Kindness in Boston: Helping in a time of need

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

KINDNESS IN BOSTON

These are challenging times for people of Boston and across the world. To help fight the spread of COVID-19, we are all being asked to make many changes in the way we live our lives. Practicing physical distancing, working from home and getting tested if you think you might have the virus are important.

Many people are facing difficult times. There is a growing movement in the city through community groups, charities, businesses and individuals to help those in need. It is heartening to see that once again, the people throughout the neighborhoods of Boston are reaching out with generosity and kindness.

We have put together a listing of resources of those offering help and those who are seeking your help.

If you have something to add to our list, send an email to Boston Homes Editor Wayne Braverman at wbraverman@gannett.com.

LINKS TO COVID-19 UPDATES:

- The City of Boston's COVID-19 updates: www.boston.gov/news/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-boston

- Massachusetts Department of Public Health up-to-the date COVID-19 information: www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

- CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

- World Health Organization - COVID-19: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Neighborhood Aid Network

Neighbors need to help neighbors right now, especially the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly and people who are quarantined. The Neighborhood Aid Network has a simple goal: To provide a central place where neighborhood digital platforms can aggregate and standardize and where volunteers receive information and training.

Many neighborhoods have already established this initiative – see individual neighborhoods for information; otherwise you can help your neighborhood start this initiative via www.humannetworkinitiative.com/neighborhoods.

Free Grab N Go Meals, Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen Links

Boston Eats will continue to provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth – 18 years of age and under – through Dec. 31. No ID or registration required.

Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations and other information. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens is also included.

Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.

Boston’s centralized volunteer recruitment site:

Boston Cares, a New England volunteering organization, has partnered with the City of Boston and Boston Public Schools to centralize volunteer recruitment and coordinate new efforts meeting the city’s evolving needs during the pandemic.

The City of Boston is looking for healthy volunteers to help at food distribution sites, with literature drop-offs, and with deliveries of necessities to folks in need. Click here for the application (and carefully read their warning about associated risks).

ACCESSING BENEFITS:

MA Department of Unemployment (DUA)

- Call Center: 877-626-6800 – open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. Multilingual call agents are available.

- TeleCert Line (Automated system only) – 617-626-6338 open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

- Hearing Impaired Voice Relay: 711

- Payment Status line (Automated system only) – 617-626-6563

- https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-unemployment-assistance

MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA): https://dtaconnect.eohhs.mass.gov

DTA has fully transitioned to assisting new and existing clients over the phone and online until further notice.

Cash Assistance:

- TAFDC: Your family must meet certain requirements to get Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)

- EAEDC: You must meet certain requirements to get Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children

Food Assistance:

- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): For a program description, program requirements, application process and other information, go to: www.benefits.gov or phone 877-382-2363.

Other Food Resources:

- Project Bread Food Source Hotline: If you or your family is facing hunger right now, Project Bread wants to help. Call the FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 or go to gettingSNAP.org.

- The Greater Boston Food Bank: visit www.gbfb.org/SNAP or phone 617-598-5022.

Other Services:

- To learn more about other programs you may be eligible for, click here.

Housing, Evictions and Utility Shutoff information:

- For Housing Stability information: City of Boston Office of Housing Stability: 617-635-4200 or housingstability@boston.gov. Online, check https://www.boston.gov/departments/neighborhood-development/office-housing-stability

- For utility assistance: https://www.mass.gov/keeping-your-utilities-on

- For legal assistance: Greater Boston Legal Services: Boston - 617-371-1234; 800-323-3205 or www.gbls.org

- For those experiencing homelessness: boston.gov/departments/neighborhood-development/services-homeless has a list of emergency shelters, daytime drop-in sites, meal programs and general resources throughout Boston

List of emergency shelters and daytime drop-in sites throughout Boston is here.

HEALTH RELATED

Emergency Health Connector enrollment

Emergency Health Connector enrollment has been extended; eligible Massachusetts residents who need health insurance can go to www.mahealthconnector.org or call 877-523-6765 to start enrollment.

Telehealth

Telehealth: The Department of Public Health has issued guidance that requires all commercial insurers, self-insured plans, and the Group Insurance Commission to cover medically necessary telehealth services related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. Insurers must do this without requiring cost-sharing of any kind – such as co-pays and coinsurance – for testing and treatment. Click here for more information.

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center

Support for survivors of sexual assault, harassment and abuse, ages 12 and older (including people who experience it in situations outside of intimate partners or domestic violence) and their loved ones.

