Haverhill, MA — Reflecting the strong and resilient spirit of the city, Haverhill community leaders today launched The One Haverhill Fund to mobilize resources to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The One Haverhill Fund — convened by Representative Andy Vargas and established by community leaders including Mayor James Fiorentini, Representative Christina Minicucci, the Greater Haverhill Chamber, Community Action, Inc., Emmaus, Haverhill food pantries, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley — will mobilize resources for emergency assistance and expanded food distribution, with a focus on those who are most economically vulnerable during the pandemic. The fund will deploy resources through nonprofit partners to prevent financial crises and displacement for the residents of Haverhill.
“Throughout this crisis, Haverhill residents and organizations have stepped up to the plate in an inspiring way,” said State Representative Andy Vargas. “Whether it’s delivering food, providing shelter, or chipping-in to help a student have access to reliable internet service – our community has pulled together as one. Haverhill is 36 square miles, over a dozen neighborhoods, and varied lived experiences that make the whole of One Haverhill. The One Haverhill Fund will be a vehicle to ensure that no Haverhill resident or family gets left behind.”
As COVID-19 reverberates across hospitals, offices, schools, and homes, many in Haverhill are being impacted in ways they never imagined a month ago. Businesses who make up the backbone of the local economy have significantly reduced their hours or have been forced to close. People who are not paid if they are not working are trying to figure out how they will make ends meet. The One Haverhill Fund was established to mobilize those who can give to do so in support of their neighbors.
“It has been truly inspiring to see so many Haverhill people and businesses step up to support those in need during this historic and unprecedented crisis,” Mayor Fiorentini said. “I want to thank everyone who has already helped in some way and ask everyone who can to please give what you can to this new One Haverhill Fund. We know a lot more Haverhill residents and families are going to need financial support in the coming weeks and months and this is a great new resource to make sure we are there for them.”
To kick off the effort, United Way has provided $50,000 to Emmaus and Community Action, Inc. In addition to launching the One Haverhill Fund, United Way’s COVID relief efforts have supported UTEC and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill.
“As unemployment soars and we all struggle to cope with COVID-19 in our homes and in our communities, we can also act — to help others,” said Michael K. Durkin, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “United Way is proud to partner with Representative Vargas and the business and community leaders in Haverhill to help individuals, children, and families who are worried about feeding their families and paying their bills during this unprecedented crisis.”
The funds will focus on providing basic needs for families and cover costs such as rent, food, utilities, internet connectivity, childcare, medications, and other basic necessities. Priority will be given to those who are most economically vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis. All donations will be collected by United Way and distributed by established Haverhill nonprofit organizations with a track record of administering assistance funds.
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, PO Box 51381, Boston, MA 02205-1381. Please make checks out to “United Way of Massachusetts Bay” and include “The One Haverhill Fund” in the memo of the check.
Those who need immediate help should contact Haverhill’s 3-1-1 call center for assistance. Anyone within the city limits can simply dial 311 and reach trained operators from 8AM-4PM to respond to non-emergency questions and concerns.
In addition, individuals can call United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline or visit mass211.org for comprehensive information and referrals related to the virus.