East Boston Comes TogetherApr 06, 2020 Blog Neoscape
As efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 take shape around the world, East Boston residents and businesses are coming together to create mutual aid networks and extend helping hands to their neighbors in this time of crisis. Eastie’s history of tight-knit communities dates back to the mid-1800s when the area was home to immigrant communities. Now, using modern communication tools that help keep individuals safe, East Boston residents are developing networks to help one another, and the team at The Mark is also here to support our neighbors.
The best way for East Boston residents to lend help or request it from their neighbors is through lists like the one being maintained by North End Waterfront. Here, residents can post their contact information as well as their capacities or needs to a digital bulletin board. From picking up groceries to walking dogs to raising money to help those whose work has dried up, East Boston residents are coming together to keep everyone healthy and fed without risking increased infections via social gatherings.
East Boston businesses are playing their part as well. East Boston Savings Bank announced that it would be extending financial aid services to its customers, ranging from waiving certain deposit restrictions to placing a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures to mortgage holders. “In our 172-year history, we have endured many devastating events,” said Richard J. Gavegnano, their President, CEO, and Chairman. “While these may be trying times, we will all stand together to get through this with the same integrity, strength, and hard work we have practiced throughout the century.”
Another East Boston institution making a positive impact during the crisis is the East Boston YMCA, which has turned its fitness facilities into makeshift centers that provide aid to the community. In addition to providing daily care and services to children of first responders and other essential workers, the East Boston YMCA is serving as a distribution point to provide school lunches to Boston schoolchildren who otherwise would go hungry due to school closures. Local YMCAs at Bremen and Ashley Streets have also set up daily food and pantry bag distribution points, providing vital resources for local families struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, government officials, volunteers, and the East Boston press are working overtime to get much-needed information about social distancing and other important health measures to the public. According to East Boston Times – Free Press, “teams made up of volunteers, city workers and Eastie’s elected officials went door to door in each corner of the neighborhood leaving multilingual COVID-19 flyers on doorsteps,” while local health care professionals continue to emphasize the importance of social distancing in stopping the spread of the disease.
Local governments and organizations of citizens are stepping in to serve the vulnerable and fill some of the gaps, and East Boston’s nascent mutual aid networks are able to build on long-held ties between residents and businesses.
Going forward, continue to look to The Mark for more information about mutual aid, community efforts, and other developments affecting East Boston.