Hotline: 800-841-8371 available 24/7/365

Web chat: barcc.org/chat available 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

Remote services available throughout COVID-19, including counseling, legal advocacy, and assistance with immediate and long-term health, housing, financial and safety needs.

Visit barcc.org/covid-19 for more information.

Boys Town National Hotline for Youth

Boys Town National Hotline for Youth is available 24/7. Call, text, email or chat online at 1-800-448-3000 or at www.yourlifeyourvoice.org.

Boys Town, a national nonprofit, offers many resources for parents, families and children in times of need and has program in New England.

Call2Talk program

This program offers mental health, emotional support and suicide prevention. To use this service, dial 2-1-1, press 4 for English then dial 2-5.

COVID Grief Network

The COVID Grief Network, is an emerging project that connects young adults (20s-30s) who are grieving the COVID-19 illness or death of someone close to them with free emotional and spiritual support – and to each other.

Crisis Text Line

Isolation is hard. You are not alone. Trained counselors are available 24/7/365. You can message them on Facebook or text HOME to 741741. Visit https://www.crisistextline.org for other information.

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Resources:

- A list of all rape crisis and domestic violence centers in Massachusetts, their hotline numbers, and other important info can be found at www.janedoe.org and/or www.domesticshelters.org/help/ma.

- Domestic Violence SafeLink (24 hour multi-lingual statewide hotline): 877-785-2020 or 877-521-2601 (TTY)

- The National Domestic Violence Helpline at https://www.thehotline.org is available 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233, TTY 1-800-787-3224, or if you're unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 22522

- The National Network to End Domestic Violence has helpful resources as well: https://nnedv.org/latest_update/resources-response-coronavirus-covid-19.

- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (24/7)

- Massachusetts Domestic Violence Resources:

www.mass.gov/service-details/domestic-violence-programs-for-survivors

Futures Without Violence

Futures Without Violence is a health and social justice nonprofit with a simple mission: to heal those among us who are traumatized by violence today – and to create healthy families and communities free of violence tomorrow.

From domestic violence and child abuse, to bullying and sexual assault, their groundbreaking programs, policy development, and public action campaigns are designed to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.

Visit futureswithoutviolence.org for accurate information from credible sources.

IMAlive

IMAlive is a live online network that uses instant messaging to respond to people in crisis. People need a safe place to go during moments of crisis and intense emotional pain. Available 24/7 at www.imalive.org.

International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)

IAFF has put together a flyer that outlines COVID-19 behavioral health considerations. This includes information about common stress reactions and what to expect when quarantined. See it here.

Mass Advocates for Children

Mass Advocates for Children (MAC) is a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization in downtown Boston. They work with students, families, communities and at the policy level to remove barriers to education for children across Massachusetts.

The MAC Helpline is open at 617-357-8431, ext. 3324.

MAC has compiled resource guides in four topic areas to help during the COVID-19 outbreak: Special Education; General Education; Children’s Issues; and Other Resources (Food Security, Housing, Medical Support, etc.)

- If you have an IEP, these may be helpful resources for you:

https://mailchi.mp/massadvocates/your-rights-special-education-and-covid-19

- If your PCA is not available due to the Coronavirus, visit www.Massoptions.org or phone 844-422-6277 for assistance

- Visit www.massadvocates.org for other information.

Mass Options

Mass Options is a free resource that links you to services that help you or a loved one live independently.

Visit www.Massoptions.org or phone 844-422-6277 for assistance.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – www.nami.org

NAMI Massachusetts Resources:

- NAMI Massachusetts – namimass.org - 617-580-8541, 800-370-9085

- NAMI Compass Helpline: 617-704-6264 or 1-800-370-9085, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays

- NAMI Connection Recovery Support Groups:https://namimass.org/nami-connection-recovery-support-groups

- NAMI Family Support Groups:https://namimass.org/nami-family-support-groups

- NAMI Family-to-Family:https://namimass.org/nami-family-to-family

Visit www.nami.org for resources and other information.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-276-8255

Samaritans MA Statewide Helpline: 817-870-4673 or visit www.samaritanshope.org

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

Disaster Distress Helpline - 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800- 846-8517)

7 Cups

7 Cups connects you to caring listeners for free emotional support:

You can be heard by volunteer listeners and chat with others who understand in support chat rooms available for free 24/7

You can grow at your own pace – explore self-help guides and growth paths for proven tips and advice on how to feel better.

You can also access affordable and confidential online therapy and counseling with licensed therapists for $150 a month.

Visit 7cups.com for all links and other information.

