News | March 18

3/18/20: Update on coronavirus and LSC activities

Life Science Cares is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely for the safety of our staff, our volunteers and visitors to our events. We are following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state public health organizations.

Out of an abundance of caution and to protect vulnerable populations our partners may serve, all volunteer shifts between now and 4/11/2020 have been cancelled. Any registered volunteers have been notified by email. Any questions should be directed to Amber at amber@lifesciencecares.org.

Currently, we intend to host our Annual Impact Breakfast as planned on May 11th. We are exploring the possibility of postponing the event or providing remote capabilities to attendees if needed and will share updates with the community should anything change.

Our partners still need your help! For organizations serving vulnerable populations like individuals experiencing homeless or kids experiencing food insecurity, the restrictions, cancellations and impacts we all feel are being felt ten-fold. Life Science Cares has been in touch with all of our partners to understand how our industry might help now, as needs are changing quickly.


Volunteer at home with your family for Room to Grow

Room to Grow offers structured coaching, material goods, and community connections to support parents of young children as they activate their natural strengths and expand their knowledge, so children thrive from the start. You can support them, and keep your family entertained, by making a No Sew Fleece Blanket at home. Simply order the blanket here, make it together, and drop it off with Life Science Cares at a later date.


Cradles to Crayons most needed items

Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with items they need to thrive. In these challenging circumstances, vulnerable families across Massachusetts will need Cradles to Crayons more than ever for everyday essentials for their children. Their greatest need is new shoes, which will help relieve financial stress and uncertainty for families throughout our communities during this difficult time.


Provide families basic essentials

Just-A-Start works with hundreds of low-income residents and students who will be affected by gaps in income and resources due to COVID-19. Purchasing from Just-A-Start’s Amazon wishlist will directly provide necessary groceries and hygiene products to families without the means to purchase them.


Provide healthcare for the homeless

Boston Healthcare for the Homeless is working diligently to screen, test, isolate, and care for people experiencing homelessness who are affected by the virus. Their 124-bed medical respite program has transformed to accommodate as many as 30-40 persons with coronavirus infection, and they are working with their shelter partners to screen and find suitable places to send those who may be at risk and should not be in the large shelter settings. They are creating a mobile 24/7 team to respond to any questions or problems. BHCHP will engineer their network of clinics throughout the shelters, in Boston Medical Center and MGH, as well as our direct care on the streets and through home visits, to include telemedicine and phone calls as much as possible. 

If you are able to provide support to help with the unanticipated expenses needed to respond to this unprecedented public health pandemic, we would be so grateful. If you wish to donate to our COVID-19 Response Fund, please go to their website and comment LSC in your donation.


Bridge the healthy food gap at CASPAR

CASPAR’s Kendall Square homeless shelter relies heavily on volunteers and donations of food from companies and other nonprofits to feed it’s guests everyday. For at least the next month, CASPAR will not be bringing in volunteer groups for Cookin’ with CASPAR, but they still need healthy meal sponsors! Please donate here and note “LSC Food Gift” to ensure CASPAR’s guests continue to have access to healthy, high-quality meals.


Soap for Kids & Families

Through a network of 100 community partners, Hope & Comfort distributes basic hygiene products to 50,000 youth and families in need across Greater Boston each year. They are stepping up a rapid response to increased requests for soap and you can help. Shop off this wishlist and soap will be distributed ASAP.


Soap for Homeless Shelters

Circle of Hope provides clothing, toiletries, and other necessities to homeless shelters across Greater Boston. They are also seeing a significant increase in requests for soap to ensure guests in the close quarters of a homeless shelter are able to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves healthy. Shop off of this wishlist and soap will be distributed ASAP. 


Shifting to Online Learning for Training Programs

Project Hope (which serves low-income women and families) is preparing to suspend the in-person workforce and ESOL classes they host, and are hoping to move courses online. Because many students do not have the technology needed for this, Project Hope is looking for 30 Chromebooks for current students so that classes can continue.  If you have a laptop or Chromebook you can donate, please email amber@lifesciencecares.org. You can purchase a new Chromebook off this wishlist.


Support Displaced College Students

The Wily Network supports promising college students who are experiencing life challenges such as homelessness or foster care, or whose parents may be dealing with addiction, mental health issues, or incarceration– students who are trying to get through college on their own. The Wily Network is confirming housing for each Scholar as colleges close, but have asked for our support as students will need food and access to transportation over the next few weeks at least. Shop off our wishlist to send support.


Volunteer to distribute food

Food For Free is mobilizing a volunteer team to make sure our most vulnerable populations still get food. This will be a collaboration between people who are willing to assist in a safe way during this challenging time. Fill out this form to be contacted for opportunities!


We will continue to listen to our partners and work to support our neighbors in need as this pandemic unfolds. If you have any suggestions about how we can help, or any questions on these needs or others, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Stay healthy!