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April 16, 2021
 
Comm. Foundation of Western Massachusetts Awards $859K
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

March 7, 2021 — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, based in Springfield, recently announced that it awarded $859,560 to 18 nonprofit organizations in the region providing direct financial assistance and support to immigrant and non-English speaking individuals and families experiencing severe economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) said the grants were based on the ability of grantees to get assistance to individuals and families immediately, particularly in the state’s Gateway Cities, which include Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, and Westfield.

Katie Zobel, CFWM president and CEO of, said, “We are grateful to the state legislature for partnering with us to distribute funds immediately to organizations serving our immigrant communities. These organizations are trusted providers to many individuals and families that were ineligible or unable to access federal benefits or whose needs are evolving as this health and economic crisis continues.”

Receiving the grants, which ranged from $5,560 to $135,000, were the following:

  • Arise, Springfield
  • Caring Health Center, Springfield
  • Catholic Charities Agency, Springfield
  • Center for New Americans, Northampton
  • Community Upliftment Program, Springfield
  • Enlace de Familias de Holyoke
  • Gandara Mental Health Center, West Springfield
  • Holyoke/Chicopee/Springfield Head Start, Springfield
  • Home City Development, Springfield
  • International Language Institute of Massachusetts, Northampton
  • Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts, Springfield
  • The Literacy Project, Greenfield
  • Montague Catholic Social Ministries, Turners Falls
  • New North Citizens' Council, Springfield
  • Pioneer Valley Workers Center, Northampton
  • Rivera & Rivera Act Against Foreclosure, Springfield
  • Somali Bantu Community of Springfield, Springfield
  • Valley Opportunity Council, Chicopee

Margaret Sawyer, co-director of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, which provides direct support to immigrant families and distributes food in Springfield, Northampton, Holyoke, and Turners/Great Falls, said, “Our organization is dedicated to building worker power. During the time of the pandemic, it has been clear to us that part of building power right now is related to supporting each other through this difficult time of fewer work opportunities and little systemic support.”

To date, CFWM has provided nearly $12 million, including $4.4 million from the statewide Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, in grants to nonprofits in Hampden, Hampshire. and Franklin counties.

In March 2020, CFWM began providing emergency grants to support nonprofits serving those most vulnerable to the coronavirus crisis. In October 2020, CFWM made Stabilization Grants to 70 nonprofits that had been negatively impacted by the pandemic financially. CFWM has also provided non-monetary support through trainings for nonprofits.

Founded in 1991, CFWM today manages $163 million in assets to serve Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties.

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