18percent

More than 18 percent of Americans (or 1:5) are living with mental health issues.

18percent is a free peer-to-peer online network offering emotional support for people living with a myriad of mental health issues.

Visit 18percent.org for links to talk and resources to explore.

Talkspace

Talkspace is offering free therapy for healthcare workers and discounted subscriptions to their services for all during COVID-19 time.

Others can talk online with a therapist. Although it’s not free, your health insurance may cover a portion of the cost.

Visit www.talkspace.com for more information.

Teen Line

If you have a problem or just want to talk with another teen who understand, then this is the right place for you. Call, text or email or use the Message Board.

Teen Line can be reached at 1-800-TLC-TEEN/ 1-800-852-8336, by texting TEEN to 839863, or by email at teenlineonline.org/talk-now. Teen Line is open from 3 to 7 p.m.

If you are a parent of a teen, check out teenlineonline.org for resources, tips and insights.

The Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing: 508-997-0903

The Bridge, located at St. Peter's Church in Dartmouth, has expanded its services to include tele-health counseling and licensed therapists are available for video call sessions and telephone support. Most major health insurances are accepted.

The Center for Complicated Grief

The Center for Complicated Grief at Columbia University is dedicated to improving the lives of people suffering from complicated grief by helping clinicians and the general public learn how to recognize complicated grief. The Center has a host of resources available.

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25 and their friends.

Trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678 678.

Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline provides trans peer support – for trans and for friends, partners, family members and professionals supporting trans loved ones and community members – run by and for trans people – at 877-565-8860.

USA Mental Health First Aid USA

A compilation of tips and resources from the Mental Health First Aid curriculum to help you care for your own and your loved ones’ mental health such as anxiety, depression, mental health first aid, news and self-care.

William James College INTERFACE Referral Service

Helpline: 1-888-244-6843 – open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

Online resources, guides and publications at https://interface.williamjames.edu.

ORGANIZATIONS – GIVING and RECEIVING

Addiction Policy Forum

The Addiction Policy Forum is offering anonymous, pro-social engagement with others in recovery, connections to their care team, digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and other engaging and helpful features via the Connections Smartphone App.

Through the Connections App, the Addiction Policy Forum will supply trained counselors with a Telehealth strategy to help individuals with SUD maintain recovery. Training will occur daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

To request the free app, visit the Addiction Policy Forum’s Connections App landing page: https://www.addictionpolicy.org/connections-app.

American Red Cross - Blood donation

The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood or platelets to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Visit redcross.org to make an appointment to donate blood now. For local information, visit www.redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/location/boston-american-red-cross.html?utm_source=GMBlisting&utm_medium=organic

You can also give blood at:

Kraft Family Blood donation Center at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital at www.brighamandwomens.org

Massachusetts General Hospital Blood Donor Center: www.massgeneral.org

American Red Cross of Massachusetts: Food and Nutrition Programs

These national food and nutrition programs serve many people across the state, especially those in crisis. The food pantries, including the Boston Food Pantry, assist those who cannot afford a meal. Volunteer activities here include assembling food bags and distributing groceries. Learn more at redcross.org.

Animal Rescue League Boston

Every time you support the Animal Rescue League of Boston, you are saving levies and giving animals care, love and the second chance they deserve. There are so many ways to support these animals you love. Visit arlboston.org to learn more.

Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen

The Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen BBMSK (“Bumsk”) is a group of young adults who minister to the homeless on the streets of Back Bay. They take sandwiches, fruit, socks and Rosaries to distribute, and take time to listen to the stories of the men and women they encounter.

The group meets Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. on the front steps of the St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, 1105 Boylston St.

They are always looking for donations (money/gift cards, toiletries, socks, and supplies) and volunteers to help prepare and package the food.

Contact Eli at 703-638-2019 or visit www.omvusa.org/about/groups for more information.

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

The Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s leadership and staff continues to be immersed daily with their shelter partners, the hospitals and their longstanding network of community partners in creating an infrastructure capable of limiting the spread of this virus and providing the best care to those who become infected.

To learn more about and to help with these unanticipated expenses needed to respond to this unprecedented public health pandemic, donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund at bhchp.org.

Boston Rescue Mission

The Boston Rescue Mission, 39 Kingston St., transforms lives by empowering individuals experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless to achieve and sustain life skills necessary to become more self-sufficient. This faith-based program offers shelter, food, and basic needs.

Please consider giving your time, your talents and your treasures (“wish list” of material goods and financial donations) to help them continue their mission, ongoing since 1899.

