COVID-19 community updates

Published: 4/15/2020 6:53:42 PM
Donations for Covid response

The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation has announced a grant of $500,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley, established by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, to provide flexible resources to Pioneer Valley nonprofit organizations serving populations most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Davis Foundation donation is part of the Community Foundation campaign to rally business and philanthropic support for the Response Fund and is included in the over $3 million raised to date.

The COVID-19 Response Fund’s grants to nonprofits support the region’s most vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, those without stable housing, families needing food and those with particular health vulnerabilities.

The Response Fund, now over $3 million in donations, has awarded $1 million to nearly 30 local nonprofits serving the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic in western Massachusetts. For more information about the Response Fund, visit communityfoundation.org/covid19.

The Davis Foundation, a private family foundation established in 1970, supports nonprofit organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for those residing in Hampden County, with a particular focus in the areas of education and early literacy.

The foundation and the Davis family have historically served as leaders in countless community efforts, and many local nonprofit organizations have come to rely upon the foundation as a source of support for a wide variety of programs and projects. To learn more about the Davis Foundation, visit www.davisfdn.org.

Musicians relief fund

Springfield Symphony Orchestra has launched the Musicians’ Relief Fund in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting cancellation of the balance of the Symphony’s 2019-2020 season. The initiative provides a simple, direct way for the SSO and its patrons, friends, and the greater Springfield Community to support the Springfield Symphony Orchestra musicians whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by this unprecedented crisis.

All monies received toward the fund will go directly to contracted SSO musicians on an as-needed basis. Musicians who feel they are less in need than some of their colleagues will have the option to opt out.

Conductor Kevin Rhodes commented: “Among the hardest hit in this very necessary shutdown of society are freelance musicians.

“Many people don’t understand that the SSO musicians are the best freelancers from all around the Northeast and put together their incomes from a variety of sources, none of which are currently in operation. These amazing musicians do what they do for the love of music and the love of playing for folks who appreciate what they do. This fund will help these incredible artists put food on the table, pay mortgages and rent, and do all the other day-to-day things it takes money to accomplish.”

To learn more about the Musicians’ Relief Fund and donate, visit the Symphony’s website at https://www.springfieldsymphony.org/mrf. Along with the donation form, the page features a video from Principal Trumpet Thomas Bergeron and a special message from Maestro Rhodes.

Website provides info for front lines

FrontlineMA.org will provide resources to first responders and health care workers in Massachusetts, and information to the public about how to help and thank our front-line heroes responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

The website is an initiative spearheaded by the attorney generals’ office, in collaboration with HubSpot and IDEO, in response to the urgent need for centralized information for front-line workers, including personal protective equipment (PPE), prioritized testing, safe housing, meals, self-care and emergency child care. It also invites the public to help by offering messages of support, buying meals for front-line workers, helping to provide a safe place for workers to stay between shifts, and ways to donate PPE.

The new website features a “Hero Wall” with posters, messages, and pictures from the public showing support and an opportunity for frontline workers to share their experiences.

The website has specific pages catered to the everyday needs of first responders and health care workers, including:

■request forms and statewide contacts to obtain PPE;

■details on the state’s free priority testing sites;

■alternative housing to limit the risk of transmission;

■a list of free or discounted food from local restaurants;

■information on emergency child care; and

■guidance on self-isolation and quarantine.

The AG’s office will continue to update the website with information as it becomes available, including additional state resources, restaurant and hotel offers, and submissions to the Hero Wall.

In addition to the resources on FrontlineMA.org, the website also includes information on assistance the AG’s office can provide to first responders and health care workers during the COVID-19 crisis related to health care, insurance coverage, consumer protection, student loans, debt collection, evictions, and utility rates and shutoffs.

Legal help in the living room

The law firm of Bacon Wilson is offering a free series of web discussions, allowing attorneys to communicate directly with the public about important legal topics.

The Legal Living Room discussion series kicked off April 14, featuring Bacon Wilson’s estate planning team fielding questions from approximately 30 discussion participants during a lively, informative conversation.

It continues April 21, when employment law attorneys Kathryn Crouss and Meaghan Murphy will address employment topics including employee rights and employer responsibilities under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, elements of the CARES Act relevant to employment considerations, severance agreements, Massachusetts and federal expanded unemployment benefits, aid for small businesses, and the Payroll Protection Plan. Katie and Meaghan will take questions and customize discussion content.

Bacon Wilson is hosting Legal Living Room web discussions on the Zoom platform, allowing participants the opportunity to talk from the safety and comfort of home. Legal Living Room web discussions are free and open to the public.

For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Carolyn Coulter: ccoulter@baconwilson.com.

Upcoming topics include;

■Employment - April 21

■Family Law - April 28

■Real Estate - May 5




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