9/11 Day at Home Virtual Volunteering

For nearly 2 decades, September 11th has been declared the National Day of Service & Remembrance. Community members are encouraged to volunteer throughout the SouthCoast and across the country in tribute to those who lost their lives on this day in 2001.

This year, United Way of Greater New Bedford and Southcoast Health are partnering to promote 9/11 Day at Home Virtual Volunteering. This year due to COVID-19 restrictions, virtual volunteering will allow more people the opportunity to participate with simple tasks that will make an impact. Community members are encouraged to complete at least one of these eleven good deeds in tribute to 9/11 this Friday, September 11, 2020:

“We hear so often that people in our community who want to make a difference and get involved, but are concerned they don’t have the time, or aren’t even sure where to start,” said Victoria Grasela, VP of Marketing & Community Engagement at United Way. “The 9/11 Day at Home is the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to do something big or small to show their support. Now, more than ever, good deeds are needed to bring people closer together.”

United Way of Greater New Bedford has traditionally hosted their annual Day of Caring to encourage service on this important day, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Day of Caring will be hosted at a later date.

“As part of our Southcoast Cares initiative, we’re honored to collaborate with the United Way of Greater New Bedford on these important 9/11 Day at Home Virtual Volunteering efforts,” said Southcoast Director of Community Benefits Rachel Davis. “Service is at the heart of the Southcoast mission, and we’re committed to improving health and wellness across the region through high-quality healthcare as well as community engagement to address residents’ most pressing needs.”

Participants are encouraged to complete at least one good deed on September 11, 2020, but it doesn’t end there. In the spirit of bringing community together, United Way and Southcoast Health encourage people to complete 1 good deed everyday for the remainder of the year. Encourage others to get involved by sharing your deeds on social media and using #911daySC.

Southcoast Health is a not-for-profit, charitable organization and the largest provider of primary and specialty care in the region, serving communities in Rhode Island and across Southeastern Massachusetts at three acute care hospitals — Charlton Memorial in Fall River, St. Luke’s in New Bedford and Tobey in Wareham — in addition to seven Urgent Care Centers, two Centers for Cancer Care, a Visiting Nurse Association and numerous ambulatory facilities in 33 communities covering over 900 square miles.

United Way of Greater New Bedford brings together volunteers, community leaders, and corporate partners to provide quality programs and initiatives that achieve positive results. United Way fights for the health, education, financial stability, and basic needs in each of the 9 communities they serve.

Join the National Day of Service and Remembrance this Friday, September 11, 2020.



United Way of Greater New Bedford receives $276,525 to fund 19 AmeriCorps Members for the “New Bedford Strengthening Families” (NBSF) AmeriCorps Program

[New Bedford, MA] – The Massachusetts Service Alliance today announced that United Way of Greater New Bedford received $276,525 in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. The AmeriCorps grant is administered by the Massachusetts Service Alliance.

United Way will lead the New Bedford Strengthening Families (NBSF) AmeriCorps Program with the funding that will allow 19 AmeriCorps members to implement evidence-based interventions that strengthen families and focus on preventing child abuse and neglect at 8 host sites, including United Way. Using the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework, AmeriCorps members will work to engage at least 80 parents/caregivers in parent education and 360 parents/caregivers in direct service support in the first program year.

“This is an amazing opportunity to increase the capacity of families in the community and to unify well-known and respected community partners under one umbrella and evidence-based framework,” said Stan Brajer, Director of the New Bedford Community Connections Coalition at UWGNB. “We are incredibly excited and fortunate to have this program in our community.”

This funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, civic engagement, and national service programs like AmeriCorps. For more than 25 years, more than 1 million dedicated Americans have joined AmeriCorps and pledged to ‘get things done.’ This year, the 75,000 AmeriCorps members serving in schools, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, will do the same as they rebuild communities, support veterans, fight the opioid epidemic, prepare students for success, foster economic opportunity, and more. Those interested in serving can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/join.

The Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) administers funding from CNCS to United Way of Greater New Bedford and 24 other AmeriCorps State programs in Massachusetts. MSA is dedicated to broadening the capacity of the volunteer and service movement across the Commonwealth by providing individuals and organizations with the funding, training and support they need to strengthen communities. MSA develops and supports programs like AmeriCorps that incorporate service and volunteerism as effective strategies to address the most pressing needs in the Commonwealth. To learn more about MSA’s role across the state, visit www.mass-service.org.

