Watertown Groups Start Mutual Aid Network so Neighbors Can Help Neighbors

The Watertown Community Foundation teamed with Wayside to launch new Watertown Mutual Aid Network, which will allow neighbors to assist neighbors in these difficult times. The Watertown Community Foundation and the Wayside Youth & Family Support Network sent out the following information:

Welcome to the Watertown Mutual Aid Network, funded by the Watertown Community Foundation in association with Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s  Multi-Service Center. Mutual aid is a way for Watertown neighbors to support each other, by delivering food, making weekly calls for social support, providing financial assistance, and in many other ways. By following this link, you will find information about how to use mutual aid, links to forms to offer help and request aid from your Watertown neighbors, and additional resources. Please reach out to Sophia, the Community Coordinator at Sophia_Suarez-Friedman@WaysideYouth.org or 617-744-9585 if you have any questions or wish to offer help or request aid over the phone (translation services are available). We hope that this resource will bring our community together during this difficult time.

Watertown Community Foundation Using Resilience Funds to Help Food Pantry, Fund Coordinator

Just weeks after creating the Resilience Fund to help Watertown weather the Coronavirus outbreak, the Watertown Community Foundation has awarded money to help make sure residents have food, and to fund a coordinator to help those in need of assistance. The fund started with $40,000 from the Foundation’s unrestricted fund and donations from board members and staff. That amount has increased to more than $60,000 thanks to donations from individuals, local businesses and foundations, said WCF Executive Director Jan Singer. The money is intended to help people who are struggling due to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some of the funds have already been distributed to help restart the operation of the Catholic Coalition Food Pantry in East Watertown, and to hire a part-time coordinator to help match people with the assistance they need.

Community Foundation Starting New Fund Respond to Impacts of the COVID-19 Emergency

Looking for ways to help people in Watertown who are adversely impacted by the Coronavirus, the Watertown Community Foundation has created a new fund. Jan Singer, executive director of the Community Foundation, said the response to the Community Resilience Fund already been positive. The Foundation boards met remotely using Zoom to put together plans for the fund. “We know that this is going to be very difficult for a lot of people and it’s going to last for a while, we are assuming at this point,” Singer said. “We met together as a board and came up with an idea for the Resilience fund.

$1 Million Available for Programs Helping Older Residents Affected by Coronavirus

The following information was provided by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation:

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced today it is making an additional $1 million available to efforts driven by community and to nonprofit organizations supporting older people affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Tufts Health Plan Foundation will continue to support healthy aging by funding organizations assisting with access to food, at-home support, housing, transportation, medical supplies and other services, especially for older people and those most vulnerable.  Those with underlying health conditions and people over 60 have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. It is especially important to ensure resources are available to provide these supports and services. “We are grateful to the local, state and federal public health agencies, first responders, and the many community organizations who are stepping up to respond to this challenge,” said Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan.

Volunteers Needed to Deliver Meals to Seniors

Springwell seeks to continue to provide services to older residents during the Coronavirus outbreak, and they are looking for volunteers to deliver meals to seniors. Springwell sent out the following information:

Due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Springwell is working diligently to continue to provide services to our senior community.  At this time, Springwell is seeking volunteers who are willing to provide home delivery of meals.* 

Springwell is an essential part of the social safety net for thousands of older adults each year, and we are continuing to provide the services that are helping them stay safe and in their homes during this challenging time. We especially need volunteers who can work in the towns of Belmont, Watertown, and Waltham. If you are:

interested in receiving training and support to help us reach vulnerable seniors with critical in-home meals;have a reliable car, a current driver’s license, and a clean driving record;are available between 10 am – 1 pm;are able to provide these services, consistent with guidance we receive from the CDC, WHO and other governmental agencies, recognizing you may come into contact with high-risk members of our community and others; andand are successfully able to meet the regulatory pre-requisites for the position. 

 Please contact us! Email volunteer@springwell.com to start the process; or go online and apply to volunteer at www.springwell.com/volunteer Thank you

Local Cable Station Collecting Food for the Watertown Food Pantry

This year WCA-TV announced it is putting on a food drive for the Watertown Food Pantry. The collection runs from March 16 to April 6, and will be ending in time for Passover and Easter. Drop off locations will be at the Watertown Cable studio, in the basement of Watertown High School, at the high school (50 Columbia St.), or at the Watertown Police Station (552 Main St.). The Watertown Pantry needs include: coffee, cold cereal, baked beans, canned vegetables, canned fruit, boxed oatmeal, tomato sauce and dried pasta and rice. Please do not donate opened or expired food.

Watertown Teen Seeks to Raise $20K for Cancer Research, Hosting Fundraiser Friday

A Watertown teen seeks to raise $20,000 to help the fight against cancer in honor of a five-year-old patient. She will host an event Friday night in Watertown to help reach her goal. Susan Howard, who lives in town and attends Dexter Southfield in Brookline, started a fundraising campaign to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “My fundraiser began on January 24th and I only have until March 14th to reach my goal. I have a team of eight hard-working individuals who are helping me raise money as well, seven of whom are Watertown students and parents,” Howard said.

Sign Up for the 2020 Watertown Town-Wide Spelling Bee

The 10th annual Watertown Town-wide Spelling Bee is coming up and teams can sign up now. This year’s spelling bee will be on Sunday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it will be held at the Hosmer Elementary School Auditorium. The money raise during the spelling bee will go to help the Watertown Public Schools. The spelling be is open to all Watertown elementary school students in grades 1 through 5. To register team of three students costs $60, and T-shirts are available for $15.