Partnering with our communities to make the places where we live and work stronger is a priority for the Vertex Foundation, especially during these unprecedented times. In support of #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving and unity organized in response to COVID-19, we’re sharing how the Vertex Foundation and Vertex employees support these efforts. While we’re responding to these circumstances, we’re also progressing key programs at the Foundation.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on the lives of so many people around the world. We’ve taken action to support our local communities globally. Last month, the Vertex Foundation announced a $5 million commitment to support COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. Donations helped organizations that are on the ground providing health care and health supplies and support for vulnerable populations through food, care and education. This includes a $1 million donation to Direct Relief and a $1 million donation to help establish the Boston Resiliency Fund as well as donations to many other relief organizations working in Canada, the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the U.S. (including Vertex communities of Massachusetts and San Diego).
We recently shared the impactful work of several relief organizations here. Since then, the Foundation has also made a donation to Food Banks Canada to support their COVID-19 Response Fund. Food Banks Canada is focused on securing support (food, funds and volunteers) for additional resources for the food bank network, which is facing increased demand.
“Thank you to the Vertex Foundation and its employees for supporting their neighbors in need. This money will be used to purchase food to keep those living with food insecurity afloat.”
-Chris Hatch, CEO, Food Banks Canada
The Foundation has also expanded its Matching Gift program, which matches Vertex employees' donations to eligible nonprofit organizations up to 5,000 USD (or local currency equivalent) annually. For eligible COVID-19 relief organizations, the Foundation is doubling its match, donating $2 for every $1 donated by an employee. As of April 30, the Vertex Foundation together with Vertex employees donated $317,999 to 32 organizations.
These grants and matching gifts in support of COVID-19 relief efforts are in addition to grants the Foundation makes to organizations focused on STEAM education, social innovation and healthy families.
We’ve set up virtual volunteering opportunities as another way for employees to give back to their communities. There are about 20 opportunities globally, including opportunities to support research and capacity-building and to support nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations. I’ve heard from our colleagues about how greatly they value the chance to continue to support others and help where they can during these times.
A great example of how we’re facilitating Vertex Volunteers is in London, where we are partnering with City Year UK to support the Hampstead School and its volunteer mentors. Six Vertex colleagues are serving as mentors to City Year UK volunteers to help with their professional development, as part of their Bridge Builders Programme. While this program was initially planned to take place in person, the group quickly transitioned to virtual interactions and they are developing relationships with their mentees. Another upcoming opportunity with City Year UK is an interview skills day, where Vertex Volunteers will conduct mock interviews online with volunteer mentors give them valuable practice and feedback in preparation for future job interviews.
We hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy, and we look forward to sharing additional updates from the Vertex Foundation throughout the year.