News and Updates

April 6, 2020 updates

This week we’ve grown to 400+ volunteers, nearly 50 neighborhood pod leaders, and have provided more than $14,000 in direct aid for our community. We are grateful for all of the ways in which neighbors are uplifting neighbors from phone check-ins to picking up groceries for one another.

Updates

Privacy

We heard concerns about privacy from the community this week, and wanted to reiterate seriously we take these matters. We have changed our volunteer spreadsheet to hide names and emails, and this information will never be shared without your consent. This ensures your personal information is protected while still being able to support our community of neighbors. Questions? Reach out to us via email at CambridgeMutualAid@gmail.com !

Join Your Neighborhood Pod

Join your neighborhood pod! Check out our map and reach out to your Neighborhood Point Person. If your street isn’t covered by a pod and you’d like to be a point person, or you have any questions please contact our coordinator Kit at kit.camb.nan@gmail.com.

Mutual Aid Fund

After creating the Mutual Aid Fund just two weeks ago, we as a community have raised nearly $18k and, as of this post, have distributed over $14k in urgently needed direct-aid to fellow residents to cover things like rent, utilities, food, supplies, medical bills, and copays. Through the value of solidarity not charity, the role of the fund is to provide for the immediate, emergency needs of local residents as quickly as possible--before more substantial and reliable forms of aid are made available. Can you help to address these needs by contributing $20 or more? If you are able to, please click here and enter an amount. Be sure to write “For CMAN Fund” in your payment note, and deselect the “Paying for goods or a service?” box. If you are in need of financial assistance, please reach out to our fund coordinators, Rob and Kenny, at CMAN.fund@gmail.com

Values

Our ongoing efforts are guided by a set of shared values. Read here to learn more!

Community Asks

Check out our community needs list to see if you have something which aligns with the asks of our neighbors at this time. Some current needs include bread and shelf-stable groceries, financial assistance, and baby gear (stroller, high chair, bottles, etc.).

A local engineer has been making hand-sanitizer and distributing it to local groups. They’re looking for 95% pure alcohol to continue their efforts (doesn’t matter what it’s been adulterated with). Contact jane.x.huang@gmail.com to donate!

Do you have an ask of your own? Email us at CambridgeMutualAid@gmail.com!

Ways to Volunter

  • State Rep. Marjorie Decker is putting together a volunteer team to make check-in calls to senior citizens in our community to ensure that all have the resources that they need to stay well during this challenging time. If you are interested in volunteering your time and making calls, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/1P2QTagpC8by69HHA. If you have any questions, please email her at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov. Stay well and safe.

  • Have expertise in graphic design or law? We’re looking for more coordinators here at CMAN! Or join our team of multilingual translators to ensure language justice and accessibility. Email us at CambridgeMutualAid@gmail.com

Resources

Be sure to check our website for an updated list of Cambridge-specific resources ranging from mental health to local hotlines to multilingual information. We wanted to provide you with a few resources you could share to your own neighbors who may not be a part of our network.

Hotlines

  • Vida Urbana (617-397-3773): Tiene problemas con las casas (o viviendas) o amenazas de evicción? Llama a este número: 617-397-3773.

  • City Life / Vida Urbana (617)-934-5006: A Boston-area housing hotline for housing and eviction concerns.

  • Project Bread (1-800-645-8333): A Cambridge hotline for individuals concerned about food accessibility.

  • Transition House (617)-661-7203: Providing support and a safety plan to individuals in Cambridge facing domestic violence and/or sexual abuse.

  • Safelink (877)-785-2020: Massachusetts’ statewide 24/7 toll-free, multi-lingual domestic violence hotline and a resource for anyone affected by domestic violence.

  • Friendship Line (1-800-971-0016): Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free line for individuals 60 years and older.

Elderly Support

  • Liam’s Lunches/Zoomers to Boomers will pick up and deliver 12 grocery items to your door. They accept cash, Venmo, PayPal, or check. Form is available here.

  • The Friendship Line is the Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free line for individuals 60 years and older. Call 1-800-971-0016

  • Special hours at Cambridge-area supermarkets and grocery stores

  • Need your groceries picked up and delivered? We have a team of volunteers happy to help. Contact us at CambridgeMutualAid@gmail.com

Financial Assistance

  • Cambridge Community Foundation Grant ($200-$1,000 for individuals). Apply here.

  • Cambridge Community Foundation Artist Relief Fund. Apply here.

