News | October 6

Life Science Cares and Former Governor Deval Patrick Honor Companies Fighting Poverty

Annual Impact Breakfast Raises $605K to Support 27 Greater Boston Nonprofits

On Oct. 6, Life Science Cares rallied life science, biotech, and medtech companies to take action against poverty during the organization’s annual Impact Breakfast fundraiser. The 2020 event, held virtually, raised $605,000 to support Life Science Care’s end-of-year grant making to a network of nonprofits providing basic human services, education and economic sustainability programs across Greater Boston.

A recording of the event is available online.

Sarah MacDonald, Life Science Cares Executive Director, spoke about the organization’s 2020 impact, highlighting the nonprofit’s COVID-19 relief efforts. Since March, 600 area biopharma executives and employees raised $1.8 million granted weekly to organizations providing shelter, medical care and food during the pandemic. Continuing to multiply its financial contributions with manpower, Life Science Cares partnered with local hospitals to recruit individuals with clinical and medical training and those who could help in non-clinical settings on the frontlines. And, the organization created virtual volunteer opportunities for individuals and families–from mentoring STEM students and rising college graduates to collecting food and clothing donations.

“At no point was the power of our network more apparent than when COVID-19 descended,” said MacDonald. “In March, we pivoted our day-to-day business to address a sudden surge in food insecurity, upheaval in schooling, and support for thousands of folks suddenly jobless and facing poverty. By giving more than just financial support to our nonprofit partners, we make a deeper impact than we would by just cutting a check by providing strategic support and helping nonprofits access the creativity of our sector.’ 

Former Governor Deval Patrick, the event’s keynote speaker, shared his thoughts on the community’s collective responsibility to uphold the ideals of equity and access to opportunity for everyone, especially people of color. Students of the nonprofit’s summer internship program Project Onramp, in partnership with MassBio, MassBioEd, and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, posed questions to the former Governor around resources and opportunities available to minority populations. He called on industry and its employees to continue to “take the long view” and invest time and energy in solving big problems.

“The line between business and government or business and civil society is a lot brighter in this country than it is elsewhere,” said Patrick. “Collaborating to solve problems across those lines leads to creative solutions in other places and we could stand to do more of that here.”

New to the annual Impact Breakfast this year, companies participated in the Life Science Cares Corporate Fundraising Challenge, a friendly competition in which companies rallied employees to engage in peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to raise money to support the organization’s 27 nonprofit partners. Syros Pharmaceuticals won the Impact Award for most dollars raised ($5,207.) Genocea received an award for highest employee participation—57 of the company’s 70 employees (over 80%) made a contribution to Life Science Cares. Finally, Surface Oncology won a special Early Bird award for being the first company to commit to the Challenge, raising $4,780.

Grantees include: BUILD Boston, The Possible Project, Girls Inc, Room to Grow, ABCD, BioBuilder, The Wily Network, Science from Scientists, CitySprouts, Breakthrough Greater Boston, International Institute of New England, Tech Goes Home, Year Up, Just-A-Start Corporation, Madison Park Development Corporation, Project Hope, Waltham Fields Community Farm, Household Goods, Pine Street Inn, Food for Free, Rosie’s Place, Hope & Comfort, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, Circle of Hope, CASPAR, Cradles to Crayons and Bottom Line.

Since its founding in 2016, Life Science Cares, a platform for members of the life sciences industry to give back while also giving nonprofits the funds and volunteer power necessary to grow and innovate, has worked with more than 350 companies to distribute more than $3.5 million in grants to 42 community organizations. In addition, Life Science Cares has directed more than 12,000 hours of community service from volunteers from the sector.