BOSTON — The National Grid Foundation has awarded United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley a $150,000 grant to provide emergency financial assistance to local families in need this winter, the organizations announced today. The funds, which represent a $25,000 increase over last year and will allow United Way to serve additional communities, are being distributed through United Way’s Family Fund, which helps families across Eastern Massachusetts make ends meet by assisting with basic needs such as heating, food, and housing. The funding comes amid several recent storms causing unexpected household emergencies, a record-breaking cold snap earlier this winter, rising fuel costs, and proposals to eliminate federal fuel assistance from the U.S. budget.
“The funding from the National Grid Foundation is critical to our efforts to help families in need weather an emergency or unexpected financial crisis, such as the loss of a job or medical expense,” said Michael K. Durkin, United Way President and Chief Executive Officer. “United Way’s Family Fund, with National Grid’s support, partners with effective non-profit organizations in local communities to help provide families in crisis with direct emergency assistance to help them back on their feet.”
“The National Grid Foundation is pleased to help our neighbors who are struggling at this time of year,” said Edward White, Executive Director of the National Grid Foundation. “United Way is able to use this funding to connect people with assistance when they need it most. Whether it’s home-heating fuel or providing basic needs, many people will be helped by this grant. We are thrilled to again team up with United Way through its Family Fund to help so many local residents in need.”
The National Grid Foundation grant to United Way will benefit six community-based organizations serving several communities, including Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, and Somerville:
- $25,0000 to Action for Boston Community Development
- $25,000 to Catholic Charities
- $25,000 to Greater Lawrence Community Action Council
- $25,000 to Lynn Economic Opportunity
- $25,000 to Quincy Community Action Programs
- $25,000 to The Neighborhood Developers
Last year, United Way’s Family Fund helped more than 30,100 households. Despite this assistance, United Way’s partner agencies also reported they could not help over 3,540 requests for assistance due to a shortage of funds. The funds this year will help close the gap between need and available resources as families require assistance. Specifically, the National Grid Foundation funds helped nearly 1,000 individuals in the region. In addition, Mass 2-1-1, the free health and human services referral line funded by United Way, received over 8,700 requests for assistance with housing and shelter, utility payments and food assistance in 2017.
The National Grid Foundation has supported United Way’s efforts in this area for 13 years, bringing the total of its support to nearly $1.5 million.
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About the National Grid Foundation
The National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life across its grant making territory. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December 1998, the Foundation has provided more than $23 million in grants to 1,000 organizations in its grant-making territory.