Visit brm.org to learn more about this organization and to make a donation.

Boston Resiliency Fund

The Boston Resiliency Fund aims to provide food for children and seniors, technology for remote learning for students and support to first responders and healthcare workers in the City of Boston.

Donate via check or online on the website www.boston.gov/departments/treasury/boston-resiliency-fund.

Cathedral Church of Saint Paul   

Although many other programs have closed during this pandemic, the feeding ministry of the MANNA Community at Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, 138 Tremont St. has expanded its ministry to accommodate the growing number of people in need.

In addition to the Monday Lunch Program, they are now serving breakfast and giving out water on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

Serving these individually-packaged meals to a larger of people in need comes at a greater expense to the church.

Please help keep this program alive by donating money to help purchase food and supplies.

Visit stpaulboston.org for more information.

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston

Need a hand? Want to lend a hand?

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston provides a comprehensive array of services for people in need.

Please consider donating food, gift cards or toiletries to keep their food pantries and basic needs operations open and fully stocked.

Visit ccab.org for more information, including links and address to donate.

Christopher’s Haven

Christopher’s Haven is a low-cost housing option for children who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families – especially for when they are in between hospital visits. Many of these patients and their families find community amongst other people who are facing similar situations.

Putting together Care Packages of fun things to do will help make their time go a little easier.

And later if you are interested in working with families, the organization recommends group volunteering activities by hosting an arts and crafts day or throwing a birthday celebration for one of the children. Visit christophershaven.org to learn more, including a link to make a financial donation.

CJP Coronavirus Emergency Fund

The challenge presented by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented. The needs in the community are many and immediate, especially for vulnerable people who may already be socially isolated, in fragile health or in financial crisis.

The CJP (Combined Jewish Philanthropies) has launched the CJP Coronavirus Emergency Fund.

With your generosity, CJP and their partner organizations will provide food, financial assistance, and other services to isolated individuals and families who face severe hardships as a result of social isolation, lost wages and health challenges with one hundred percent of the money raised.

Visit jewishboston.com for other details, including the link to donate.

common cathedral and Boston Warm programs need help

common Cathedral and Boston Warm programs under the umbrella of Ecclesia Ministries at Emmanuel Church (15 Newbury St.) needs partners to help them serve the increasing number of homeless and underserved during this critical time.

There are three specific ways that you can help make a difference:

1) Donate supplies listed on their Amazon account.

2) Donate individually wrapped homemade or purchased sandwiches, soft fruits and granola bars.

3) Donate your time, your treasures (donations) and your prayers – they are always welcomed and valued.

Visit www.commoncathedral.org for more information, including links to keep this mission alive.

Community Servings

Community Servings, a non-profit that provides meals for people who are home-bound because of illness, is continuously preparing extra home-delivered meals to serve its community who needs help the most.

You can help by making a donation to support their cause here: www.servings.org/coronavirus-preparedness.

Cradles to Crayons

Support Cradles to Crayons’ Emergency Essential Fund to get urgent items such as diapers, hygiene supplies and other essentials to the most vulnerable families.

Visit cradlestocrayons.org for other information and the link to donate.

Daily Table

The Daily Table is a nonprofit grocery store (in Dorchester and Roxbury) that believes that delicious, wholesome and affordable food should be available to all. Their mission is to help communities make great food choices by making it easy to choose tasty, health, convenient and truly affordable meals and groceries.

Make a donation: every $1 donated helps provide 6.5 nutritional servings.

Go to at https://dailytable.org to learn more.

Family Aid Boston

Family Aid Boston serves nearly 2,000 children and parents in the area, providing them with food, shelter, and basic necessities like toiletries, diapers and personal hygiene products.

“If you’re a homeless person, you’re at the bottom of the economic ladder,” Larry Seamans, the organization’s president said. “For families with children who don’t have access to childcare, it’s not like it’s easy for them to get grab-and-go lunches offered by the schools.”

To that end, Seamans and his staff have turned Family Aid’s office into a distribution center to assemble deliveries of food and necessities to the families they serve. “Right now part of the challenge of supporting families is doing it en masse, so we’ve started a campaign to buy items in bulk,” Seams said.

All donations of any amount are appreciated.

Friday Night Supper Program – Emergency Appeal

The Friday Night Supper program at the Arlington Street Church – the longest running program in Boston – has served 13,000 meals a year to more than 130 guests from all over Boston since 1984.

