Marshfield, MA — In an effort to mobilize resources to provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and families impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and to respond to needs as they evolve, community leaders in Marshfield today launched the Marshfield Community Fund in partnership with the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce and United Way.
As COVID-19 reverberates across hospitals, offices, schools and homes, Marshfield residents are struggling with how the disease, and its economic fallout, will impact their ability to eat, stay in their homes, ensure access to medical care and critical supplies and the impact it will have on their small businesses.
“There is so much we can do as a community to assist those severely impacted by the COVID – 19 crisis,” said Lara Brait, Executive Director at the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce. “This partnership with United Way is an incredible effort to bring together people who want to help and nonprofit organizations in our community to provide that assistance. Marshfield is strong and resilient, and is known for coming together to help those in need in our community. Through the Marshfield Community Fund we can help respond to the needs that we have heard from our residents and businesses.”
According to a recent survey by the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce:
- 20% of non-essential businesses surveyed are already in a position that they will not be able to reopen once restrictions are lifted.
- 45% of families surveyed have experienced a total loss of wages or are on unemployment/ receiving unemployment benefits.
- 50% of families surveyed have an essential employee living in their home.
- 20% of families surveyed are in need of immediate financial assistance or immediate food assistance
The Marshfield Community Fund, which will be seeded by a $10,000 grant from United Way, is being established to mobilize those who can give to support their neighbors and will be flexible to respond as community needs evolve. Immediate needs have been defined as support for rent and other housing needs, food, utilities, internet connectivity for families with school-aged children, childcare, medications and other basic needs. Priority will be given to those who are most economically vulnerable to this crisis. Funds will support emergency financial assistance for these needs through local nonprofits such as the Marshfield Boys and Girls Club and Sowing Seeds, along with expanded food distribution at the Marshfield Food Pantry.
“United Ways have always been fighting to meet the most urgent needs of our neighbors, so it makes perfect sense for our United Way of Greater Plymouth County to be working together with our colleagues from United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley to assist in generating life-saving resources for families and individuals in the Town of Marshfield during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dennis Carman, President and CEO at the United Way of Greater Plymouth County.
“During times of uncertainty and crisis, people come together to support one another. COVID-19 is a test of our collective strength,”said Michael K. Durkin, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “As unemployment continues to soar, United Way is proud to partner with the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce and community leaders to help individuals, children, and families who are worried about feeding their families and paying their bills during this unprecedented crisis.”
All gifts are tax-deductible and 100% of the proceeds (net credit card fees) will go to individuals seeking assistance via nonprofits already working in our community. Donations can be made by credit card or through a donor advised fund online or by sending a check to United Way of Massachusetts Bay, P.O. Box 412866, Boston, MA. 02241-2866. Please make checks out to United Way of Massachusetts Bay and include “Marshfield Community Fund” in the memo of the check.
In the coming weeks, Marshfield Community Fund will add more detailed information on fund eligibility requirements and information about how individuals can apply for assistance. Individuals and families who need immediate help should contact United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline or visit mass211.org for comprehensive information and referrals related to the virus.