“Now more than ever, National service is an essential part of the solution to many of the day-to-day challenges facing Massachusetts as well as in response to and recovery from COVID-19,” said Emily Haber, CEO of MSA. “These AmeriCorps members will meet pressing local needs in and strengthen communities as they develop civic and leadership skills to last a lifetime. I congratulate these outstanding organizations and thank all those who serve their communities through AmeriCorps.”

This year, over 1,500 AmeriCorps members will serve and respond to our Commonwealth’s most pressing needs. They will tutor and mentor at-risk youth ages pre-K through high school, prepare communities for natural disasters, teach young people how to grow and cook healthy foods, provide support services to refugees and immigrants, preserve and rehabilitate our forests and waters, and more.

Click here to apply for a position with the New Bedford Strengthening Families (NBSF) AmeriCorps Program.



Stuck at home? We’ve got you covered – Let’s kick-off summer together with Clammed Up!

From June 12th – 19th you can be part of the festivities by purchasing a clambake with lobster from Mike’s Restaurant to enjoy in the comfort of your home, enjoy entertainment by musician Mike Silva, learn how to make what is sure to be your new favorite cocktail with The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash, and bid on our online auction filled with local getaways, seaside art, experiences and more!

Here’s the schedule of what to expect:

Friday, June 12

Noon: Online auction launches

4-6:30 pm: Clambake with lobster pick-up (#1)

Thursday, June 18

5 pm: Tune in on United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Facebook page for The Cocktail Guru’s “Some Good Booze” segment featuring Clammed Up’s signature cocktail

Friday, June 19

4-6:30 pm: Clambake with lobster pick-up (#2)

7-10 pm: Tune in on United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Facebook page for a Clammed Up concert brought to you by musician Matthew Silva

9 pm: Online auction closes

Reserve your Clambake to enjoy at home during Clammed Up!

Clambake with Lobsters are $60 each and will be cooked for you by Mike’s Restaurant and will include all the traditional items we feature at the annual clambake including: clams, linguicia, sausage, red potatoes, onion, corn on the cob, a cup of Mike’s “Award Winning” clam chowder, and of course a lobster! Meals are not complete without dessert- so we’re adding in a S’mores Black Tie Cookie!

Clambakes can be picked up either Friday, June 12th or Friday June 14th at Mike’s Restaurant – but only if you reserve your meal ahead of time!

Get your tickets now!


In Greater New Bedford, residents are already feeling the impact of COVID-19. Many local businesses have closed or moved to reduced hours, workers are either out of work or struggling to find child care, and schools have been closed until May. It’s an uncertain time and many are finding themselves in financial situations where they have to choose between food, rent and/ or medication.

United Way of Greater New Bedford is stepping in to help, and the City of New Bedford is actively supporting the effort. United Way has established the Help United – Greater New Bedford COVID-19 Response Fund to assist residents effected by the Coronavirus. This fund will provide cash assistance to out of work service workers and retired or out of work seniors over 65 in the Greater New Bedford area.

“United Way is no stranger to helping those in most need in our community. We have been working around the clock to ensure people have what they need during this difficult and uncertain time,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO. “We’ve set up the Help United Fund to assist residents financially and our Hunger Commission is making sure local food pantries are well stocked.”

The Help United Fund is the only local fund being endorsed by the City of New Bedford and Mayor Jon Mitchell.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has abruptly turned upside down the lives of many of our fellow residents of Greater New Bedford, some of whom will not be eligible for federal relief.  It is with them in mind that United Way launched this fund,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “I encourage everyone in our region to step forward with whatever you can afford in support of our friends and neighbors.”

Mayor Mitchell has appointed Christian Farland as Chairman of the Help United Response Fund.  Mr. Farland is a professional civil engineer and the founder and President of Farland Corporation, Inc., a site contracting company specializing in residential and commercial site development, and the President of Thompson Farland, Inc., a civil engineering land surveying company.

“The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on our community is unprecedented,” said Farland. “As a business owner with deep ties to New Bedford, I am increasingly concerned for the service workers in our cities and towns, laid off or working reduced hours that compromise their ability to provide for their families. I am confident in United Way of Greater New Bedford’s ability to effectively raise and designate resources to those in need, and proud to support this effort.”

You can make a donation to the Help United Fund by texting HELPUNITED to 313131 or visiting unitedwayofgnb.org.

“We aren’t sure how long our community will be impacted by the coronavirus, but the more donations we receive, the longer we will be able to support residents and keep them in their homes,” said Hantman.

Those looking for assistance from the fund can review the guidelines and apply at unitedwayofgnb.org/help-united.