Your donations make a difference in the lives of people in need, whether through philanthropic dollars or individual gifts of money, clothing, toiletries and gift cards.

Visit Fridaynightsupper.org to make a donation. Your support matters.

Friends of Boston Homeless

For more than 33 years, the Friends of Boston’s Homeless has supported Woods Mullen Women's Shelter and Southampton Men's Shelter (formerly Boston's Long Island Shelter) in Boston’s South End.

The Friends serves more than 800 people experiencing homelessness every day by providing safe dignified care and basic emergency services (a nutritious meal, hot shower and a warm bed).

The Friends also support solution-oriented programs that help people move beyond shelter to live peaceful, stable lives in our community including vocational training and employment services and transitional and permanent affordable housing.

Among the ways you can help is by participating in the Operation Sock Drop and/or by creating Housewarming Baskets.

Visit fobh.org for other information, including the address for shipping.

Good Neighbor Energy Fund

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund’s sponsoring energy companies are appealing to Massachusetts’ residents and businesses to make a donation to the Fund due to the heightened urgency of need brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund assists households that do not qualify for federal or state assistance and are in temporary crisis, including individuals laid off or out of business due to the coronavirus, with the payment of their home energy expenses. The Fund has raised more than $22 million and assisted more than 90,250 households in need with the payment of monthly energy expenses since its inception in 1985.

Customers can also donate on-line by visiting www.magoodneighbor.org or simply mail a check payable to “Good Neighbor Energy Fund” to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, c/o The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021-1408.

The Greater Boston Food Bank

One in eight residents of Eastern Massachusetts is expected to experience food insecurity in 2020-2021 as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Greater Boston Food Bank is a food distribution facility that acquires and distributes millions of pounds of food for communities in need throughout the nine counties and 190 towns and cities across Eastern Massachusetts on an ongoing basis.

“Money is the most important thing,” said Catherine D’Amato, the food bank’s CEO. “The money helps us purchase food. The act of donating food isn’t going to get us out of this situation. It’s not a can of tuna fish; it’s 10,000 cans of tuna fish. So that’s where the dollar allows us to really act quickly.”

If you, or anyone you know, is in need of food, you can visit GBFB.org/need-food to find a list of food assistance options in each community they serve.

Visit www.gbfb.org/covid-19-update for more information, including ways you can make a donation, form a team and raise funds or volunteer your times and services.

Haley House – Ways you can help

During this period of social distancing, here are a few ways you can continue to support the Haley House community:

- Donate to their Emergency Fund – Since they switched their soup kitchen (23 Dartmouth St. South End) to take out, members of the Live-In Community have served more than 1,000 meals each week. Funds will be used to purchase food and materials for their take-out meals and as emergency support for their staff.

Purchase Gift Cards for Haley House Bakery Cafe or Order Take Out/Delivery – (12 Dade St. Roxbury) – Make sure to follow them on social media for live-streamed events and ways to support artists through virtual programming.   

Donate Non-Perishable Food or Sanitizing Items – See the list of in-kind donations they can use or send them items from their Amazon Charity Lists.

For more than 54 years, the Haley House has and continues to believe in #FoodWithPurpose and the #PowerOfCommunity.

Visit http://haleyhouse.org/covid19response for more details.

Heading Home

Established in 1974, Heading Home is Boston’s leading provider of emergency shelter, transitional, and permanent housing for low-income families and individuals. When paired with financial literacy, life skills, and job training, their unique approach sets clients on a pathway to self-sufficiency.

Heading Home is seeking volunteers and raising funds to support their more than 500 shelters and housing programs in their care with food, household items, and cleaning supplies.

Make an impact and get involved: Donate, Volunteer or Advocate.

Visit headinghomeinc.org for more information.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls – Food for those in need

During this time of crisis, Lovin’ Spoonfuls is continuing to provide emergency food relief through Greater Boston, MetroWest and Western Massachusetts, but they need your help.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls remains committed to providing fresh, healthy food to individuals experiencing food insecurity through partnerships with more than 160 nonprofit organizations.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is looking for donations of any amount to support its food rescue operations.

Learn more at https://lovinspoonfulsinc.org.

MassBio COVID-19 Resource Center

Among the information on this website are links to the Massachusetts’ Updated Guidance on Vaccine Prioritization; Massachusetts Guidance on Employer Vaccination Sites; Critical Savings for PPE, Office Supplies, and Services; Reopening Massachusetts State Rules and Guidelines; Massachusetts Life Sciences Companies Working to Address COVID-19; and MassBio Virtual Benefits.

