Update from Superintendent Salim: March 19, 2020

Dear CPS Community,

During this unprecedented time, the Cambridge community is pulling together in amazing ways, big and small, to support the needs of our children, youth, and families. We have received many requests from members of our community who are looking for ways to help.

For those interested, below you will find ways you can help right now:

  • Contribute to the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund: Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale recognize the severity of the situation and have activated the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance in partnership with non-profit organizations to individuals and families in Cambridge who are experiencing hardship caused by the current COVID-19 crisis. This relief fund largely depends on donations from members of the community. Secure donations can be made online or by mail. More information here.

  • Donate Digital Gift Cards: Gift Cards, particularly for cash or grocery stores, are a valuable resource for families struggling to keep food on the table and other essential supplies in the home. In fact, many credit card rewards programs allow you to convert your points or rewards to digital gift cards. Special thanks to our partners at Reservoir Church for initiating this idea and the non-profit organization Food for Free for helping us administer it.

    If you have digital gift cards that you wish to donate, email them to Food for Free. You’ll receive a receipt for your donation, and CPS will distribute these gift cards to prioritized families through our family liaison network.

  • Volunteer with Food for Free: Food For Free is mobilizing a volunteer team to make sure families facing food challenges receive food through food deliveries. Fill out this form to volunteer to help.

  • Be a Good Neighbor/Community member! As the quote goes, “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” There are ways we can support each other, even while we’re practicing “social distancing.” Two ideas:

    • Connect with seniors: Create letters or pictures with your children for elderly neighbors living in an assisted living center or nursing home, many of whom can’t receive visitors right now. We will post addresses in the coming days on our website.

    • Donate blood: The American Red Cross is seeking healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood or platelets to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages. Visit their website or call 800-RED CROSS to help.

I want to share a special thanks to the CPS staff that are working behind the scenes to make our daily meals program a possibility, including food services staff, bus drivers, and custodial staff.

On behalf of CPS families, I thank you for everything you are doing. Continue to send your ideas and questions to [email protected].

With gratitude,

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.

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