The fund created to help area nonprofits meet the needs of residents struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic has raised and distributed almost $500,000.
The Greater Attleboro Stronger Together Fund, launched April 20 and supported by businesses, organizations and individuals, has brought in over $497,000, organizers announced Monday.
Grants have been issued to 25 nonprofits serving Attleboro, North Attleboro, Norton, Mansfield, Rehoboth and Dighton to help them and residents through the COVID-19 crisis.
The agencies have provided meals and food supplies, emergency cash, childcare for essential workers, counseling services for the isolated, unemployment assistance to those who have lost their jobs, and more.
Among the groups the fund is helping are the Attleboro Area Interfaith Collaborative, which runs the Food n’ Friends meals program; The Arc of Bristol County, based in Attleboro; the Attleboro Literacy Center; Hebron Food Pantry in Attleboro; West Side Benevolent Circle in Mansfield; Lenore’s Food Pantry in North Attleboro; three chapters of the St. Vincent de Paul Society; the Attleboro and Hockomock YMCAs; Triboro Youth Theatre in Attleboro; Cupboard of Kindness in Norton; and New Hope, based in Attleboro.
The fund was developed through a collaboration of community leaders who wanted to ensure nonprofits had the necessary support to respond to the community’s most pressing needs during the pandemic.
The fund received major contributions from its two lead sponsors, the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, as well as from its three Partner Sponsors, Bristol County Savings Bank, the Attleboro Foundation Trust, and the Attleboro Rotary Club. In addition, the fund was supported by many Supporting Sponsors and over 500 donations from individual community members.
The fund’s Distribution Committee focused first on agencies that could provide cash assistance to those in need, and was ultimately able to quickly distribute $493,300 in grants to nonprofits.
“We had two different allocations based on requests,” said Michael Fournier, director of Strategic Initiatives at the Attleboro YMCA.
The first allocation was to agencies that provide direct cash assistance to the area’s most vulnerable in the form of food access, medicine, or rental and utility assistance. The second was for agencies that were seeking operational support due to the hardship of being closed or being impacted in other ways by the pandemic.
“We are pleased and thankful for the generosity of so many who made these funds available,” Fournier said.
The Distribution Committee consisted of state Rep. Elizabeth Poirier, R-North Attleboro, Sarah Link of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and Lisa Nelson, director of U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy’s Attleboro office.
There had been a goal to raise $1.5 million, and if the funds grow over the next couple of weeks, the Distribution Committee will reconvene and allocate the remaining money.
To help the cause, visit strongertogetherattleboro.org/donate.
Area residents who have found themselves in need are encouraged to go to the Greater Stronger Together Fund’s “Get Help” page at strongertogetherattleboro.org/services. There they can learn more about services that are available, including assistance with food, utilities, rent, and medicine.
A full list of the fund’s nonprofit partners can be found at strongertogetherattleboro.org/non-profits-supported.