Learn more at www.massbio.org/news/blog/calling-on-all-life-sciences-and-healthcare-organizations-to-donate-supplies-to-fight-covid-19-151858.

MSPCA

The MSPCA is continuing their work on behalf of animals and the people who love them.

Here’s how you can help the Angell Care Medical Center and the Animal Care and Adoption Centers:

Monetary donationsAs they prepare for more animals to be surrendered in the coming weeks as a result of economic pressures.

Donate pet food – (Canned and dry, in original sealed packaging) for their community outreach programs and to distribute to local food pantries to ensure people with food insecurity have food for their pets (cats, dogs, fish, birds and others).

Donate supplies – Gently used blankets, dog crates, water bowls.

Adopt a pet – Either permanently or temporarily while owners are ill or hospitalized.

The MSPCA has donation bins set up outside the adoption center at 350 South Huntington Ave. in Jamaica Plain.

Visit mspca.org for other information, including virtual links to the wish list, donations and adoptable pets.

New England Grassroots Environment Fund

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund has launched a small grant program for grassroots organizations "responding to local needs and building resilience in their community in response to the COVID19 pandemic and associated events."

Off Their Plate/World Central Kitchen

Off Their Plate is a grassroots movement that started in Boston and is expanding across the nation – an initiative affiliated with World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization to use the power of food to heal and strengthen communities in times of crises and beyond. It provides nutritious meals to the hospital teams and provides jobs to those who have lost them.

Visit www.OffTheirPlate.org and/or WorldCentralKitchen.org to make a donation and/or learn more.

Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement (H.O.M.E.)

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday nights and from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, the Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement (H.O.M.E.) at Park Street Church prepares hot meals and packages of socks, underwear and toiletries for men and women and then distributes them outside their church to their vulnerable neighbors who live on the streets of Boston.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation of money, food, toiletries, gift cards, or clothing or would like additional information on ways to make a difference, contact missions@parkstreet.org, email home@parkstreet.org or visit www.parkstreet.org.

Paulist Center Outreach

The Paulist Center, 5 Park St. is in need of donations to continue serving the growing number of people being served each week at the Food Pantry, Wednesday Night Supper Club and Community Breakfast.

Visit paulistcenter.org if you would like to donate money, food, supplies and other items or would like more information.

Pine Street Inn/Pine Street Inn Tenant Support

The Pine Street Inn offers a variety of services to homeless individuals and has been serving the Boston area since 1969. The shelter relies heavily on the work of volunteers throughout the year; those who serve the daily meals, serve as receptionists at the health clinic and who serve as food delivery drivers, among other jobs.

The staff is attempting to stock pantries with a two-week supply of food.

“Tenants in our housing often obtain food from local food pantries,” said Barbara Trevisan, Pine Street’s vice president of marketing and communications. “Since many pantries are shutting down, we have initiated a fund to purchase gift cards for food and other essentials.”

Here’s how you can help:

- Donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Services Fund

- Donate to the Pine Street’s Tenant Support Fund

- Purchase items directly from the Pine Street Inn Tenant Wish List on Amazon

- Volunteer as food delivery drivers

Visit pinestreetinn.org to learn more, including links to donate.

Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline

Project Bread is committed to preventing and ending hunger in Massachusetts. They provide access to food for people who are hungry today while they work to break the cycle of hunger through advocacy, education and community action.

If you need additional food resources, you can contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.

Visit projectbread.org to learn more.

Rosie’s Place

Rosie's Place (889 Harrison Ave. South End) was founded in 1974 as the first women’s shelter in the United States.

Today, Rosie’s Place not only provides meals and shelter but also creates answers for 12,000 women a year through wide-ranging support, housing and education services.

Rosie’s Place relies solely on the generous support of individuals, foundations and corporations and does not accept any city, state or federal funding. Thanks to these donations, 83 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to services for poor and homeless women. 

You can support Rosie’s Place with a monthly donation, tribute gift, events, or donated items. Rosie's Place is grateful for your generosity!

Visit rosiesplace.org to learn more.

South Boston Neighborhood House ('The Ollie')

The South Boston Neighborhood House is the oldest continuously-operated community based non-profit in South Boston, and they’ve been going strong for 120 years! As a settlement house, they look to meet the needs of the community and offer programs for everyone in South Boston: infants, children, teens, families and seniors.

Financial Impact of COVID on SBNH is significant – and they are working hard to bridge the gap: Tuition revenue decreases (due to serving fewer children); Expense increases (cleaning supplies, PPE, additional staff to handle new protocols); Fundraising more challenging and limited due to the economy.

