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December 3, 2021
Grants Made, Received; Nonprofits Lauded for Tackling Social Issues

October 5, 2021 — United Way of Central Massachusetts puts $5M gift to work. Essex Heritage receives $50K to promote the African American experience. Two Boston nonprofits cited for helping solve social problems. NEADS World Class Service dogs gets grant to advance mission.

United Way of Central Massachusetts Puts $5M Gift to Work

The United Way of Central Massachusetts, which received a surprise $5 million donation last fall from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, recently announced that it has started to put those funds to work. It includes:

  • $500,000 for local summer programs for children
  • $500,000 to support the Worcester Remote Learning Hub Collaborative
  • $107,000 to fund the Vaccine Corps
  • $100,000 to College Corps
  • $100,000 to support refugees from Afghanistan

Tim Garvin, president and CEO of the United Way, said the organization also will be providing $1 million next year, and a similar amount in 2023, to support diversity, equity, and inclusion, early education, and anti-poverty initiatives that are in formative stages.

Essex Heritage Receives $50K to Promote the African American Experience

The Essex National Heritage Commission, a Salem-based nonprofit that works to preserve and enhance Essex County’s historic, natural, and cultural places, last week announced it received a $50,000 grant from the National Park Service of the federal Department of the Interior to research and promote the African American experience in the Essex National Heritage Area.

Essex Heritage CEO Annie Harris said, “This funding will provide us with the opportunity to expand upon current research by local scholars and offer valuable education forums for regional educators and the public.”

Beginning this fall and ending in 2023, Essex Heritage will used the funds to hire researchers to explore selected themes surrounding African American history in Essex County, host a public symposium that will bring together scholars and educators to share the findings of this research, and develop a website to compile sources and research in a format that is easily accessible to the public.

Two Boston Nonprofits Cited for Helping Solve Social Problems

Brookview House, which works to address the root causes of family homelessness, and The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, which works to end hunger, were among 12 nonprofits nationally that recently were named Classy Award winners.

More than 1,400 organizations applied for the awards, given by the fundraising software provider, which recognize innovative approaches to solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Brookview House, one of 10 Social Innovation Award winners, each year provides 570 mothers and children experiencing homelessness with a safe place to live and onsite support programs designed to improve educational achievement, health and well-being, and economic independence. It was one of the first programs in the country to recognize the holistic, two-generational approach needed to help families permanently lift themselves out of poverty and homelessness.

GBFB received the Adapt and Overcome Award, for its efforts to meet the needs of more than 600,000 people per month in 2020 by convening a COVID-19 Response Team to strategize and implement a crisis plan. Unemployment triggered by the coronavirus pandemic caused food insecurity in Massachusetts to increase 47% in a single yea, the biggest jump in the nation.

NEADS World Class Service Dogs Gets Grant to Advance Mission

NEADS World Class Service Dogs, a Princeton nonprofit that trains service dogs to meet the needs of people with a physical disability, as well as for children with autism or other developmental disabilities, and veterans, recently received a $5,000 donation from the GOLO wellness company.

“Whether helping people to complete crucial daily activities or to move and exercise safely, we know our service dogs contribute in a multitude of ways to the wellness of our clients,” said NEADS CEO Gerry DeRoche. "We are thankful for the partnership and donations from companies like GOLO, which will help us continue to match world class service dogs with people who need them."

Jennifer Brooks, president of GOLO, noted, “Their efforts make a real difference in the lives of so many people in communities across the country, and we’re proud to support their work.”

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