Emergency Funds for Boston Area Service Workers


Hello! Some big news: we have closed our first round of fundraising and opened our second round. For our first round, we were able to raise $17,000. This money was distributed among 160 workers based 5 self-indicated levels of need. We are extremely proud of these efforts and humbled by the ability of the Greater Boston community (and beyond!) to support our fellow workers. Thank you to all who donated and shared this community cause.

For our second round, we have 335 individuals who have reported a loss of income, or unemployment entirely that we need to continue to support for this second round of fundraising; we hope to raise at least $25,000 more for these workers. What else is different about this round? We’ve partnered with Craft Beer Cellars (CBC) to provide curated Beer Tasting experiences. CBC will provide the beer, and we will provide virtual tasting classes. Check back in a few days for details on this perk; if you donate now, we'll contact you with your options this week!

We will distribute these funds in mid April, through venmo, paypal, and mailed checks. We’ll update this page so you all can see the progress your donations are making!

For workers: we are currently raising fundraising to support the 335 workers who filled out our second-round forms. Please check back in a few weeks for updated information on our next rounds of fundraising!

See below for original page text:

Given the recent and rapid developments of COVID-19 - unexpected closures of local businesses in the Greater Boston area have led to the total and partial unemployment of service industry workers. At least 10% of the workforce works in restaurants, which means the income of at least 487,539 people in the Greater Boston Area has been affected this week. Nearly half a million industry workers who had income last week are waking up this morning suddenly and starkly without a job, and therefore without an income. 

While COVID-19 affects all of us, it is tangibly affecting service industry workers right now. If your income has not been impacted this week; if you will see a paycheck this week or next, please consider donating any amount (perhaps the amount you would have tipped over the next few weeks under normal circumstances). This is a chance to move capital and resources urgently in a rapidly developing global issue impacting our local communities - something our government cannot do. Unemployment claims can take upwards of 28 days to process - this means that individuals and families may not have access to any financial support for nearly a month. This is a chance to support individuals directly and immediately, alongside supporting the local businesses we work for. 

Who are we? The 300+ workers who have requested access to our funds raised are fellow Boston area service industry workers: friends, friends of friends, and the staff of our favorite cafes, bars and restaurants. Your local bartenders, the hardworking kitchen staff, the barista who makes your morning cup, your waitresses/waiters serving you your favorite meals, the hostesses/hosts taking all of your reservations, and the barbacks who take care to keep our community spaces clean and thriving. 

The organizers of this fundraiser are two women whose place of employment, a local brewery, just shut down its front of house operations indefinitely. When we close this fundraiser later this week, we will withdraw the funds into Gabby’s checking account and immediately distribute the funds to all Boston area service industry workers who filled out our google form (linked above) in our first week of fundraising. We will keep none of these funds, and we will post receipts of each Venmo and PayPal transaction (names blurred out) to assure donors that we have distributed every dollar raised. We have asked workers to indicate the urgency of their need for funds to cover life expenses (for rent, groceries, childcare, etc.), and we will be distributing these funds in 5 tiers according to level of need; for example, everyone in need-level 3 will get the same amount of money (at least $40).

If you’re unsure of how much to donate, here are some guidelines:

$20: the cost of one worker’s wifi this month.
$50: the cost of one worker’s utilities this month.
$100: enough to support one worker’s groceries for 2-3 weeks.
$500: enough to supplement grocery costs for 5 workers! 
$1000: enough to support one worker’s rent for this month of unemployment.

Thank you for taking rapid action to support fellow members of our community.

Donations ()

  • Madeline DiLorenzo 
    • $50 
    • 7 hrs
  • Brendan Halpin 
    • $25 
    • 8 hrs
  • Mike Sheehy 
    • $300 
    • 17 hrs
  • Bailey Fulton 
    • $5 
    • 21 hrs
  • Colleen Lanier 
    • $50 
    • 21 hrs
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Gabby Bonfiglio 
Organizer
Somerville, MA
Emily Beaulieu 
Team member
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