We love connecting good people to do good work and being able to share some good news with you!
And that’s just some of the good news! Catch you next week for another installment.