Please support The Ollie’s efforts by making financial/supplies donations and by volunteering your time and talents (there are countless ways to do so).

Visit sbnh.org for more information, including the links to donate.

St. Francis House

St. Francis House, located in the heart of downtown Boston, is the largest day shelter in Massachusetts.

Your gift has the power to rebuild lives. It will help them provide basic, rehabilitative, and housing services to more than 500 individuals every day of the year. St. Francis House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Visit stfrancishouse.org for more information, including links to support their mission.

St. Monica’s Good Samaritan Ministry

The Good Samaritan Ministry (which encompasses the Peace Ministry, Recovery Ministry, and Food Security Ministry) at St. Monica-St. Augustine Church, 331 Old Colony Ave. in South Boston supports individuals and families who are often overlooked by others. Violence, addiction, poverty, oppression, chronic mental illness and other injustices often isolate victims and survivors from the blessings of a safe and welcoming community.

During this chaotic crisis, St. Monica’s Kitchen continues to offer groceries and provide the monthly Peace Breakfast to those in need. They anticipate the problem of hunger to increase as many more of their neighbors experience a food emergency.

To make a financial/food/supplies donation to support this ministry, contact Deacon Paul at 617-268-8100 or visit “St. Monica’s Kitchen” at sbscatholic.org.

United Way Fund

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has established the COVID-19 Family Support Fund to meet the basic needs of working families and support people hurt by the COVID-19 virus, which is one of the biggest issues facing all of the communities, including Boston.

For workers living paycheck to paycheck and families facing homelessness or other financial pressures, the ripples caused by COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on their lives.

Visit unitedwaymassbay.org for more information and to donate.

Victory Programs

This Back Bay nonprofit helps Bostonians who are facing homelessness and may be struggling with substance use disorders and chronic health issues.

They are seeking pantry items and toiletries for their mobile prevention team, which takes to the streets to offer sexually transmitted infection testing and counseling, overdose education and other services for the homeless.

Donations are accepted on Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m. at Victory Programs’ administrative office at 965 Massachusetts Ave. in Boston. All items must be new and in original packaging.

Women’s Lunch Place

Women’s Lunch Place, 67 Newbury St. remains open and continues to serve women every day. Their new hours are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.

They are continuing to maintain all three of their core services areas – healthy meals, direct care and advocacy.

Each day they provide one take out package that contains a nutritious breakfast and lunch with extra snacks to sustain their guests.

Women’s Lunch Place is looking for donations, including money, gift cards, toiletries, underwear and other basic necessities to keep their mission going.

Visit womenslunchplace.org for other information.

BE KIND TO SMALL BUSINESSES (Ways to help keep them in business)

The Blessing Barn

The Blessing Barn at 122 Charles St. (Beacon Hill) is a thrift and antique shop, as well as a self-described “sharing center,” that accepts donations of and sells new and gently used clothing, linens, home decor, furniture, kitchen items, toys, records, books and wall art, among myriad other items.

BBBH exists to provide simple, short term housing for patients and their support individuals needing medical care away from home. They are proud to provide a ROOM IN THE CITY.

Join them by giving in the following ways: Offer to be a host home; Pay for a room in the city for one night; Purchase items in their store; Give a monetary donation using their secure form.

The profits of the sales in The Blessing Barn Home Store (thrift store and sharing center) in Mendon go directly into the community by sponsoring their crisis care programs (such as fuel assistance and food pantry) operated by the Non-Profit, Compassion New England.

Visit theblessingbarn.com for more information.

Help keep BGMC’s mission alive

Individual and corporate contributions fulfill the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus’ mission of creating musical experiences to inspire change, build community and celebrate diversity. Your gifts allow BGMC to perform in great concert halls and theaters, serve our community, tour to new places, and support their volunteer members. Your donation – in whatever amount is appropriate for you – is greatly appreciated.

The power of their voices will amplify the value of your gift many times over, helping to create a world that values its LGBTQ citizens.

Visit www.bgmc.org for ways to make your tax-deductible donations.

Any and all assistance to keep the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus going is greatly appreciated.

FPAC needs your help

Just $5 (the price of a cuppa joe) will keep the Fort Point Arts Community healthy this year. Donations will allow staff to create programs that support artists, artisans, performers and musicians through project stipends during this difficult time.

Visit fortpointarts.org/get involved/donate for more information, including the link to donate.

