Mar 19, 2020   |   Back to News United Way COVID-19 Family Fund United Way has established a fund to help combat the devastation COVID-19 is causing for some of our working families.  For more information on the COVID-19 Family Fund and how to contribute, or how to utilize the fund's resources, see below. 
 

BACKGROUND

As coronavirus reverberates across hospitals, offices, schools, and homes, we are reminded of our most basic shared value. We know that all of us depend on each other for a healthy community. The same priority guides our concern for those most economically vulnerable in a pandemic. This includes the families of hospitality, retail and other hourly workers, those experiencing homelessness, and children relying on school for one or more meals each day, among others.

THE NEED

In Massachusetts, 2 in 5 workers lack sufficient savings to withstand a sudden loss in wages. With public events, schools and workplaces shuttering as the pandemic unfolds, hourly, low-wage workers will experience unprecedented financial hardship. The problem is acute for hospitality workers, retail workers, and other hourly workers, many living paycheck to paycheck, with no clear options for recouping lost wages.   Additionally across the Commonwealth, several hundred thousand children rely on federally funded school-based programs for one, two or more meals each day. As schools close across the Commonwealth, the demand for food assistance will increase for these children and their families.

RESPONSE

United Way has established the COVID-19 Family Support Fund, a dedicated resource for working families affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. We will mobilize our broad network of nonprofit agencies throughout the region to provide a flexible source of cash assistance to help families weather the COVID-19 crisis. These agencies have a proven and long track record of working with United Way to administer flexible emergency assistance for families impacted by income disruption. Grants will be made to help families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis meet their basic food, childcare or housing needs.

In collaboration with the Department of Public Health, United Way’s Mass 2-1-1 statewide consumer hotline will provide consumer help during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Individuals can dial 2-1-1 for comprehensive information and referrals related to the virus, including information on where they can access flexible funds through the COVID-19 Family Support Fund.

In this uncertain time, many nonprofit agencies themselves will face financial disruption. Postponed or canceled fundraising events, leading to a loss of funding that community-based organizations depend on for their regular program work and operations will put serious pressure on nonprofit operating budgets.

United Way will coordinate fundraising efforts with the broader philanthropic community, including the Boston Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, to ensure that the nonprofit organizations that have been stressed by the crisis have the resources they need to meet the community need.

INQUIRIES ABOUT THE FUND:

For general questions about the Covid-19 Family Support Fund, please contact info@supportunitedway.org.

For interested philanthropic and business partners, please contact our VP of Corporate Relations, Emily Stanford at estanford@supportunitedway.org or 617-624-8171

For media inquiries about United Way of Massachusetts Bay’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic, please contact Brigid Boyd at bboyd@supportunitedway.org or 617-624-8252.

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. - Albert Einstein
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