The Norwood Fund

Frequently Asked Questions
Issue Date: 
May, 2020
Article Body: 

Why is the Town Doing This?
We care about residents and want to do everything in our power to help those in need. We’re focused on the basic needs of residents and trying to supplement what is out there and those that may fall through the cracks. We want one area for individuals to send donations to that can have the most reach to residents and to focus on Norwood residents.
Is the Town the Appropriate Agency?
We are committed to our residents and we can ensure there is transparency and accountability. We also have disbursed donated funds in this fashion (though not the anticipated volume) for many years. There is no additional overhead cost and 100% of donations stay in Norwood.
How Can I Donate?
Online at (Click on link that says Cable, Excise Tax, Property Tax, and Utility Bills and THEN on the left hand side click on COVID-19 DONATIONS)
Mail check or money order to 566 Washington Street ATT Norwood Fund (Makes checks payable to Norwood Fund)
Checks can be dropped off at Town Hall in any of our payment boxes.
You can take cash to a Norwood Bank or Bank of Canton branch and have a check made out to the Town of Norwood and then drop that off or mail that in
Can I Donate to Just One of the Funds?
While this is possible we are asking that folks view the “community chest” as one fund and we can distribute funds evenly among the funds as needed. Needs will change over time and we would not want to leave one area unattended to. By focusing on these four donation areas we can address a large portion of the neediest among us-seniors, veterans, those with food insecurity and those struggling with utility and other similar payments.
Who Makes Determinations on Funds?
The Town has existing protocols in place for each donation fund whereby decision are made on a case by case and need basis, following protocols for other programs with expanded ability to serve. For instance, our Gift of Warmth fund generally follows heat assistance guidelines; our senior assistance program has guidelines based on state and federal statutes, as well as veterans and food security. We are able to expand on these on a case by case basis. By expand we mean that we can take care of problems that are related to utility assistance or food or other assistance that other federal or state funds cannot assist with. An example is someone meeting income requirements
Who Oversees These Funds and Their Distribution?
The Gift of Warmth fund is a program of the General Manager’s office managed by the Town’s Director of Administrative Services Cathy Carney. The COA gift fund is managed by the Council on Aging and overseen by the COA Director Kerri McCarthy. The food security fund will also be overseen by the COA as the COA director has been appointed to be the point person on food security and has experience managing donation based food assistance. The Veterans Assistance Fund is overseen by Veteran’s Agent Teddy Mulvehill.
All funds are subject to the Town’s internal controls and accounting procedures complying with state and federal accounting guidelines and state statute. The Town is audited regularly and keeps an accounting of all funds according to strict state and federal guidelines.
Are There Income or Eligibility Requirements?
The only absolute requirement is to be a resident of the Town of Norwood. We are generally following established federal and state income guidelines but each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine need. Most resources distributed will be in the form of some wraparound or assistance, and generally will be one time assistance meant as stop gap measures until other federal or state programs kick in. The need however will be greater than our means to serve, so any donations will be distributed on an as needed basis and funds could run out at any time.

Is This Meant to Replace Various State and Federal Aid Programs?
No, we are the smallest unit of government with the least resources. We can’t compete with rent assistance and unemployment programs but we can help those who fall through the gaps and add on to those programs that currently exist to ease the burden for our residents.
What About Business Assistance?
There are a number of programs offered by the federal government that are applicable to businesses which can assist businesses on a level that we are not able to with local funds and donations. We STRONGLY encourage you to order from Norwood restaurants often to help as much as possible. Local businesses can contact our call center at 781-352-2363 and we can connect you with staff in our planning and economic development office that can guide businesses to resources available.
What Happens to Left Over Funds After the Emergency?
Even after the emergency there will still be a need for these funds to assist Norwood residents. Funds will remain in these donation accounts and can only be used for the purpose of helping Norwood residents in this area.
How Can I Ask for Assistance?
Please call the citizen information center at 781-352-2363. Call takers will refer you to available services and triage your specific concern and find the best means to assist you which may or may not be assistance from the Norwood Fund.