  • Greg Hill Foundation + Samuel Adams Restaurant Strong Fund for restaurant workers. Apply here.

  • $200 grants to Boston musicians. Apply here.

Food Assistance

The City and Food for Free have set up the Cambridge Community Food Line (617-349-9155), a food item delivery service for Cambridge residents who are at high risk of food insecurity. The service will deliver a weekly bag of produce and shelf-stable grocery items to eligible individuals and families if the food pantry you use has closed, you have lost your job or your income, you are homebound due to illness . To participate, call 617-349-9155. You will be prompted to leave a voicemail with your name, number, and address. A member of the staff will call you back within 24 hours to confirm that you meet the criteria for food item delivery. If you meet the criteria, you will be added to the weekly distribution list.

Housing

  • City Life Urbana has the above hotline, in addition to templates for contacting a landlord or bank about your situation. Link here.

  • Information on current emergency shelters provided by Greater Boston Legal Services

Thank you for supporting and uplifting one another in these changing times, and we look forward to working with you to take care of our community in the upcoming weeks. Whether it's sharing this email, sharing on social media, sharing your offerings, or sharing your needs, we are grateful for all of the ways our community is staying safely connected and looking out for one another!

Best,

The Cambridge Mutual Aid Network (CMAN)

Facebook Page: click here

Twitter: @CambridgeAid

March 30, 2020 updates

Thank you for joining the Cambridge Mutual Aid Network! We wanted to reach out and thank all of you for joining this community organizing initiative to provide solidarity and support to one another in these changing times.

This week we’ve grown to 350+ volunteers, and nearly 50 neighborhood pod leaders. Neighbors have continued to uplift and empower each other through acts such as providing emergency housing and picking up groceries for one another. If you are in a position to support others, our current list of community needs is available here.

Get Involved

We are growing and our efforts are expanding. Are you interested in getting involved in an organizational role?

  • We are looking for people interested in joining our leadership team who can lend their expertise in graphic design, and law (taxation and/or liability)

  • Additionally, we are looking for individuals who have advanced knowledge of another language who can be on-standby for translation when someone reaches out in their preferred language.

  • Interested in filling any of these roles? Reach out to us at CambridgeMutualAid@gmail.com.

Neighborhood Pods

Pods are groups of neighbors connected by texting groups, mailing lists, or phone trees that help them keep in touch and get and give help. We now have close to 50 pods including hundreds of Cambridge neighbors! To learn more and to join your local Neighborhood Pod, visit: https://www.cambridgemutualaid.info/neighborhood-pod-program If you see that your neighborhood is uncovered and you want to sign up to found a pod, please email our neighborhood pod coordinator Kit at kit.camb.nan@gmail.com and include your home address.

The Cambridge Mutual Aid Network Fund

In the first week of our direct-aid fund, we raised over $10,000 as a community and have already provided over $5,000 in urgently needed emergency funds to individuals and families to cover rent, utilities, food, medical prescriptions, and more! To make our fundraising most effective, we have partnered with the Democracy Center, a Cambridge-based nonprofit. To contribute, please click here and enter an amount. Be sure to write “For CMAN Fund” in your payment note, and deselect the “Paying for goods or a service?” box. If you are in need of financial assistance, please reach out to our fund coordinators, Rob and Kenny, at CMAN.fund@gmail.com

In Need of Additional Support?

We know many of our neighbors may be facing financial obstacles right now, and there are two local funds to help. The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) asked us to share their two funds to help individuals and non-profits: a Covid19 Emergency Fund and an Artist Relief Fund. Individuals can apply for grants for up to $1,000, and non-profits can apply for up to $10,000 to distribute grants to the individuals they serve. The foundation has received almost 200 applications, and they are reviewed on a rolling basis. For more info email Lori at lorilander@gmail.com or visit the Cambridge Community Foundation website.

Thank you for supporting and uplifting one another in these changing times, and we look forward to working with you to take care of our community in the upcoming weeks. Whether it's sharing this email, sharing on social media, sharing your offerings, or sharing your needs, we are grateful for all of the ways our community is staying safely connected and looking out for one another!

Best,

The Cambridge Mutual Aid Network (CMAN)

Facebook Page: click here

Twitter: @CambridgeAid

March 29, 2020 updates

If you are able, please consider donating to these two funds to support Cantabridgians in need:

Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund

  • The Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance in partnership with non-profit organizations to individuals and families

  • All money goes towards individuals and families in Cambridge who are experiencing extreme financial hardship caused by the current COVID-19 crisis.

