Responding to COVID-19: In times of crisis, Cambridge thinks of others

We are writing to share information about how the Cambridge Community Foundation is responding to the coronavirus pandemic and measures our community is taking in these uncertain times. Cambridge is known for coming  together in times of need and there are vulnerable people in our community who need our help now more than ever.

Two new emergency relief funds: Guided by our century-old mandate to protect the wellbeing of the city and our residents, in partnership with generous donors, the City of Cambridge, and locally-based businesses, we have launched two new emergency relief funds—one to help low-income families, workers, and the elderly meet their basic needs and a second to support individual artists, musicians, and local arts and cultural organizations threatened by lost income.

The Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Cambridge Artist Relief Fund will infuse an initial sum of $350,000 into the community through grants of up to $1,000 for individuals and a limited number of larger grants to nonprofits and arts organizations. We will also be distributing more than $400,000 in grants to over 50 nonprofits next month as part of our regular spring grantmaking cycle.

We invite others—stable businesses and organizations and concerned citizens—to join us in growing the Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund and giving to the Cambridge Artist Relief Fund so we can provide critical financial support when our residents, artists, and nonprofits need it most.

Do what you can because we’re stronger together: Long before state and national emergencies were declared, we saw members of our community jump into action—organizing volunteer efforts, assessing needs and connecting resources, sharing information and strengthening networks. Learn about some of the resources available to the community on in the list below. 

We hope you and your family are safe and healthy during this challenging time. With a community like ours we know we will get through this together.

COVID-19 responses in the Cambridge community (This list is updated daily)

FOR THE COMMUNITY:

  • City of Cambridge’s COVID-19 page
  • Cambridge Mutual Aid Network: This community organizing initiative connects neighbors to neighbors and provides opportunities for us to support each other in these changing times. The site includes forums, neighborhood pods to facilitate communication between neighbors, resources, and a direct aid emergency fund for those in need. Apply here.
  • Cambridge Public Schools: Information for families.  
  • Cambridge Health Alliance’s COVID-19 page. CHA hotline for coronavirus questions: covid19inquiries@challiance.org.
    • The CHA is asking for face mask donations and for those who can to help sew masks.
  • Cambridge Public Health Department’s resources on food security, healthy eating, and active living during COVID-19.
  • A current list of Cambridge Food Resources available during COVID-19.
  • Cambridge Volunteer Clearinghouse, which connects volunteers to agencies, is compiling a list of ways that community members can help. Check out CVC’s COVID-19 “Needed-Now” chart and Volunteer Interest Form.
  • Visa gift cards for those who need it in Greater Boston. Union Capital Boston is collecting one-time direct gifts in a campaign to send Visa gift cards to families in our area. 100% of donations will go immediately to families in need.
  • Scout Cambridge is compiling a list of closures, cancellations, and extra precautions here.
  • Kendall Square Association is tracking which restaurants in the Kendall neighborhood are open for delivery.
  • Cambridge Virtual Tip Jar: Jessica Sculley, founder of the Commonwealth Wine School (slated to open in summer), created a page for people to donate tips to individual service workers who are out of work, or dealing with reduced hours.
  • For artists and performers — Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund: Club Passim’s Emergency Artist Fund will assist musicians in our community who are in dire need of financial aid due to the  COVID-19 pandemic, where a huge amount of musicians are losing income due to relying on a gig economy.
  • The Cambridge Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant is now accepting applications. Grants of up to $6,000 will be provided to HUD eligible brick and mortar businesses.
  • Cradles to Crayons has been partnering with Food for Free to distribute diapers and hygiene items to those in need. It has also established an Emergency Essentials Fund which will distribute items like diapers, school supplies, and hygiene items to their partner organizations.

FOR NONPROFITS:

GENERAL HEALTH/SAFETY INFORMATION: