Covid-19 Relief Fund-Amherst Community Connections

April, 2021

Hey Supporters,

What is new? What is good happening in the world?

LOTS of new things and good things happening here in the little corner where Amherst Community Connections is!

A dad who lost his employment back in March 2020 found a job recently. With the resume and job coaching our caseworker did with him, he has been hired a month ago as an herbalist making small batches of herbal teas in a store. He is paid $17/hour. He is finally able to support his family now. He can buy food, and pay rent!

His family was facing eviction. They owed their landlord an upward of $15,000 rent. Their electricity was on the verge of being shut off. They owed the electric company Eversource $1,100 plus. Today, thanks to his ACC hardworking and persistent caseworker Tayonna, his application for rent and utility assistance through the Federal Pandemic Relief Fund has been approved! No more debts owed!  He and his family will have a clean slate. They can breathe easier, laugh more, and feel more hopeful.

Thank you for sending us your contributions. Behind the happy family is YOU who make our work possible. I think YOU can breathe easier, laugh more and feel more hopeful knowing that another family has food on the table, a roof over their head and keep their lights on. YOU rock!

I hope you and your family will be able to get together while keeping up with all the COVID-19 safety precautions.

 

Cheers,

Hwei-Ling Greeney

Amherst Community Connections

Founder & Executive Director
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January 20, 2021
Here is a reply from Tom.

Dear Hwei-Ling,
I am very glad, for it is in giving that we receive. (You know that this is one of the most important pieces of the secular catechism I have pieced together for myself. Thank you, St. Francis.) Thus, it wasn't shameless of you to ask. I appreciate the gift you gave me by giving me the opportunity to help a family in need."

Wishing you all the best for 2021.

Tom
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Below is an update about the homeless mom and her disabled children whom we were helping before the holidays.  I feel like I am offering you the Hallmark Holiday movies --cheezie but with a happy ending.  It is an email exchange I had with this particular donor Tom. 

January 19, 2021
Dear Tom,
What a month! While we were working hard to help the mom and the kids moving into their housing, January 6 in DC was an experience that is hard to forget. Hope you are doing well and giving thanks to the small things in life that bring you joy and delight!

I am writing this thank-you to you for the BIG joy and delight you have brought to Tawana and her family. Thank you so much for your $1000 donation a few weeks ago. On January 7—a week later than was anticipated, they moved into their first-floor apartment. It is good for the family -as one of the grown children at age 18, is in a wheelchair and needs assistance for walking and for daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing or toileting. Tawana is a strong and beautiful woman. Mother’s love for her children is boundless and enduring. Through your financial assistance and moral support, she is now able to continue providing care to the grown children who are with various degrees of disabilities—inside of a warm home with heat and running water.

I was shameless openly asking for donations from you. I did not know what to expect. Thank you for reaching out to me so quickly with no reprimand or despise for my actions. Thank you for helping her to see light at the end of the one-year journey in the tunnel of homelessness. Thank you for helping ACC walk the walk and do the work we are passionate about. Your love and caring are enduring and long lasting. I promise I will amplify what you give financially and light the path for many families who come to ACC after Tawana and her family.

Much to be thankful for. You are the delight and joy in my work today!

May 2021 continue to bless you and your loved ones health and happiness.

Hwe-Ling Greeney
Founder & Executive Director, Amherst Community Connections
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January 1, 2021
Dear Supporters of the ACC's COVID-19 Relief Fund,

Happy New Year to you! Did you stay up last night to observe the passing of 2020? Or were you like me--went to bed before the midnight and treated the New Year's Eve just like another night?
Either way, I am glad to be greeting 1-1-2021 with the appreciation that the sun is shing and that my family and I have a roof over our heads. 
With the additional donation since December 29 when I last updated you, we are at $2750! We are almost there. We need just another $250 to get to our goal of $3000. Here is a short update about the mom and her two kids:
They are moving in on Monday, January 4, 2021. The landlord is still working on putting in the linoleum floor and some final touches.  Our caseworkers are looking at finding a used stove and fridge to purchase for the family as the apartment does not have these basics. So far, we have checked into all the Salvation Army stores in the areas but no store has one to sell yet. In addition, we are looking for beds, kitchen table and chairs for them. These are things that you don’t normally have if you live out of your car. It is kind of exciting for me personally to see things coming together. But for the family, it is a long journey; they would be glad when they finally move in to their new home. I will keep you posted.

A huge thank-you to Joan, Christine, Andy, Valerie, Don and others who donated in the last 48 hours. Keep it up, folks. We are at the final “home” stretch!

