Massachusetts launches COVID-19 Relief Fund to help vulnerable populations, essential frontline workers

BOSTON (WHDH) - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker announced Monday the establishment of the COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist those across the Commonwealth who have been most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund has launched with an initial investment of $13 million made by philanthropists, including the One8 Foundation, the Bakers said during a press conference at Eastern Bank’s headquarters in Boston.

7NEWS owner Ed Ansin gave a $100,000 donation toward the fund.

“We have a family foundation — it’s not a big foundation but, nevertheless, it’s significant in our lives. And the primary thing we do with it is try to assist people in need and, also, support causes we think are important in the communities in which we’re active,” Ansin said. “Massachusetts is basically shut down. A lot of people need help. Fundamentally, I feel like I’m doing my job. That’s my basic attitude.”

Lauren Baker said, “Mr. Ansin let us know yesterday that he’s making an incredibly generous donation. And that’s gonna go a real long way to help people in need all across the Commonwealth. So, yes, thank you. We’re incredibly grateful.”

The Bay State’s most vulnerable populations, including frontline healthcare professionals, first responders, households disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19, immigrant and undocumented individuals, people with food insecurities, people with disabilities, and the homeless, will benefit most from the funding.

“These are unprecedented and uncertain times, and the people of Massachusetts are struggling. The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund will help us connect those who are most acutely impacted by the response to COVID-19 with the resources and services they need to get through this difficult time and stay safe, healthy, and supported,” First Lady Baker said.

The fund will work in concert with regional non-profit leaders, community foundations, leaders on the ground and at the state level to understand the response and relief landscape locally and statewide to strategically fill in where gaps are pronounced.

The fund’s mission is to ensure essential needs are understood in real-time and provide resources for interventions that are effective and impactful, the Bakers said.

“I am so grateful to Lauren for her leadership on this important effort, and to the One8 Foundation team, Eastern Bank, FBE, and The Boston Foundation for their hard work and dedication in getting the fund off the ground,” Baker said. “The compassion and generosity of the people of Massachusetts continue to inspire and amaze me, and I have no doubt that our state will continue to step up and give back to Massachusetts communities so that we can come through this crisis stronger and more united than ever before.”

The COVID-19 Relief Fund is being managed by Eastern Bank.

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