In addition to the financial assistance to residents, United Way’s Hunger Commission continues to deliver food to pantries in Greater New Bedford. Restaurants with food they are unable to use are encouraged to donate their food to the Hunger Commission by calling 508-994-9625.Those looking for food assistance should visit unitedwayofgnb.org to see an up-to-date list of open pantries and their hours.

Anyone with questions regarding COVID-19 should dial 2-1-1 to get information. Mass 211 is a 24/7, free, confidential hotline that provides information on local resources. 211 has been designated by the Department of Public Health to answer your questions. Mass 211 is funded by local United Ways.

WELLESLEY, Mass. — Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation announced Tuesday it will give more than $3 million for COVID-19 relief efforts by supporting the community and nonprofit organizations in Conn., Maine, Mass., and N.H.

“In this time of uncertainty and rapidly changing dynamics, it’s incredibly important that we provide support for our members and the medical community, as well as financial support to organizations that are assisting our neighbors in need,” Michael Carson, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, said in a press release. “This is our initial community funding support to meet the immediate needs individuals and small businesses are facing in our communities.  As this unprecedented pandemic continues, we are committed to further reinforcing community efforts across the region in addition to caring for our members and supporting our providers. On behalf of my colleagues at Harvard Pilgrim, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the medical personnel who are working tirelessly on the frontlines of this pandemic.”

As part of its initial $3 million distribution of funds, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has committed dedicated resources to community-focused initiatives including the engagement of select restaurants throughout the region to provide and deliver take-out meals to families in need and helping to put people back to work.

  • COVID-19 Assistance Fund. Two expedited grant programs, totaling $1.5 million. A total of $500,000 will be awarded to local nonprofit organizations that assist older adults in Mass., Maine and New Hampshire impacted by COVID-19.  A total of $1 million will be awarded to local nonprofit community service organizations helping people respond to the impact of COVID-19 in Conn., Mass., Maine and New Hampshire.  Grants are available up to $10,000 each.
  • Organizations can review grant guidelines when they create an account at the following links: Grants for Nonprofits Serving Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic Grants for Nonprofit Community Service Organizations Serving Residents During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Local Relief Grants.  A total of $1 million in grants is being awarded to leading nonprofits in Conn., Mass., Maine and New Hampshire to help provide food, transportation assistance and other support services in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (see list of grant recipients below.)
  • Community Spirit Mini Grants.  Harvard Pilgrim’s mini-grant program, which enables every Harvard Pilgrim Health Care employee to award $500 annually to the charity of their choice, has been extended so that colleagues can support local non-profits on the front lines of the crisis, meeting specific community needs related to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 local grant recipients are as follows:

Connecticut COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipients:  Total $250,000 

  • $100,000 – The Hartford Foundation, COVID-19 Response Fund.
  • $50,000 – CT Food Bank, Community-based food access.
  • $50,000 – Foodshare (Bloomfield), Food pantry on wheels, meal delivery.
  • $25,000 – Town of Plymouth, Community Food Pantry.
  • $25,000 – Clifford Beers (New Haven), Supporting mental health services for youth impacted by COVID-19.

Maine COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipients: Total $220,000 

Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipients: Total $280,000

  • $250,000 – Boston Resiliency Fund (Boston), Supporting City of Boston residents most affected by COVID-19.
  • $10,000 – Boys & Girls Club (Worcester), Food access.
  • $10,000 – United Way of Greater Fall River, COVID-19 Relief Fund.
  • $10,000 – United Way of Greater New Bedford, COVID-19 Relief Fund. 

New Hampshire COVID-19 Relief Grant Recipients: Total $250,000

  • $100,000 – New Hampshire Food Bank (Statewide), Food access.
  • $50,000 – Granite United Way (S. New Hampshire), COVID-19 Relief Fund.
  •  $25,000 – North Country Health Care Consortium (Coos County), Meals for older adults.
  • $25,000 – St. Joseph’s Community Services (Nashua), Food access.
  • $10,000 – Boys & Girls Club (Manchester), Food access.
  • $10,000 – Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, Meals for older adults.
  • $10,000 – Home Healthcare Hospice + Community Services (Cheshire County), Meals for older adults.
  • $10,000 – Rockingham Nutrition Meals on Wheels (Rockingham County), Meals for older adults.
  • $10,000 – Strafford Nutrition and Meals on Wheels (Strafford County), Meals for older adults

Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded $155 million in funds and resources throughout the four states. For more information, visit www.harvardpilgrim.org/foundation.