Cheers,

Hwei-Ling Greeney
Founder & Executive Director
Amherst Community Connections
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December 29, 2020

Dear GoFundMe friends of ACC's COVID-19 Relief Fund,
A most sincere and heart-felt thank-you to Tom, Elizabeth, Maura, Art, Jess, Phil, Carolyn and Kyle. ACC has raised $2200 toward the $3000 goal to move the mom and her children to their home on January 1, 2021! A brave and determined mom who, as a domestic violence survivor, works as a personal care attendant with elderlies who are disabled and sick while also caring for her two severely disabled adult children who need basic personal cares such as feeding and diapering. They have been homeless sleeping in her car, couch surfing, or on the streets for the past year since she left her violent and abusive partner. ACC is working to raise $3000 to move them to their home on January 1, 2021 (Please read their story on my Christmas Eve posting below.)

Everyone needs a place to call home. No one should be homeless during the Covid-19.

You and I may not be able to change the world, but you and I can help change SOMEONE'S world!

Please donate and help!

Happy New Year (almost!)

Hwei-Ling Greeney
Founder & executive director
Amherst Community Connections
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Christmas Eve, 2020
Dear Tom,
Good morning to you. Hope this email finds you and your family well. The Pandemic has made this year a tough tough time for all of us including those who with, and without means! But I would venture to say it is harder for those without means. 
I am reaching out to you and a few other generous donors to help this family out. I seldom do so as you can tell that I have never begged in an email asking for financial assistance for people. 
Here is the upshot. A mom who is African American with two adult children who are both severely disabled including one of them requires total care such as feeding and diapering at age 18. The mom works as a personal care attendant with elderlies who are disabled and in need of care. As a victim of domestic violence, she suffered fractured faces and broken bones and had all her hair pulled out by her abusive partner. She is wearing a wig today to cover her baldness. She finally fled her home and took her disabled children with her about 13 months ago. They have been living on the streets, her car and sometimes with friends/families who could put them up from time to time. 
ACC has been working with her since January this year.
I am happy to report that she has found an apartment in Springfield that is handicap accessible for her disabled children and is close to their adult day care centers where they go when she is at work. 
The landlord would let her move in on January 1, 2021 if she can come up with the first, last month and security deposit. The monthly rent is $1000. The last month and security deposit is $1000 each. So altogether she needs $3000 to move in. 
I am reaching out to you wondering if you could contribute some money toward her move-in cost. Would this be something you can consider, Tom? I feel the desperation but the determination wanting to see her and her children get off the streets and into housing on January 1, 2021? 
Would you be kind enough to let me know of your decision? 
Thank you, Tom, for your most generous and kind consideration. 
Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season! 

Hwei-Ling Greeney
Founder & executive director
Amherst Community Connections
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December 2, 2020
We are grateful to Steve and all our kind donors. Together you helped this dad to have food at home and to buy gas to take his son to the doctor's. Read on.........
"Dear Steve,
A very heart-felt thank you to you for your most generous donation of $500 to Amherst Community Connections. We received it on Dec. 1, 2020. Your contribution is tax deductible. This has been quite a year for all of us. Thank you for sharing your blessings with those among us who are struggling. I got a call yesterday from a dad living in one of the hill towns in Western Mass. His wife passed away in April due to Covid. He has a son who is 18 but has autism so he is not able to comprehend that his mother had passed away. He continued to ask for her. The dad told me he had no food in the house and he also quitted his job to stay home to care for him since he has no one to take care of his son after his wife died. With generous donors like you, I am able to quickly commit a gift card to him today to buy groceries., and some money to buy gas for him to take his son to the doctors. I hope you know that your donation has been put to good use. I am so grateful to you for your wonderful donation. May your kindness bring you lots of joy and wellness.


Sincerely yours,
Hwei-Ling Greeney Executive director, ACC? 
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--Thanksgiving Night--
We MADE IT. Thanks to Alice, ACC has reached its 5-days-$500 goal by Thanksgiving Day!
Here is the thank-you letter to her. I shared with her a joy that I think you would want to know!

"Dear Alice,
Thanks to you for your $200 donation tonight before midnight, ACC made it to the fundraising goal of $500 before Thanksgiving Day! What a marvelous surprise and delight to be able to share this joy with you!

This morning, a mom and her 9 year old son came to ACC to pick out their house-warming gifts of hand-crafted warm blankets crocheted by our volunteer Sharon. The family was facing homelessness and insurmountable financial difficulties about a year ago. Today, I am extremely happy and thrilled to report that our caseworkers were able to help them move into a new home with the lease-signing date of December 1, 2020!

