b'PROVIDING A LIFELINE IN A CRISIS\x07ood insecurity has long been a major problem in\x03ecausetheorganizerswouldntbeabletogetThanks to Elissas Massachusetts, where the high cost of living forcesI\x13S approval to establish a tax-exempt charitablecapabilities, manyresidentstochoosebetweenpayingbillsorganization quickly enough during the pandemic, andbuyinggroceries.\x03utwiththeonsetoftheElissa negotiated agreements with two nonprofits toavailability, and COVID-19pandemic,the WorcesterCounty\x07oodact as its fiscal sponsorsEastern \x03anks charitablecan-do attitude, \x03ank, like many other nonprofits across the state,arm and the \x03oston \x07oundation. In the early weeks faced a substantial increase in requests from peopleof her involvement, Elissa and a small team boughtthis fund was who had never before sought charitable assistance.U\x13Ls to prevent bad actors from defrauding would- able to achieve The food bank began to serve many new clientsbe donors, negotiated reduced fees for processing like \x0banet, who had been laid off from her jobcreditcarddonations,andhandledothersomething pretty and cried with relief after receiving an emergencyback-oceissues.Whenitcametimetobeginunprecedented. supply of food for herself and her three children.distributing funding, Elissa stepped into the roleWithin a 10-week With the continuing economic disruption, one inof fund counsel, helping to vet hundreds of grant seven people in the state is projected to experienceapplications and poring over reports to ensure theperiod, the fund foodinsecuritythisyear,comparedwithoneinmoney was being spent appropriately.was able to make eleven before the pandemic. Mintz took the notion of pro bono assistance to amore than 740 \x08overnor Charlie \x03aker and \x07irst Lady Lauren \x03akercompletely different level. Elissa was engaged at the began exploring the idea of a humanitarian reliefonset of the fund working tirelessly alongside megrants to 570 unique fund for those who wouldnt qualify for governmentand Lauren \x03aker as we stood up a statewide relieforganizations assistancetohelpthosedisproportionatelyfund in 1 days, said \x0boanna \x0bacobson, president ofserving vulnerable impactedbyCOVID-19.MintzattorneyElissathe One \x07oundation.\x07lynn-\x11oppey, who has advised the governor on aAlthough Elissa found reading the grant requestsresidents throughout variety of issues, immediately volunteered to help.everyweektragicandmoving,giventhegreatthe Commonwealth She started by assisting Lauren \x03aker and a localneeds in many communities, shes gratified that the charitable organization called the One \x07oundationwho have been with launching a private humanitarian relief fundfirms extensive support enabled her to devote so much time and effort to this critical undertaking. impacted by theMassachusettsCOVID-19\x13elief\x07undthe MA COVID-19 \x13elief \x07und within 1 days, and\x0cnowingthatMintzwashelpingtosavelivesCOVID-19.ultimately devoted hundreds of pro bono hours tothroughgrantsforfood,housing,medicalcare, the project over the next several months.and other humanitarian relief made me proud that \x03ymid-\x0buly,theMACOVID-19\x13elief\x07undhadMintz was providing a meaningful impact during the pandemic, Elissa said. JONATHAN RAYMONDraised 1. million and awarded 1. million toExecutive Director1 community foundations, which supported overWith direct grants from the MA COVID-19 \x13eliefMassachusetts COVID-19nonprofits across Massachusetts as well as the\x07und, Massachusetts nonprofits will now be ableRelief Fundstates largest food banks. \x07unding priorities includetoassistmorepeoplewithfoodrelief,housing, foodinsecurity,individualswithdisabilities,medicalcare,immigration,andneedsrelatedto immigrants, homelessness, and support for healthhomelessness,andprovidemoresupporttoour care and other essential workers.essential and health care workers.Sincetheverybeginning,Elissahasbeenone of the three main people building this fund and executing it. Shes been instrumental in helping us bring the model to life, Lauren said.RESILIENCE // Mintz Pro Bono Journal 21'