The message to the public is give more, give now.
The resources of local nonprofit agencies are being greatly taxed as they try to respond to the growing crisis surrounding the coronavirus — whether that's providing food for low-income children and their families who will be home from school for the next few weeks or helping out people who have lost their jobs in a growing wave of layoffs in certain sectors.
"All nonprofits, no matter the cause, will be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Most have canceled fundraising events and activities; all will incur significantly increased expenses to serve the rising need," says Beth Francis, president and CEO of the Essex County Community Foundation. "If you usually give at the end of the year, or wait for a particular event, consider giving now instead. And if you have the ability, consider giving more than usual."
Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund
Action Inc. said the closures of food and hospitality businesses and restaurants on Cape Ann have made financial health critical for their workers. Many of these workers will will turn to Action Inc. for assistance paying bills and purchasing supplies and can be supported by supporting Action Inc. by visiting actioninc.org/emergencyfund.
Action is also accepting donations at actioninc.org/donate.
At this time, the best way to help Beverly Bootstraps, which serves Beverly and Manchester, is to make a donation or join the Circle of Hope by becoming a monthly donor. Bootstraps, due to the growing health concerns, has canceled its Boots and Bloom Gala fundraiser and is working out details for a virtual gala with an online auction. Check www.beverlybootstraps.org. The pantry is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, March 18.
Help your Cape Ann neighbors by providing a donation to the local Catholic Charities Gloucester Office for basic needs — food, utility and rental assistance. Send checks, with with “BN Emergency Assistance” on the memo line, to: Catholic Charities North, Attn: Darlene Story, 60 Prospect St., Gloucester, MA 01930. 978-283-3055.
Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund
The Essex County Community Foundation on Friday announced the Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund had been created in collaboration with funders, government agencies and business partners to provide grant money to nonprofits working with communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. More information is available at www.eccf.org/COVID-19ResponseFund.
Executive Director Jason Etheridge says there are a few ways to help Lifebridge, which operates the Grace Center in Gloucester, as well as locations in Salem and Beverly. You can make cash donations, via lifebridgenorthshore.org/support/donate/, inform local restaurants and caterers that Lifebridge will accept frozen or prepared items that can be dropped off at 56 Margin St. in Salem, and give in-kind donations of food, clothing, personal care items and toiletries.
The Open Door
The Open Door, which operates pantries in Gloucester and Ipswich, says it pushing an online drive for monetary giving, as opposed to food donations. Donations may be made online at foodpantry.org or by mailing a check, made payable to The Open Door, to The Open Door, 28 Emerson Ave., Gloucester, MA 01930
Those wishing to volunteer to pack bags or deliver meals may email email@example.com.
SeniorCare/Meals on Wheels
SeniorCare Inc. runs the Meals on Wheels program, delivering healthy meals to homebound seniors on Cape Ann and the North Shore, is accepting donations at seniorcareinc.org/donate/. Volunteer drivers are needed;interested persons may call 978-281-1750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has also a COVID-19 Family Support Fund. For more details, go to https://unitedwaymassbay.org/get-involved/covid-19-family-fund/.
Wellspring House runs a family shelter in Gloucester, offers job training coursework, financial guidance and employment support. If community members want to volunteer or donate goods, they may contact Wellspring at 978-281-3558, ext. 300. Donations may be made at www.wellspringhouse.org