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July 8, 2020
#GivingTuesdayNow; Merger; iPads for Veterans; Mapping Tool
May 12, 2020 — More than 1,200 Mass. nonprofits joined #GivingTuesdayNow... Merger creates United Way of South Central Massachusetts... Brighton Marine donates iPads to soldiers' homes... Free interactive tool lets nonprofits identify economically vulnerable areas.

More than 1,200 Mass. Nonprofits Joined #GivingTuesdayNow

A total of 1,239 Massachusetts nonprofits participated in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of unity that took place on May 5 as a response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

Although the quickly organized day of giving sought to help nonprofits raise funds, as does the regular Giving Tuesday immediately following Thanksgiving, last week's #GivingTuesdayNow also sought to enable people to show generosity in a variety of ways, whether by helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes. For example:
  • Father Bill’s & MainSpring in Brockton partnered with HarborOne Bank to launch a matching gift campaign up to $10,000, and raised $27,346.

  • Thrive Support & Advocacy in Marlborough opted to thank supporters by sharing photos and videos that showcased the impacts of donors' gifts.

Merger Creates United Way of South Central Massachusetts

The United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton based in Southbridge recently announced it merged with the United Way of Webster and Dudley based in Webster to form the United Way of South Central Massachusetts (UWSCM), to be based in Southbridge.

In a joint statement, the board of directors of the two former United Ways said UWSCM will provide services for all five towns from one location, with efforts focused on growing potential opportunities to connect communities with access to support services.

The merger took effect April 16.

Mary O'Coin, who had led the Southbridge, Sturbridge, Charlton organization, now executive director of the combined entity, said, “We are eager to help our communities by continuing to create a positive quality of life for families surrounding the organization. We have endless growth potential which we will be working toward through fundraising and volunteer work.”

In the 2018-2019 campaign year, the two chapters raised a combined $582,000, and distributed 42 different grants to support community programs at 22 local agencies. The 2019”“2020 campaign has raised a total $443,000 so far; UWSCM will continue these fundraising efforts over the next few months.

Brighton Marine Donates iPads to Soldiers' Homes in Holyoke and Chelsea

Brighton Marine, a nonprofit health services provider to military and veteran families, based in Boston's Brighton neighborhood, last week launched an effort to donate 375 iPads to help residents at the Holyoke and Chelsea Soldiers Homes stay connected with their families, friends, and counselors, as well as conduct telehealth sessions during the COVID-19 crisis.

The two homes, based in the two cities, are state-operated health care facilities for eligible Massachusetts veterans.

“After reading about and hearing the stories of veterans being isolated from family and friends, and some tragically dying alone under quarantine, I thought there had to be some way we could connect them with loved ones,” said Tom Lyons, chairman of the board of trustees at the Chelsea Soldiers Home and member of the Brighton Marine board of directors.

“By providing these iPads, veterans can now stay in contact remotely with those who care and worry about them. Our Veterans deserve the best that we can provide for them, and this effort by Brighton Marine will make a very tough situation a little easier for them and for their families.”

Brighton Marine spent $100,000 from its operating budget to purchase the iPads.

The two soldiers' home have been especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. As of last Wednesday, 72 of 85 residents at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home who died in recent weeks had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus. In recent weeks, 12 deaths at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home were linked to the coronavirus.

Free Interactive Tool Lets Nonprofits Identify Economically Vulnerable Areas

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a Boston-based national nonprofit that promotes economic prosperity in America’s inner cities, last week released a free, interactive mapping tool that enables nonprofits, and others, to identify cities, municipalities, or entire states that may be economically vulnerable due to COVID-19.

The mapping system is based on an economic vulnerability score that includes data on housing costs, household vehicle and internet access, and health insurance coverage.

Nonprofits can use the mapping tool to identify and target at-risk neighborhoods to press policymakers and assistance providers for aid to help ensure the equitable flow of aid, resources, and information to the most vulnerable.

The Boston map, for example, shows that 94% of all majority people of color neighborhoods in Boston are highly vulnerable. Just under half (49%) of all city neighborhoods are highly, vulnerable, outpacing the national figure of 30%.

To access the map, click here.
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