United Way chapters across the Commonwealth are committing an additional $55,000 to the operations of Mass 2-1-1 to help staff meet the high call volume due to inquiries about COVID-19 resources and assistance.  Since Mass 2-1-1 was designated on March 13, 2020 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Association as the official COVID-19 resource and referral line for residents, it has fielded more than 12,800 calls related to the crisis. 

“People are increasingly distressed about the impact that the COVID-19 virus is having on their lives,” said Michael K. Durkin, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.  “As we would expect, callers are inquiring about information and resources for unemployment, housing, childcare and food, among other concerns.”

Mass 2-1-1 has expanded hours and services to help meet the need.  United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley is making an emergency grant of $30,000 to help increase staff to answer the increased number of calls.  The United Way of Central Massachusetts is committing an additional $20,000 of funding to Mass 2-1-1, and the Berkshire United Way and Northern Berkshire United Way are contributing $5,000 in emergency funding.

“During this time of uncertainty, I hope everyone in the Commonwealth makes use of Mass 2-1-1,” said Congressman Jim McGovern. “Thank you to the United Ways in Massachusetts for creating this service and for stepping up during this crisis to invest more funds and expand the 2-1-1 service.”

“United Ways across the state are taking the lead to help residents find the resources necessary to make sure they are staying well during this national emergency,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President and CEO of United Way of Greater New Bedford. “Mass 2-1-1 is an amazing resource that all United Ways take pride in. They are providing the most up-to-date information to ensure residents have the important details they need to keep their families safe.”

Massachusetts 2-1-1 is providing real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages. Residents can call 2-1-1 to learn more about:

  • COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and treatment
  • Information about testing
  • Guidance for people planning or returning from travel

Massachusetts 2-1-1 is open to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Operators fluent in Spanish are available, and more than 150 other languages are supported through an interpreter services line that is available 24/7.

Residents with questions should dial 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone. Callers dialing 2-1-1 will hear an automated menu of options. Callers press 2-6 for coronavirus. Residents can also reach 2-1-1 through a live chat option on the Massachusetts 2-1-1 website.

In 2019, Mass 2-1-1 received 151,389 calls and had 92,279 web queries from residents of the Commonwealth seeking assistance. Mass 2-1-1 was created  in 2006 to provide information and referrals for health and human services to all residing in Massachusetts, and has been funded each year by United Way organizations across the Commonwealth, including United Ways of Tri-County, Pioneer Valley, North Central, Berkshire, Northern Berkshire, Cape and Islands, Acton-Boxborough, Franklin County, Greater Fall River, Greater New Bedford, Greater Plymouth County, Hampshire County, Southbridge, Sturbridge & Charlton, and Webster and Dudley, along with United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and United Way of Central Massachusetts.

About Massachusetts 2-1-1

Mass2-1-1 is the 24/7 statewide information and referral line available in 140+ languages that connects callers with critical social service programs and organizations in their local community. It can be reached by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone in the state. Mass2-1-1 is a free information and referral service provided through funding from three contracts with the of state of Massachusetts to be their official 24-hour call line, as well as funding from 19 local United Ways across the state.

United Way of Greater New Bedford is aware that especially in these uncertain times, access to food and other basic needs is crucial for families. If you find yourself struggling to feed yourself and your family, here are some places in Greater New Bedford that you can go. Our Hunger Commission serves all of these locations.

For families with school aged children, New Bedford Public Schools has set up Grab & Go meals sites from 11:30 am -1 pm Monday through Friday. These sites are Alfred J. Gomes Elementary, *NEW SITE* Brickenwood Housing, Campbell Elementary, Carney Academy, Hayden-McFadden Elementary, Lincoln Elementary (Moved to Normandin Middles School on 3/30), Keith Middle, and Roosevelt Middle

At Dartmouth Public Schools ALL children under 18 can receive meals – two breakfast and lunches will be provided to take home. No ID or proof of school enrollment is required, but the child must be present. Families will be able to drive through to pick up meals – Location: Quinn Elementary School, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 11:00am-1:00 pm.

Click here to view all open Food Pantries on the SouthCoast.

For additional food resources, check out Grub to Give.

United Way of Greater New Bedford is establishing the Help United Fund to be activated in times of crisis including the current COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is a dedicated resource for working families and organizations affected by the COVID-19. 

Mobilizing United Way’s broad network of nonprofit agencies, the Help United Fund will provide a flexible source of cash assistance to help families and organizations through this crisis.

