Funds Raised, Granted; New Volunteer Portal for Pioneer Valley

January 12, 2021 — Three Gloucester Nonprofits Raise $110K for families in need. Western Massachusetts nonprofits get $93K to ease pandemic impacts. Father Bill’s & MainSpring gets $25K for COVID-19 relief. United Way of Pioneer Valley launches volunteer portal, free to nonprofits.

Three Gloucester Nonprofits Raise $110K for Families in Need

Wellspring House, a Gloucester nonprofit that provides housing, education, and job training services, last week announced it recently teamed with two other Gloucester nonprofits— Action Inc., which provides a range of social support services, and Pathways for Children, which provides education and care programs on the North Shore—to raise $110,000 for families in need on Cape Ann (Gloucester and the towns of Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport).

The three nonprofits created the Cape Ann Kids Holiday Fund, which raised the cash for 505 local families with gift cards for 1,064 children. The funds came from businesses, organizations, community groups, and individuals.

The effort grew from restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, which prevented the organizations from opening their doors and welcoming parents in to select gifts, as they have in the past.

Western Massachusetts Nonprofits Get $93K to Ease Pandemic Impacts

Florence Bank recently donated $93,000 to 11 western Massachusetts nonprofits working to mitigate the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report on WWLP-22 News, the bank provided $50,000 to the Community Food Distribution Project, a joint project of the Northampton Survival Center and Grow Food Northampton to help fund emergency food distribution in the early months of the pandemic. Also helping to launch the project were Community Action Pioneer Valley, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the city of Northampton, and Northampton Public Schools.

The bank also awarded the following grants:

  • Amherst Survival Center: $10,000
  • Chesterfield Community Cupboard: $5,000
  • Easthampton Community Center: $7,500
  • Easthampton Congregational Church: $2,500
  • Gray House Market, Springfield: $5,000
  • Open Pantry Community Services, Springfield: $1,000
  • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Hatfield: $1,000
  • Springfield Rescue Mission: $10,000
  • Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry, Chicopee: $1,000

Father Bill’s & MainSpring Gets $25Kfor COVID-19 Relief

Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS), a Brockton-based provider of emergency shelter and housing services in southern Massachusetts, yesterday announced it received a $25,000 grant from Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation to assist individuals and families struggling during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, the grant will support the organization’s work addressing housing insecurities compounded by the virus outbreak.

“This past year has been by far the most difficult in our agency’s history, and the reason we have been able to continue providing hope to our neighbors in need is because of generous organizations like the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation,” said John Yazwinski, FBMS president and CEO. “These grants have allowed FBMS to operate additional space to provide safe shelter and basic needs to guests in Quincy and Brockton, many of whom are elderly or immunocompromised.”

Nancy Huntington Stager, president and CEO of Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, called on other corporations to aid nonprofits, noting, “The need for corporate philanthropic support of our nonprofit partners is as great now as it was at the beginning of the pandemic, and we invite those who can to join us in giving their support.”

United Way of Pioneer Valley Launches Volunteer Portal, Free to Nonprofits

The United Way of Pioneer Valley in Springfield this week announced it created a new volunteer portal aimed at make the volunteering process easier for volunteers, nonprofits, and corporations.

The portal—free to nonprofits—was developed, along with other program enhancements, in connection with the United Way’s hundredth anniversary, officially reached today.

"On January 10, 1921, we started our first Community Chest campaign with the same goal that drives us today - providing for our needy, helping them become self-sufficient, and improving their children's futures. The new program enhancements we are announcing today will take us closer than ever to achieving this goal across our service area," said Paul Mina, president and CEO.

Other new initiatives include working with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts; a curriculum, called YouthGenerate, focused on leadership development and building life skills; and a program to address the digital divide – the gap between people with access to technology and those who do not.