Grateful for the Support
To the Editor,
The year 2020 was a historically challenging and, for many people, devastating period where families and households coped with the loss of jobs, income, in some instances their homes, and in the worst cases the lives of loved ones. But together – as communities, as a Commonwealth and as nation – we did not lose hope.
The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division and our Chelsea Corps Community Center is grateful for the support, compassion, volunteerism and financial assistance that the Chelsea community helped provide to those most in need during the past year.
Raising funds through The Salvation Army’s traditional “Red Kettle” campaign was especially difficult, and in some areas impossible during the 2020 holiday season. But people in this and other communities responded to our Rescue Christmas initiative, as we found creative alternatives for raising funds between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day that will support our programming during the entire year.
People responded. Across Massachusetts, we were able to serve more than 14.5 million meals to our neighbors in need, provide shelter, utility, and other emergency assistance to individuals and families, and make sure that thousands of children had a real Christmas with gifts, decorations and a traditional holiday meal. Many were in the hard hit City of Chelsea. Statewide, The Salvation Army saw requests for assistance increase by more than 150% this year and thanks to support from our communities…we have been able to meet those needs.
But the great need is with us all year round. And so we ask that you keep those in mind who may still need help as we begin 2021 with renewed hope and optimism. Whether you need support or want support, The Salvation Army is still here serving. Thank you.
The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division
I Thank All Who Participated
To the Editor,
I want to thank Joan Cromwell, Dakeya Christmas and the members of the Chelsea Black Community organization for welcoming the Governor Bellingham~Cary House Association to be included in the CBC’s robust, thought provoking programs in honor of Black History Month 2021. The Feb. 3rd event about Fanny Cary Fairweather (1764-1844) was truly history in the making.
Chelsea residents shared the computer screen with an immigrant from India and a Boston native living in Portugal along with people from different towns in Massachusetts who ranged in age from 2 weeks old to 96 years of age. The historical facts presented were met with questions and opinions, and plans for more discussions in the future.
We don’t live in the past but we can learn from it. We can honor it and remember those who came before us. Everyone wants to be heard and on behalf of myself and the members of the G.B.C.H.A. Board of Directors, I thank all who participated in letting Fanny’s voice continue to resonate.
ÊKaren Mac Innis,
Governor Bellingham~Cary House Association
Vaccinate the Postal Workers
Dear Governor Baker:
We, the undersigned members of the Massachusetts General Court, are writing to respectfully request that you prioritize United States Postal Service workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as recommended by the CDC’s national Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP). These workers are currently designated in the CDC’s Phase 1b recommendation, but have not been specifically named in the state’s eligibility criteria for Phase 1 or Phase 2. This has led to confusion, and a plea for assistance from postal workers in our respective districts.
Postal workers have been on the front lines throughout the entire pandemic, and sometimes do not receive the credit they so rightly deserve. As the old adage goes, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” and in 2021, this motto should be updated to include the words “nor pandemic.” Every day since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, letter carriers and postal workers have shown up to ensure our mail gets to its destination. Postal workers interact with the public regularly, whether it is when delivering mail to a person’s home or in the post office when citizens are buying stamps or mailing packages. Further, as a result of the pandemic, the USPS experienced a major increase in workload, as the agency handled millions of mail-in ballots during the 2020 elections, as well as a surge in package deliveries through the holiday season.
Ensuring that these workers remain healthy is essential to averting backlogs that have plagued the USPS since the onset of the pandemic. As State Representatives and State Senators, we know the postal workers in our districts, and we share their concerns both for their health and their ability to continue their essential work. We urge you to acknowledge the public health value of their role, and explicitly name these workers in the state’s eligibility criteria as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration.
Jessica A. Giannino
16th Suffolk District
Brandy Fluker Oakley
12th Suffolk District
5th Suffolk District
Kevin G. Honan
17th Suffolk District
Jay D. Livingstone
8th Suffolk District