Community Foundations: A Vital Resource for Local Communities 

Natural disasters and humanitarian crises continue to pose significant challenges to communities worldwide. Community foundations provide vital support to local nonprofit organizations that provide direct and critical services to those who have been impacted by these disasters and crises. 

Considering the recent devastating fires in Hawaii and flooding in Vermont, as well as the ongoing obstacles faced by migrants seeking asylum in pursuit of safe havens worldwide, the remarkable outpouring of compassion and generosity from donors across the globe is humbling. If you seek to make an effective difference with your contribution, turn to a local community foundation.  

Photo of a broken road  and the aftermath of an earthquake.

First, community foundations have established deep roots within their local communities, enabling them to possess invaluable knowledge about specific areas of need. Additionally, community foundations work in close collaboration with local nonprofits and government agencies, allowing them to distribute funds quickly and effectively. 

Second, community foundations are adept at addressing both short-term and long-term needs. In times of crisis, most people focus on immediate needs like shelter, food, and health services. However, recovery from disasters can take months or even years. Community foundations understand this and work to address both the immediate needs as well as the long-term ones. They not only provide funds for disaster relief efforts but also invest in community-wide initiatives that help rebuild the social and economic fabric of the affected areas. 

Finally, community foundations are required by law to be financially transparent. This provides donors with peace of mind, knowing that their funds are being put to good use. 

Crisis Response in Action 

In recent months, we’ve seen community foundations responding to a variety of disasters and crises. Following the dangerous and damaging floods in Vermont earlier this summer, the Vermont Community Foundation established the VT Flood Response and Recovery Fund 2023 to support their neighbors and communities.  

The recent widespread and deadly wildfires in Maui evoked a similar response by the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Maui Strong Fund with the goal of providing funding to support immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people and places affected.  

Photo of children walking through village.

Asylum-seeking families arriving in the United States have reached a tipping point nationwide and the impact in Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been significant. Recently, Governor Healey responded by launching the Massachusetts Migrant Families Relief Fund in partnership with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Boston Foundation. Additionally here in MetroWest, the Community Foundation for MetroWest, (CFMW) has partnered with the City of Framingham to activate the Framingham Emergency Relief Fund. This fund is accepting donations to help support the nonprofits responding to the varied needs of over 50 refugee families who have recently arrived in Framingham.

The Community Foundation for MetroWest is also supporting urgent and ongoing needs for migrant families being placed in communities across the MetroWest region, through the MetroWest Emergency Relief Fund.  

To donate to one of the Funds here at the Community Foundation for MetroWest: 

  • Make an online donation, visit communityfoundationmw.org/donate and choose the appropriate fund name in the dropdown menu 
     
  • Send a check to the Community Foundation for MetroWest at 3 Eliot Street, Natick, MA 01760 – checks can be made out to The Community Foundation for MetroWest with appropriate fund name in the memo line. 

To support the efforts statewide in Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts Migrant Families Relief Fund.  

If you have any questions regarding donating or charitable giving in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 508-647-2260 or email info@communityfoundationmw.org. To ensure the trustworthiness of a charity, we recommend verifying organizations using reputable sites such as Guidestar.org and CharityNavigator.org. Thank you for considering supporting these crucial causes.

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