The Worcester Together: Central Mass COVID-19 Fund announced today that it has raised more than $10 million to support the community's response to the pandemic. Created in March by combining the existing efforts of The Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the United Way of Central Massachusetts, the fund is focused on supporting Worcester County nonprofits as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Reaching this milestone is an historic achievement for the Central Massachusetts community,” said Barbara Fields, President and CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. “From Leominster to Worcester to Dudley, the generosity of the community and the ability of so many local nonprofits, foundations, leading businesses and local government to come together to meet the communities' needs has been truly amazing.”
"The success of Worcester Together's fundraising efforts highlights the way our community faces challenges - with generosity and sustained commitment,” said Tim Garvin, President and CEO of the United Way of Central Massachusetts. “Since the beginning, we have seen an outpouring of support from all across the community.”
Early support and momentum for Worcester Together came from the George I. Alden Trust which stepped forward with a $1 million donation. This pace-setting gift inspired many other donors including individuals, corporations, and family foundations to give at significant levels, Fields said. In addition, the fund was able to successfully secure more than $3.8 million from the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund. Launched by First Lady Lauren Baker, the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund is a statewide effort working in concert with regional community foundations and food banks to support response efforts at the local level.
Community Foundations across the country have played a critical role in local COVID-19 response efforts connecting donors to organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic. In Worcester, the partnership between the Greater Worcester Foundation and the United Way, in collaboration with the City of Worcester, enhanced Worcester Together's fundraising capacity and helped the partnership target grants to reach those residents most effected by the crisis. See a full list of grantees here.