WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24 UPDATE:
A year ago we ordered our first Visa cards to urgently support Boston families in need as the COVID crisis hit our community.
Today we close the fund.
In total we ordered Visa cards for 2,553 families totaling $382,950 thanks to 743 generous donors.
It has been incredibly uplifting and inspiring during this challenging crisis to have such an outpouring of support from so many people to support other families in need.
The challenges continue and our organization's work continues. To learn about our mission to build social capital please visit: unioncapitalboston.org
We believe in full transparency of the use of your donations. 100% of every donation goes directly towards the purchase and delivery of every card. We keep track of the exact money raised and spent from the donations received:
GoFundMe uses PayPal Giving which deducts 2.2% of every donation. Our current listed donation amount of $393,373 results in $390,027.71 to use for the Visa gift card purchase. We have now made 17 orders, which include an additional $20 wire transfer fee for each order:
-- March 18 = $36,735.20
-- March 20 = $11,531.00
-- March 23 = $9,075.32
-- March 26 = $20,060.38
-- March 30 = $33,981.56
-- April 3 = $32,298.78
-- April 9 = $22,967.00
-- April 15 = $72,752.96
-- April 23 = $21,005,10
-- May 1 = $45,916.48
-- May 15 = $12,124.92
-- June 7 = $9,996.20
-- July 7 = $20,519.32
-- September 20 = $5,409.30
-- November 24 = $6,179.20
-- December 28 = $26,026.60
-- March 24 = $4,177.46
-- Total spent = $390,769.91
MONDAY, DECEMBER 28 UPDATE:
As we enter into a new year, the tragedy and struggles from this pandemic continue, and so our Support Fund continues as well.
Today we sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 170 Boston families in need.
In total we have now ordered Visa cards for 2,526 families totaling $378,900 thanks to 729 generous donors.
We have 6,194 people on our Waitlist.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25 UPDATE:
Yesterday we sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 40 Boston families in need.
In total we have now ordered Visa cards for 2,356 families totaling $353,400 thanks to 723 generous donors.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 UPDATE:
Yesterday we sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 35 Boston families in need.
In total we have now ordered Visa cards for 2,316 families totaling $347,400 thanks to 716 generous donors.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 8 UPDATE:
On Tuesday we sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 134 Boston families in need. We are so grateful for generous support from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute which enabled this most recent order.
In total we have now ordered Visa cards for 2,281 families totaling $342,150 thanks to 703 generous donors.
MONDAY, JUNE 8 UPDATE:
On Sunday we sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 65 Boston families in need.
In total we have now ordered Visa cards for 2,147 families totaling $322,050 thanks to 694 generous donors.
SATURDAY, MAY 16 UPDATE:
On Friday we sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 79 Boston families in need. We are so grateful for generous support from Eastern Bank, the Third Base Fund, and two anonymous donors, which enabled this most recent order.
In total we have now ordered Visa cards for 2,082 families totaling $312,300 thanks to 669 generous donors.
SATURDAY, MAY 2 UPDATE:
Last night we sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 301 Boston families in need. We are so grateful for generous support from the Barr Foundation, the Grove Hall Trust, and two anonymous donors, which enabled this most recent order.
We thank you for your support of our families during this crisis. We thank you for your collaboration in working towards a new normal that we all desperately need in order to collectively survive and thrive.
FRIDAY, APRIL 24 UPDATE:
Despite the incredible trauma and hardship of the past month, it has been awe-inspiring to experience groups of people, large and small, come together to support others of us in need, whether it be our health or our welfare.
Last night we sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 137 Boston families in need. We are so grateful for support from the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Third Base Fund, and the Alice L. McDougall Fund, which enabled this most recent order.
THURSDAY, ARPIL 16 UPDATE:
Last night thanks to the incredible generosity of several large anonymous donations we ordered our largest batch of gift cards yet! We sent $150 Visa gift cards to another 477 Boston families in need.
FRIDAY, APRIL 10 UPDATE:
Last night, once again, we ordered another batch of $150 Visa gift cards to be sent directly to another 150 Boston families in need. In total we have now ordered Visa cards for 1,088 families totaling $163,200 thanks to 563 incredible donors.
We are also incredibly appreciative to receive rapid funding support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, The Possible Project, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to purchase these gift cards.
Families that have already received their gift cards have been telling us the importance of this support. Several have also informed us that they are battling COVID-19 as well, making this support even more important and meaningful. (Shared with permission)
"Got my card today. Thank you so much. I am currently at home in isolation due to testing positive. This definitely came in handy as things are starting to run low & bills don't stop. Was trying to figure out what was priority but now rent & food can be taken care of with no worries for the time being except my health."
