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COVID-19 community updates

Published: 4/8/2020 6:47:28 PM
Response fund

The COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley has topped $3 million in donations and growing, with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts reporting the latest donations to the fund. The foundation also announced another $255,000 in emergency grants, bringing the total to $1 million awarded from the Response Fund to local nonprofits serving the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic in western Massachusetts.

The most recent donations to the fund includes $107,000 from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

This week’s grants to nonprofits support health and other urgent services for vulnerable and underserved populations, including limited English speakers. Local beneficiaries include Behavioral Health Network, Clinical and Support Options, and Center for New Americans. ServiceNet for Greenfield and Northampton also received grants to cover costs associated with social distancing in shelters they manage. Also, Grow Food Northampton received a grant for food distribution in Greater Northampton.

Katie Allan Zobel, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, says the outpouring of generosity from across the commonwealth of Massachusetts is a testimony to the goodness and generosity of our people, and that funds are targeted to areas of desperate need.

Donors are encouraged to make donations directly to nonprofit organizations, as this fund is not a replacement for direct donations to nonprofits.

The Community Foundation welcomes additional donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley. Gifts can be made online at communityfoundation.org/covid19.

Roadside assistance for first responders

AAA will provide local first responders and front-line health care providers roadside assistance free of charge through April 30.

Offerings include: 

■ Waive fuel delivery fee

■ Cover the first $100 of locksmith service

■ Provide an additional $10 discount off price of battery for AAA members

■ Waive hookup and/or mileage fees

■ Waive charge for the first hour of extrication service.

First responders and front-line health care providers, whether members or non-members, are asked to identify themselves during their call and provide the proper credentials such as I.D. badge or other identification when the service provider arrives, and these fees will not be collected.  The exception will be for battery replacement charges. 

AAA is doing this to show appreciation to the many first responders and healthcare professionals who are assisting our communities during this crisis. For more information please visit AAA.com/COVID-19 or the AAA Pioneer Valley Facebook page, or call 413-785-1381.

‘Donate to Feed’

TommyCar Auto Group has launched an initiative to help feed doctors, nurses and frontline medical workers at our local hospitals, during the COVID-19 pandemic, while supporting the local restaurant industry, with the creation of “Donate to Feed,” providing meals to the staff at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield while supporting local restaurants.

Members of the TommyCard Rewards loyalty program donated points to help feed frontline health care workers, matched in dollars by TommyCar Auto Group. $5,000 will go towards the purchase of meals for the staff of Baystate Medical Center in the coming days.

Participating restaurants will include Bueno Burrito of West Springfield, Freckled Fox Café, Florence, Jake’s at the Mill of Northampton, Tony’s Pizza of Springfield, Local Burger, and Belly of the Beast, Northampton.

TommyCar Auto Group will look to expand upon the campaign this week as they launch an initiative to help provide the staff at Cooley Dickinson Hospital with personal protective equipment.

To learn more, follow the “Donate to Feed” campaign on the Country Hyundai, Country Nissan, Genesis of Northampton, Northampton Volkswagen and Volvo Cars of Pioneer Valley Facebook pages.

Videoconferencing

Paragus IT CEO Delcie Bean is available to assist businesses and organizations with their videoconferencing needs. Bean has been a featured speaker at events across the country on entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, employee ownership and employee-driven culture. He’s now offering his services—free of charge—to businesses and organizations looking to stay connected in these uncertain times.

Businesses and organizations interested in setting up a video conferencing session with Bean can get more info at paragusit.com/virtualdelcie.

Scholarship deadlines

Holyoke Community College is again extending the deadline to apply for scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year. The new deadline is April 22. The initial deadline had already been pushed back by two weeks to April 8.

In light of these unprecedented times and myriad challenges, they have decided to grant an additional two weeks for scholarship applications.

More than $200,000 in awards is available for incoming, continuing and transferring HCC students.

Students must be currently enrolled at HCC or have been accepted for the upcoming academic year to be eligible for scholarships, which are awarded through the HCC Foundation, HCC’s nonprofit fundraising corporation.

Applicants need only fill out a single online form to be automatically matched with the scholarships they are most qualified to receive. There are scholarships for new students, current students and students transferring to other institutions, scholarships based on financial need, scholarships for students in specific majors, scholarships for residents of certain communities, and scholarships that recognize academic achievement.

For the 2019-20 academic year, the HCC Foundation awarded $223,000 in scholarships to 231 students. To begin the application process, please go to hcc.edu/scholarships. Questions should be directed to the HCC Foundation office at 413-552-2182 or Donahue 170 on the HCC campus, 303 Homestead Ave., Holyoke.




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