“On the SouthCoast, many families are one paycheck away from severe hardship,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO of United Way of Greater New Bedford. “We’ve been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and over the weekend we’ve seen the closures of schools and workplaces throughout the communities we serve. These closures carry with them an unprecedented financial hardship for hourly, low-wage workers. At United Way, we are preparing to help residents in any way we can.”

In Massachusetts, 2 in 5 workers lack sufficient savings to withstand a sudden loss of wages. Additionally, many nonprofit agencies will face financial disruption. Postponed or cancelled fundraising events lead to a loss of funding that community-based organizations depend on.  This support is crucial to their regular program work and operations and will put serious pressure on nonprofit operating budgets. United Way has already postponed one fundraising event itself and may have to postpone others.

United Way is committed to serving the needs of Greater New Bedford through the Help United Fund. You can join United Way’s efforts by making a donation to the Help United Fund by texting HELPUNITED to 313131 or visiting unitedwayofgnb.org

During this uncertain time, United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Commission will continue operations to ensure local pantries and shelters are receiving food for an uptick in client needs and Mass 211, a United Way program, is collaborating with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, to provide consumer help during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This free, confidential hotline provides information on programs and services year-round, but will also now serve as a comprehensive source of information and referrals related to COVID-19 in the coming weeks. Anyone looking for information on prevention, symptoms, treatment, testing, or what to do if returning from travel should call Mass 211 by simply dialing 2-1-1 from a landline or cell phone.  

For more information, visit unitedwayofgnb.org.

With a lot of uncertainties in the upcoming days and weeks, we wanted to remind all service providers about Mass 211, which is the 24/7 statewide information and referral line available in 140+ languages that connects callers with critical social service programs and organizations in their local community year-round.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has announced that Massachusetts 211 will now provide real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals. Mass 211 is made possible by local United Ways and the state of Massachusetts.

Through this partnership with Mass 211, DPH subject matter experts are expanding access to information 24/7, and empowering call operators to provide the latest information about the status of COVID-19 response efforts in Massachusetts. At peak call times, DPH staff will augment the call team to ensure residents’ questions are answered without delay. This new service is in addition to a dedicated site mass.gov/covid19, which is updated daily with information and resources.

Residents across the state can call 2-1-1 to learn more about:

  • COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and treatment
  • Information about testing
  • Guidance for people planning or returning from travel

We encourage you to share this information with your networks to ensure residents can have their answers to their COVID-19 related questions answered by experts from DPH.

Mass 211 also operates the Call2Talk hotline for mental health, emotional support, and suicide prevention. Call2Talk also operates 24/7 and provides confidential, compassionate listening to assist people during stressful times.

Mass 211 can be reached by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone in the state.

In addition to the services provided by Mass 211, United Way of Greater New Bedford has launched the Help United Fund to assist those locally affected by Coronavirus. We are currently exploring ways to get financial support to those who need it. We welcome your suggestions and welcome your promotion of this effort. Donations can be made by texting HELPUNITED to 313131 or visiting unitedwayofgnb.org.

United Way of Greater New Bedford is accepting proposals for Community Impact funding beginning March 4, 2020.  Community Impact grants are aimed to support the most effective existing programs and services in United Way’s target areas of health, education, financial stability, and basic needs.

Nonprofit organizations and public entities are eligible to apply for $10,000 – $25,000 for operational support to continue, maintain, or expand already existing high quality programs and services.

Proposals must directly align with UWGNB’s priority areas and target issues and must have the existing infrastructure to track specific program indicators. Programs and services must be available to residents in United Way of Greater New Bedford’s service area: Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, and Wareham.

Organizations and public entities interested in applying for a Community Impact grant must submit a Letter of Intent between March 4 – 18 (at noon), to United Way of Greater New Bedford. Letters of Intent (LOIs) must be submitted electronically at unitedwayofgnb.communityforce.com. Organizations should describe how their programs align with United Way’s priority areas, the expected outcomes of the program, etc.

LOIs will be reviewed and organizations selected to submit a full application will be notified and able to submit applications beginning March 30th and will be due by April 17th at noon.

“These grants have enabled local organizations to carry out such important work in the community.  We look forward to further investing in high quality programs that align with our priority areas and have a true impact,” said Anne Connolly Nichelson, VP of Community Impact.

As with all United Way grants, Community Impact proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by a Citizen Review Volunteer Committee made up of community members from Greater New Bedford.

Contact Anne Connolly Nichelson with any questions regarding the Community Impact grants at 508-994-9625 ext. 215 or anichelson@unitedwayofgnb.org.