BOSTON, Monday, March 16, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the formation and launch of the Boston Resiliency Fund, which will coordinate the City's fundraising and philanthropic efforts to provide essential services to Boston residents whose health and well-being are most immediately impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and assist first responders and critical care providers. The Fund is being launched together with the support of a growing number of private and philanthropic partners, including the Vertex Foundation, Partners HealthCare, Jack Connors, Liberty Mutual, Gross Family Foundation, Bain Capital, John Hancock, John & Cyndy Fish, Mass Mutual and Shah Family Foundation.
"In the face of big challenges, our city shows its true colors. We've been seeing incredible acts of kindness and generosity and the Boston Resiliency Fund is a perfect example of that," said Mayor Walsh. "Through this fund, we are coordinating Boston's philanthropic efforts to support families that are facing the greatest need right now. I want to thank everyone who has already contributed, and look forward to seeing how we will all come together during this critical time of need to support one another."
The emerging and immediate priorities of the Boston Resiliency Fund are to provide food to Boston's children and older adults, technology to Boston Public Schools students for remote learning, and support to first responders and health care workers so they can effectively do their jobs. While the Fund is initially focused on basic needs and critical services, the priorities of the Fund will continue to evolve as the COVID-19 situation and the needs of Boston residents change.
Over the course of its first day, nearly $10 million has been raised to support the Fund, initiated by a $1 million donation by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
"While we are facing unprecedented circumstances, we will - through the strength and compassion of our communities and the resilience of our people - find ways to meet the challenges that lay ahead," said Vertex Chairman, President and CEO Jeffrey Leiden MD, PhD. "The Vertex Foundation is honored to support this important initiative, which will help provide local families with much-needed resources during this time of uncertainty and hardship. We are proud to be a part of a community that has come together to make sure that families in need have somewhere to turn."
Other individuals, foundations and corporations making commitments include: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Boston Foundation, Charles River Labs, Dunkin, Elaine Schuster, Gross Family Foundation, Highland Street Foundation, John Hancock, John Rosenthal, John W. Henry Family Foundation, Red Sox Family Foundation, Robert Kraft, The Lynch Foundation, Sarepta, and Steve & Roberta Weiner.
The funds raised will be awarded to nonprofit organizations who provide immediate support and relief to residents of Boston across a spectrum of different needs and priorities. In the coming days, the City will also build a governance structure to inform grantmaking. The City expects grants from this Fund to be made on a rolling basis, beginning within the next few weeks and will share more information about the funding process in the coming weeks, as the fund grows. Updates will be published on boston.gov/boston-resiliency-fund.
The Boston Resiliency Fund will exist within the Boston Charitable Trust, an existing 501(c)(3) designated trust fund managed by the City of Boston's Treasury Department. For more information on how to make a donation, please visit: boston.gov/boston-resiliency-fund. For general inquiries, please email [email protected]
To protect Bostonians and their families from the spread of the virus, residents are reminded to practice caution: wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands; cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor's Health Line. Residents are also reminded to practice social distancing: keep your distance from others (six feet apart); avoid crowded places.