More Than Words stores – donations and purchases       

More Than Words stores are accepting donations of books, CDs, DVDs, and video games along with gently used clothing and shoes to keep their youth-run business in operation. Monetary donations are also appreciated. All donations are fully tax deductible.

People can also shop online for books, music, home goods and décor, collectibles and other fine products.

Every donation and purchase support their mission to empower youth.

Visit mtwyouth.org for more details, including the list of locations and COVID-19 safety guidelines for drop-offs.

ASSISTANCE FOR ARTISTS– Donations Appreciated

Actors Fund Entertainment Assistance Program

The Actors Fund provides services and financial support to entertainment professionals facing personal or work-related problems. It is also a conduit for emergency financial assistance in times of pressing need or in response to catastrophic events.

Artists’ Charitable Fund

Colorado-based Artists’ Charitable Fund assists American visual fine artists (painters and sculptors) living anywhere in the United States by paying a portion of their medical/dental/eye-care bills.

Due to the overwhelming requests for aid due to the pandemic they are temporarily limiting relief and assistance applications to those qualified applicants who are dealing with immediate medical emergencies and their aftermaths.

For more information and an application, visit www.artistscharitablefund.org.

Artists’ Fellowship, Inc.

The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship.

“Professional” is defined as those visual artists who make their livelihood through sales as reported on a Schedule C with a U.S. Federal tax return. An active exhibition history is also an important part of documenting “professional.” You can find the application here.

American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund

The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund provides support and temporary financial assistance to members who are in need. AGMA contracts with The Actors Fund to administer this program nationally as well as to provide comprehensive social services.

Through AmazonSmile, you can now support the AGMA Relief Fund whenever you shop. Learn more at smile.amazon.com or make a donation via the AGMA website.

Authors League Fund

The Author League Fund helps professional writers in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses.

Boston Singers' Relief Fund

New England-based classical singers who are dealing with canceled performances can apply for grants of up to $500 with the Boston Singers' Relief Fund. Visit https://www.bostonsingersresource.org/programs/bsrf for more information, to apply for funds or to make a donation.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

Do you have an unanticipated opportunity to present your work? Did you incur an unexpected expense that you didn’t budget for? The Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers Emergency Grants between $200 and $2,500 for visual and performing artists. They review applications once a month, so you can quickly take advantage of momentum or solve any budget errors.

Freelance Artist Resources - Updates Regularly

A list of resources specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community, including actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, among others, is available.

This is an aggregated list of free resources, opportunities and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.

Gottlieb Emergency Grant Program

This emergency grant provides financial assistance to painters, printmakers and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.

MusiCares

MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need, treating each case with integrity and confidentiality.

Musicians Foundation Fund

United States-based musicians who have been making a majority of their income from their craft for the past five years are eligible to apply for a micro-grant. Some restrictions apply. To learn more, click here.

PEN American Writer's Emergency Fund

This fund is for professional (published or produced) writers and editors who are in acute or unexpected financial crisis. Visit their website for more details.

Rapid Response: Racism is a Virus Too

This rapid respond fund is geared towards community-based organizations who work to challenge racial-inequalities and advance excellent student-centered public education for all New England youth. Click here to learn more.

Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund

Sweet Relief has created this donor-directed fund with a limited amount of funds available to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the Coronavirus.

Funds raised will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work.

Click here for more information.

Theatre Community Benevolent Fund

Active individual theater practitioners and theater organizations can apply to this fund to offset operating costs and loss of income. Here's the link to learn more.

ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESSES & NONPROFITS

COVID-19 Resources and Guidance for Businesses

The state has put together a resource page to help businesses through these difficult times. This site includes information and links provided by the US Small Business Administration.

For more information, check www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses#small-business-recovery-loan-fund.

COVID-19 Tools and Resources for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Finance Fund put together this toolkit for nonprofits struggling to stay afloat during this time. Resources include links on how to secure funding, write grants and more.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries where Facebook operates. Applications will be available in the coming weeks. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/business/grants.

Running a Food Business in the Face of COVID-19

This resource list from CommonWealth Kitchen includes information on obtaining loans, work shares, crisis management and other HR-related aspects of business.

This young Eliot School student and his mom have been decorating the sidewalk on Atlantic Avenue between Lewis Wharf and the Sail Wharf, sharing messages of hope every morning with the local community. This is their way of showing that they care.
The crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic is difficult for many people, but this will someday clear up and life will begin again in Boston. Even during the darkest of times, there are sometimes signs of hope. During these days, the light can be seen in those reaching out to help those in need.