Many families are facing financial hardship, particularly low-wage service workers and other hourly employees, from the severe slowdown in business over the coronavirus spread.
A number of organizations are offering to them help, including providing free meals and in some cases money to pay bills. Here’s how you can contribute:
- Boston Globe Media and boston.com have launched the Boston Helps website to direct donors and volunteers to specific needs, and to help those in need find appropriate resources.
- The Greater Boston Food Bank has organized several initiatives to help people in need and is looking for volunteers, donations and people to organize fundraising.
- Project Bread is looking for donations to fund its “rapid response” effort for families.
- YMCA of Greater Boston is offering meals and other services to Boston school children during the schools closure and is asking members to donate their fees to the effort.
- The city of Cambridge and the Food for Free organization are looking for volunteers to help staff a free food distributions for students at local schools.
- Penguin Pizza and other Boston area restaurants have formed Feeding the Frontline and are asking consumers to buy gift cards or leave extra tips when ordering food from participating establishments that they can then distribute to people in need. The restaurants will be also distributing food to health care workers and first responders and vulnerable populations.
- The City of Boston has created the Boston Resiliency Fund to provide food for children and seniors, technology for remote learning for students, and support to first responders and healthcare workers.
- The Boston Foundation has created a response fund to provide grants to organizations helping people in need now, and is accepting donations.
- The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has launched a family support fund to aid hourly and low-wage workers who may need financial help with rent, food, or childcare, while the United Ways in Central Mass. and New Bedford also have funds.
- Combined Jewish Philanthropies has a Coronavirus Emergency Fund that will help community organizations provide urgent needs, such as food, cleaning supplies and money for bills, to vulnerable populations.
- Members of the Boston area’s Life Sciences industry are raising money for organizations that are helping people affected by the virus and shutdown.
- Union Capital Boston has a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to finance gifts cards for families and individuals in need.
- The Greg Hill Foundation and Boston Beer Co. have a fund to provide grants to restaurant workers. Cambridge and Reservoir Church have started Feed Cambridge Families to raise money for gift cards needy families can use at local supermarkets. Eater Boston is maintaining a list of efforts to help people in the restaurant industry.
- Oxfam is raising money to buy basic supplies and health equipment for organizations that aid displaced persons.
- The United Way of Tri-County is accepting donations to its emergency relief and recovery fund to help people in the MetroWest area, as well as looking for volunteers to help with its food programs.
- The Foundation for MetroWest is also accepting donations for its community efforts.
- The Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts is accepting donations to its emergency fund.
- The Cape Cod and Island Major Crisis Relief Fund is now directing donations to people affected by COVID-19.
- Lowell has created an emergency relief fund for residents impacted by the outbreak.
- The city of Boston and the Boston Center for the Arts also have an Artists Relief Fund, the Record Co. has a fund to help musicians, as does the Boston Singers Resource. A fund for theater workers has also been set up. All are accepting donations.
- The Community Foundation of Western Mass. has a fund to help people in the Pioneer Valley.
- The American Red Cross is seeking blood donations to prevent shortages during the medical response to the virus.
- The MSPCA is looking for donations of dog and cat food so people with food insecurity can ensure their pets are being fed.