Each year, the Community Chest raises funds from individuals and businesses in Concord and Carlisle, and in turn grants those funds to local nonprofit human service organizations serving the needs of our residents. Over the past few months, a group of 30 volunteers from Concord and Carlisle have come together to serve as the Chest’s Allocations Committee. They have reviewed 35 grant applications, totaling $642,562, and are in the final decision making process about where to grant funds. This is an extremely difficult process in “normal” years, but this year, given the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 crises, organizations need our funds now more than ever.
We have been in touch with each of our non-profits and are struck by how much each one has had to adjust to the current circumstances. Doors have been closed, volunteers suspended, and funding sources shut off, yet demand goes up daily. Mass211, an organization that the Chest has funded for many years, received over 31,000 calls regarding COVD-19 issues in the first three weeks of the crisis. Domestic Violence Services Network, Inc. (DVSN) has suffered a decrease in their volunteer help, but has seen an increase in calls. “For our clients it has been quite a difficult and dangerous uphill struggle to shelter in place. Many of them either live with or are easily accessible by their abusers, which, given the lockdown, puts them in extended and relentless danger”, said Jacquelin Apsler, Executive Director. “We are definitely in need of support to help our clients who are trapped and traumatized, with devastating effects lasting long after the pandemic is quelled.” These are examples from just two of the organizations that rely on Chest funding.
While the future is unknown and scary for many, we do know that the level of need in our community is going to continue to rise. Please help us help our neighbors. Together, we can make a difference in those peoples’ lives.
The Community Chest’s Annual Campaign concludes on April 30. To donate visit www.cccommunitychest.org/donate-2/.