SATURDAY, APRIL 4 UPDATE:
We are very grateful to be one of the first 15 grants awarded by The Boston Foundation from their COVID-19 Response Fund. Their $25,000 grant is going immediately and entirely on Visa gift cards to families in need in Boston.
Their support puts us very close to raising $150,000. This would mean being able to support 1,000 families with a $150 Visa card.
Will you help us get to $150,000 and support our 1,000th family?
As of today we have ordered $150 gift cards for 938 families in need, totalling $140,700.
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."
5,667 families are still on our Waitlist requesting support. Your support can immediately help another family facing the same devastating choices between food and bills.
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 $145,357 results in $143,358.797 to use for the Visa gift card purchase. We have now made five 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
-- Total spent = $143,682.24
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."
I share the same with you: Thank you so much. 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