NoteWorthy – 5/31/20
AROUND THE VALLEY
GLFHC Awarded Cummings Foundation Grant
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation. The money will help support the center’s Mobile Health Unit, which provides health care to the homeless throughout the Merrimack Valley.
Now in its 40th year, GLFHC provides health care to more than 62,000 patients annually and has locations and pharmacies in Lawrence and Methuen; a Haverhill location is scheduled to open this summer. GLFHC is also one of 130 local nonprofits eligible to receive additional grant money through the Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. The organization was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process.
Merrimack Valley Coordinates Bulk Procurement and Distribution of PPEs to Support Small Businesses Reopening
Small businesses in the Merrimack Valley are getting a much-needed boost as they start the process of reopening. A new initiative will involve sourcing and distributing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to maintain compliance with new regulations as businesses welcome staff and customers back.
The program serves as an economic stimulus, saving valuable dollars for small businesses as they start the long journey of reopening, and also addresses the huge logistical burden of finding and securing high demand products, especially in smaller quantities.
The program is being piloted in Lawrence, where hundreds of businesses have already received a month’s worth of masks along with a visit from a local inspector to support them in understanding the new regulations. In coming weeks, it is set to grow both in Lawrence and in neighboring communities of Andover and North Andover, expanding beyond masks to include other key products such as face shields and sanitizer.
Funding for the effort has been provided by the Merrimack Valley Business Resiliency and Recovery Fund, managed by Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF).
This fund, which was created as a result of the Columbia Gas disaster, will promote a comprehensive set of strategies to support individual businesses and the long-term resiliency of the small business ecosystem.
Gov. Charlie Baker Releases Guidelines For Mass. Restaurants
On Friday, Mass. restaurants were told that they can begin plans to reopen under the guidelines of Gov. Charlie Baker’s new “MA CODIV-19 Checklist.” The new protocol stresses outdoor seating, but indoor seating will be permitted under tight restrictions and bar areas will remain closed.
You can read more about it here.
Lazarus House Adapts to COVID-19
COVID-19 is forcing Lazarus House to change the way they shelter guests. Because of this, the shelter will be focusing specifically on the care of families.
Renovations are under way as Lazarus House aims to create five family suites with bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms. Over the next six weeks, Lazarus House will be looking for volunteers to come to the shelter while it is closed to safely join in the construction and repair of the new space. The shelter is in desperate need for those with skills in carpentry, drywall repair, painting and general maintenance.
ECCF Awards Bread & Roses $15,000 in Fourth Round of COVID Grants
The Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) has awarded a fourth round of grants from its Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund.
Bread & Roses received $15,000 from the Response Fund to strengthen its food outreach programs — one of 43 organizations awarded support from the fourth round of grants. This fourth round of grants, which totals $650,000, includes $600,000 of funding from the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund. In direct response to the escalating demand for food benefits occurring across Massachusetts, these grants focused almost exclusively on addressing food insecurity and support for front-line essential workers.
City of Lawrence Phase 2 Restaurant Guidance
On Friday, the Commonwealth released restaurant guidance along with lodging guidance.
While the state’s public health numbers are trending in the right direction, Lawrence is still fighting the Coronavirus. As of May 27, the Lawrence is 3rd per capita in virus infection and 5th in total infections, with a low rate of testing (despite efforts, there are still less than 200 people tested per day); the city’s percentage of people testing positive is 28.9% — the 4th highest positive percentage in the state.
To that end, Lawrence will be rolling out their own guidance in conjunction with the Lawrence Board of Health, specific to restaurants. Mayor Rivera expects to announce this guidance on June 8, 2020. This means that restaurants should not plan to open June 8, 2020, but await guidance from the city on next steps to prepare for eventual opening.
UMass Lowell Celebrates Class of 2020
UMass Lowell celebrated the accomplishments of their 2020 graduating class in a virtual ceremony this past Friday. Speakers included Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karen Polito, UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, UMass President Marty Meehan and UMass Trustee Mary Burns of Lowell.
The student commencement address was given by Rachel Record, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is a recipient of a Trustees Key in honor of her perfect 4.0 grade-point average over all eight semesters at UMass Lowell. Record, who plans to go on to law school, says she excelled academically with the help of professors who became mentors in “an incredible program.”
The whole celebration was streamed right to UMass Lowell’s website, and you can still watch it here.
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union Awards $17,000 in College Scholarships
To help defray the costs of higher education for local college students, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union awarded $17,000 in college scholarships to members through its MoneyStrong college scholarship and employee scholarship programs. The recipients are comprised of both soon-to-be and current college students.
The winners of the 20th annual MoneyStrong college scholarship program were asked to write
an essay in response to the following prompt: “Credit is borrowed money that you can use to purchase goods and services when you need them. In your essay, explain why credit is important, and how a good credit score can help you achieve your goals.”
The credit union granted funds to 21 students. Of the winners, 17 are high school seniors gearing up for their freshman year of college, and 4 are currently attending various colleges in the area.
The Whistler House Museum of Art Cancels Youth Summer Program
The Whistler House Museum of Art has canceled their annual Youth Summer Arts program due to public health concerns. The museum is currently looking into accessible at-home art projects for the summer to continue educating the young artists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NETSCOUT Awards Grants to Nonprofits Leading in COVID-19 Efforts
The Greater Lowell Community Foundation announced that NETSCOUT, a leading provider of service assurance, security and business analytics, has awarded its Heart of Giving community program’s sixth grant through the Greater Lowell Community Foundation Center for Business Philanthropy. The annual grant program builds relationships with nonprofit organizations and engages employees in learning about service opportunities in the communities of Lowell.
The four 2020 NETSCOUT Heart of Giving Grant recipients include the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, Clear Path for Veterans New England, Hidden Battles and Westford Fire and EMS.
Henri Marchand Announces Retirement
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Salem Chamber of Commerce Announces Scholarship Recipients
Each year, the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Collaborative provides opportunities for area students through their scholarship program. By remaining flexible and committed, students did not miss out on theses programs due to the pandemic.
Ray Landry Award: Elaina Latino
Elaina Latino is a resident of Atkinson, N.H. She is currently a senior at Presentation of Mary Academy in Methuen. Elaina has committed to attend Norwich University this fall, majoring in cyber security, as a member of its Corps of Cadets.
Linda Michalczyk Award: Allison Hamel
Allison Hamel is currently studying at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill. She is studying graphic design and hopes to one day pursue a career within that field.