Father Bill’s Raises $1.15M in Special Campaign, Beats Goal
August 6, 2020 — Father Bill’s & MainSpring, a Brockton-based provider of emergency shelter and housing services in southern Massachusetts, today announced it raised $1,155,930 in a campaign it launched to support its response to the COVID-19 crisis – more than double the $500,000 it sought to raise.
The Campaign for Hope, which ran from May through July, was launched by Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) as an alternative to its signature FoodFest fundraiser, canceled this year due to the pandemic.
FBMS said the funds raised by the campaign will allow it to continue operating satellite emergency shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness, in addition to its primary shelters in Quincy and Brockton.
The added sites allow for social distancing among guests, many of whom are elderly or suffer from underlying health conditions which make them particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“Our mission has been tested many times in our 38-year history; we’ve endured economic recessions, the opioid epidemic, and harsh winters filled with blizzards and nor’easters. But we’ve never faced a challenge like COVID-19,” said FBMS President and CEO John Yazwinski.
“It means the world to us to know that we are not alone in this unprecedented fight. We are truly blessed to be part of such a special community that cares about one another, and the tremendous response to this campaign means our neighbors in need can hold onto hope during the challenging times ahead.”
In the spring, FBMS aimed to raise $500,000 to cover added costs during the early stages of the crisis. The Arbella Insurance Foundation and Bank of America joined the campaign as its leading supporters.
When it became apparent that the pandemic would impact FBMS’ operations through the end of the year and into 2021, FBMS said it stepped up its fundraising efforts by expanding its outreach to more businesses, organizations, and individual donors.
Since March, FBMS has hired additional staff in order to operate its temporary shelter sites. In addition, across all of its sites, the agency invested in PPE, handwashing stations, cleaning supplies, as well as extra food to fill a gap left by a temporary loss of kitchen volunteers.
FBMS estimates that the pandemic led to an additional $300,000 in monthly costs, of which $125,000 per month must be raised in private donations.
The Campaign for Hope received support from approximately 70 local businesses and organizations, with gifts ranging from $500 to $100,000. In addition, two anonymous donors from Hingham offered to match $100,000 in individual donations made to FBMS during July, a goal that was met.
The campaign also included an online auction featuring 30 items, including golf passes, virtual experiences and seven Get One, Give One packages, which helped support past FoodFest restaurants while also providing meals for shelter guests.
FBMS, founded in the early 1980s, helps nearly 7,000 people annually who find themselves homeless, or at risk of homelessness, achieve more self-sufficiency through a range of services including homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, employment programs, and permanent supportive housing.
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