Thank you for caring and sharing during this very challenging time of Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. Your generous contribution of $ 200.00 to Amherst Community Connections Inc. has meant so much more for the vulnerable in the homeless community.

We want to celebrate their successes with you. We know that without you and your generous gift this magnificent transformation would not have been possible. Thank you for giving this wonderful gift of a “second chance”.

May you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. Keep up your hand washing and 6-ft social distancing. Together, we will get through it and come out stronger and kinder!

Stay safe. Stay well.

Yours in this challenging time,


Hwei-Ling Greeney
Founder and Executive Director
Amherst Community Connections Inc."
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Wed. Nov. 25, 2020
We are almost there! Today 10 more people have donated $389. So far, we are only $11 short of our $500 goal before Thanksgiving Day tomorrow! 

Tonight maybe one of you out there will sneak up and put in the difference!

Susan who volunteered with the Jewish Community of Amherst at the local soup kitchen that I used to run back in the 90's came through with a wonderful donation today! It is so good to hear from an old friend after all these years--in light of COVID-19!

At least, we are thankfully knowing that we are both still alive despite the Pandemic! 

Hwei-Ling

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020
We just got $100 donation! We have $400 more to go before we can meet our goal of $500 before Thanksgiving Day.  Can you chip in and help us reach the goal?
Here is a thank-you that I wrote to the donor:
" Dear Cynthia,
Good morning to you.
Thank you for your most generous donation of $100 today--Nov. 24, 2020, to Amherst Community Connections. How are you? How is Evan? Hope all is well with you and the family.
ACC has been working hard--with the diligent and tech-savvy interns starting with Evan, we are able to move the organization forward serving nearly 700 households yearly in the community who experience homelessness or housing instability. Please look at our ACC website and read the bios Celebrating Excellence  of all the interns. You will be proud that Evan was among the first of the group of interns who started this tradition of ACC tapping into the pool of talented young people in the higher education institutions here in Amherst.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hwei-Ling Greeney ACC executive director"

Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020
We all have a lot to be thankful this Thanksgiving. Hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

I am well; so are my family. My grown children are spread out in NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC.  We will be together through Zoom on Thanksgiving Day. Each will have a feast on the table when we check in. How about you? How to be together while remaining separate during this Covid-19 Thanksgiving? 

Share with us here of your ideas!

In the next five days before Thanksgiving, ACC wants to raise $500 ($100/day).

Can you share your Thanksgiving blessings today and help us achieve the goals?

Summer 2020
Their Stories During Covid19 Update: During this Covid-19 crisis, ACC reaches out through its TeleSupport , to the nearly 300  families who have been receiving help from us. We make sure that they have food, housing, are not in danger of domestic violence, and other needs. 

Some touching stories are shared by our case workers:Isabel , Julia  , Sophia  , and Grace  .

We are in it together. Through sharing, we show we care. 

Hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

My best to you,

Hwei-Ling Greeney
Executive Director & Founder

OUR STORY:
Amherst Community Connections is an organization that seeks to provide information, referrals, and outreach resources to vulnerable individuals that do not have access to the fundamental human right of housing.  ACC serves as a one-stop resource center that focuses exclusively on tackling the prevalent problem of homelessness in the local community. ACC believes that the first step in helping the homeless population is through personal empowerment. This empowerment is pursued by setting obtainable goals and working in small steps with participants. In doing this ACC believes that individuals will begin to feel more entrusted in themselves and their ability to make necessary changes in their lives. By acting as a one-stop resource center ACC has the versatility to help participants with many of their needs such as getting housing vouchers, replacing personal documents, cell phone applications, food stamps, Social Security benefits, veteran benefits, and referrals to mental health providers, crisis centers, detox services and many other resources to help in achieving long terms sustainability.

BUT we can not achieve all of this on our own! The community of Amherst needs your help! ACC has been working hard to secure long-term sustainability and help to find personalized solutions to secure housing for those in need. However, without our network of future and current donors, we will have trouble reaching our goals and making a difference for those in our community.

We kindly ask you to consider making a donation of any size to help us achieve our mission.

Your support is essential!

We thank you in advance for any and all contributions

For additional information about our organization check out our Website. http://www.amherstcommunityconnections.net/

Donations

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  • Kathryn Colavito 
    • $100 
    • 10 d
  • Samuel Hannigan 
    • $50 
    • 14 d
  • Carol Gray 
    • $25 
    • 15 d
  • David Fay 
    • $100 
    • 15 d
  • Meryl Mandell 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer

Hwei-Ling Greeney 
Organizer
Amherst Community Connections 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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