  • Donations can be made here.

Cambridge Mutual Aid Network Fund

  • We've created a fund to meet urgent requests of local residents based on values of trust and harm reduction and meant as solidarity, not charity

  • To make our fundraising most effective, we have partnered with the Democracy Center, a Cambridge-based nonprofit. To contribute, go to https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/democracycenter and enter your amount. Write "For CMAN Fund" in your payment note, and deselect the "Paying for goods or a service?" box.

  • If you need money, you can email our Fund Coordinators, Rob and Kenny, at CMAN.fund@gmail.com to talk through available local grants and financial resources. We have a Mutual Aid Fund for local residents, and we will try our best to meet your financial needs. We only have a small fund, so we are limited in granting full requests for assistance via Venmo.

  • We take transparency and accountability as seriously as the privacy and dignity of recipients of aid. We are posting all transactions of money moving in and out on a shared spreadsheet and maintaining the privacy of recipients. We are also open to feedback and questions from the public, which can be directed to our Fund Coordinator Rob at CMAN.fund@gmail.com

Donate Diapers

Diaper Circle (drop off for donations): This is a list of drop offs that take donations of new boxes of baby diapers. Diaper Circle then distributes them to local agencies working with struggling families. here

March 21, 2020 updates

  • Our first Pod Leader meeting was 3/20/2020 @ 7 PM - send an email if you want to join as a pod leader email us cambridgemutualaid@gmail.com.

  • Emergency Childcare Announced: (per SEIU 509) Governor Baker has ordered all child care programs across the state closed to protect public health. Starting this Monday, emergency child-care centers are being set up, at no cost, for the children of those who perform essential work amid the threat of coronavirus. Learn More here

  • Have a sewing machine? Mask shortages are so severe that hospitals and nursing facilities are now looking for volunteers to produce cloth masks. Please use this CHA-approved mask sewing pattern: here , more information

March 20, 2020 updates

  • Our first Pod Leader meeting is 3/20/2020 @ 7 PM - send an email if you want to join cambridgemutualaid@gmail.com

  • Club Passim has online performances and a fund to help local artists: here

  • The Cambridge Artist Relief Fund will provide support to the arts and culture sector by giving grants to individuals and organizations facing a financial burden due to COVID-19. The fund will begin accepting applications for grants on March 23rd. If you are interested in applying or donating to the fund, head to their website: http://cambridgecf.org/artist-relief-fund/

  • Cambridge-based companies Moderna, Biogen, Sherlock Biosciences, Takeda Pharmaceutical, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals are helping to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and were highlighted in a Boston Globe piece today. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/2QxTcuK

  • AOC Toolkit: here Mutual Aid 101 #WeGotOurBlock

  • More Senior Hours at Local Markets:

    • Market Basket, which has a location will open exclusively for people over 60 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 a.m. - 7 a.m.

    • Stop & Shop, which has locations on McGrath Highway and Alewife Brook Parkway, will open exclusively for people over 60 each day from 6:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.

    • Starmarket, which has locations in Porter Square, on Beacon Street and on McGrath Highway, will open on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. for senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems.

    • Whole Foods, which has three locations in Cambridge, will open for people over 60 one hour before it opens to the general public. The River Street location near Cambridge Port will open for seniors at 8:00 a.m. The Prospect Street location near Central Square will open for seniors at 7:00 a.m. The Fresh Pond location will open for seniors at 8:00 a.m.

March 19, 2020 updates

Thank you to all those in the community who have shared your offerings, bravely shared your needs, and contributed! Please check the needs list to see if there is someone who could immediately benefit from your contributions! Current immediate needs include coat donations, financial assistance, and help with fresh food and groceries.

+ Donate to the Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund

+ Cambridge Health Alliance needs donations of personal protective equipment: About CHA | Newsroom | Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Donations

+ Donate to help keep Harvard Square's Y2Y Shelter open here. Donate to MAAP's emergency wishlist to support those who are homeless as other shelters close.

+ We’ve added a Spanish version our information. And Portuguese. This resource has Covid-19 information in more than 50 languages.

+ Looking to volunteer? Cambridge Volunteer Clearing House Opportunities here and Somerville Cambridge Elder Services. This includes calling elders over the phone from your own home.