The Worcester Together: Central Mass COVID-19 Fund announced the start of the ‘Worcester Together' Challenge today with a goal of raising a total of $400,000. The Challenge was initiated with a $100,000 gift from the Esler Family Foundation to Worcester Together.

The challenges aligns with “#GivingTuesdayNow,” a global celebration of giving. #GivingTuesdayNow will be celebrated worldwide as people demonstrate acts of kindness and philanthropy on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. All funds raised during this global day of giving will go to nonprofit organizations working to help families most impacted by this public health crisis.

Giving Tuesday usually falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but this year the May date was added to support local responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Worcester Together Fund is a joint effort between the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the United Way of Central Massachusetts, in collaboration with the City of Worcester. By investing over $1.3 million grants to date in local organizations, the Fund is supporting the changing needs of local organizations working with communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in Worcester County.

“There is one way through this global pandemic - it's together,” said John Esler of the Esler Family Foundation. ”Locally, each citizen of Worcester has a way to contribute by supporting the Worcester Together Fund. The Esler Family Foundation is proud to double the impact of each donation dollar for dollar.”

“We are grateful to have community partners like the Esler family who go above and beyond to serve our community,” said Tim Garvin, CEO of the United Way of Central Massachusetts. “The “Worcester Together' Challenge is an opportunity for everyone to maximize their impact on Worcester County's pandemic response.”

“These are extraordinary times and we have been amazed at the extraordinary response of the Worcester community. Thanks to another business leader for stepping up and supporting the people of Central Massachusetts,” said Barbara Fields, President and CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. “The Esler Family Foundation's match commitment is a tremendous show of support, and doubles the impact of all who give.”

Worcester Together invites foundations, businesses, and individuals to contribute to the fund at