TUESDAY, MARCH 31 UPDATE:
Here are the numbers since we launched our campaign two weeks ago:
- 505 donors
- $109,050 raised
- 727 Boston families in need receiving $150 Visa gift cards
Here is one of the messages we received last night after ordering gift cards for another 222 families (shared with their permission):
"Wow and thank you. I’m grateful and appreciative for this support; this is right on time as my children and I are on the last end of the foods purchased a few weeks ago. Thank you."
FRIDAY, MARCH 27 UPDATE:
Our hearts are bursting with gratitude. On Thursday, March 26, we ordered another batch of $150 Visa gift cards to be sent directly to another 131 Boston families in need for a total of $19,650. One of our new recipients stated her gratitude in the most important and simplest of terms:
"Thank you so much. I really need this to buy food for my family."
In just 10 days we have now ordered Visa cards for 505 families totaling $75,760 thanks to 455 incredible donors.
We are also incredibly appreciative to receive rapid funding support from Tufts Health Plan Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA to purchase even more gift cards in the coming weeks.
TUESDAY, MARCH 24 UPDATE:
Last night, Monday, March 23, we ordered another batch of $150 Visa gift cards to be sent directly to another 59 Boston families in need, $8,850 total. One of our recipients immediately responded and gave me permission to share her words with you:
"Wow. I was really just filled with so much warmth reading this. Thank you. So much love to you and Union Capital for your help. This gift card will allow food to come into this house. Really, truly, thank you. With love and gratitude."
SATURDAY, MARCH 21 UPDATE:
On Friday evening, March 20, thanks to the incredible generosity of 339 donors, we ordered $150 Visa gift cards for another 75 people in need in the Greater Boston area, bringing our total to 315 families. That is $47,250 going directly into people's pockets immediately in just the past week!
This has been an incredibly challenging week for all of us. But what we have seen over and over again is community coming together (from a safe distance) to share support and love.
All of our heroic health care providers are in our thoughts and prayers. We are also deeply appreciative of the incredible work being done by so many groups to provide food and support, especially Boston Public Schools, the YMCA of Greater Boston, Food for Free, and Violence in Boston. Please support these organizations as well if you can. And donate blood if it is safe for you to do so!
Your support gives us the energy to push on and continue the work to make sure our community is cared for during this immensely difficult time.
THURSDAY, MARCH 19 UPDATE:
On Wednedsay evening, March 18, thanks to the incredible generosity of 244 donors, we ordered $150 Visa gift cards for 240 people in need in the Greater Boston area. That is $36,000 going directly into people's pockets immediately. We launched this campaign just 72-hours ago and have moved quickly to get the money out the door.
We decided to place this first order as soon as possible because the list of requests is so long and the need is so urgent. We still have over 2,000 requests for support and growing. The campaign continues.
One of the gift card recipients responded and shared this message that I share with you:
"Everything that you do makes a difference in our community, I want to THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication to our community and giving back.
Thank You so much for that. We really appreciate you all. Keep up the good work.
Stay safe and God Bless."
ORIGINAL CAMPAIGN POST:
COVID-19 is affecting all of us, but it will be especially hard for those with less means because of school closings and lost wages. It is time for us to come together and do what we can to support our Boston neighbors during this challenging time!
Union Capital Boston (unioncapitalboston.org) manages a rewards program for community engagement that over the past five years has awarded over $650,000 to Boston residents for their volunteer efforts.
Today, we are seeking your help in a one-time direct gift campaign to send Visa gift cards to those who need it urgently in the Greater Boston area. 100% of your donation will go immediately to families in need.
For every dollar you donate, UCB will put that exact total amount on Visa gift cards to send to Greater Bostonians in need. We already have the infrastructure in place to get money out the door quickly. Any Bostonian that is need of support can fill out this quick form: http://bit.ly/UCBCOVID19
We're all in this together and your support can immediately help others so they can do what is needed to all get through this challenging time.
- We are a 501c3 non-profit. Your contribution is 100% tax-deductible!
- We believe that everyone is the determinant of their own need. We will not be putting any conditions on the use of the funds or qualifications to receive the funds. If we are going to help people we should be sure we do so in a caring and equitable way.
- Visa gift cards are non-taxable gifts up to a maximum of $500. We will not need to collect social security numbers of recipients, just their name and mailing address (which can be a post office box). Cards can be replaced if lost or stolen. If we fundraise more than $500 per person we will continue to distribute funds to additional people until the funds are completely gone.
- We've done something similar before when we raised money to support anti-hate groups in 2017: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/08/17/boston-novel-fund-raising-model-combat-saturday-free-speech-rally/c2wdqrKqH7EgO5LkVB7JML/story.html