The Worcester Together: Central Mass COVID-19 Fund announced today that it raised more than $1 million over the past weekend. The fund, a joint effort between the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the United Way of Central Massachusetts, in collaboration with the City of Worcester, is supporting the needs of local organizations working with communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in Worcester County.
The success of the weekend's fundraising efforts is owed to a number of generous benefactors:
- The Stoddard Charitable Trust pledged $600,000 to Worcester Together. The Trust has supported Worcester's nonprofit community since 1939.
“We hope the Stoddard Charitable Trust's early support of the Worcester Together Fund will inspire other community members, be they corporations or businesses, individuals or foundations. We all have an important role to play right now,” said Rob Loring, a Stoddard Trustee, longtime Worcester resident and business owner. “The Trust has been committed to Worcester and its nonprofits for over 75 years. We are proud to support the Worcester Together fund to help keep these front-line organizations running for those in need.”
- The Barr Foundation donated $250,000 to the fund as a part of the organization's statewide effort to support community foundations working on the local responses to the outbreak.
“We are committed to ensuring resources are available in communities across the Commonwealth, given the enormous needs the crisis is creating in our home state,” said Jim Canales, President and Trustee of the Barr Foundation, in a blog post. “In an effort to get resources to work as quickly as possible, we have decided to partner with a set of community foundations across Massachusetts, given the in-depth knowledge they possess about their local communities.”
- The Ruth H. and Warren A. Ellsworth Foundation donated $100,000 on Friday. Both the George F & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation Charitable Trust and the Mildred H. McEvoy Foundation each gave $50,000.
“We are very grateful and inspired by the generous donors who stepped up to meet the challenge in our community over the last few days,” said Barbara Fields, President and CEO of GWCF. “We will put these funds to work very quickly to meet the needs of Worcester County.”
Grants from the Worcester Together fund will target organizations with deep roots in the community. Many of these groups serve residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare workers and seniors, among others.
“This weekend's fundraising success reflects the generosity and community spirit that we all know is there, but our work is far from over,” said Tim Garvin, CEO of the United Way of Central Massachusetts. “COVID-19 creates both immediate and long-term needs in our community, and we will need to raise significantly more resources to meet those needs.”
The first round of grants from Worcester Together totaling $151,000 to 14 organizations was announced on April 2. The fund continues to make grants on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis.
Worcester Together invites institutions, companies, individuals and other funders to contribute to the fund at www.greaterworcester.org and www.unitedwaycm.org. In addition, Worcester Together urges donors to look for opportunities to support the critical needs of nonprofits by making general operating support grants to organizations they wish to help.