Whether it’s unexpected car repair, an overdue rent payment or a dental bill, individuals and families in Sudbury can find themselves in a temporary financial bind with limited options for relief.
HOPEsudbury can assist with some of those needs with The Hope Fund, which can provide grants of up to $500 once a year for individuals and up to $1,000 once a year for families to help them cover a short-term financial crisis brought about by an unexpected expense. The money is raised by Sudbury residents with the goal of making sure that neighbors and friends, whose struggle is often silent, can get some financial relief and feel supported by the community.
Christina Granahan, Telethon co-chair and board member, said part of the challenge is the misperception that need doesn’t exist in higher-income communities like Sudbury.
“Last spring, I spoke to several groups in town and that was consistently the feedback. ‘Really? In Sudbury?’ People were blown away at how many relatively small grants were given to help people. The fact that the majority of requests for assistance are first time applicants demonstrates that this is often all that is needed to help bridge a gap for individuals and families until they are on their feet again," she said.
Need grows every year as Sudbury, and the country in general, struggle with long-term recovery from the recession that began in 2008 and resulted in pay cuts and job insecurity for a number of Sudbury residents and others.
“Every year, the need increases,” Granahan said. “This may be a function of changes in families' individual financial circumstances, the increase in the cost of living, the shifting burden of school expenses falling on families or just the fact that after 11 years, HOPEsudbury has become known in this community as partnering with the town social worker to make this happen.”
One of the primary fundraising tools for The Hope Fund is the Telethon and Auction, which will held this year on Saturday, Nov. 3, from noon to 10 p.m. at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.
The telethon will showcase the talents of a number of Sudbury residents who will sing and dance. The auction portion of the event will include hundreds of gift certificates, theater and sports tickets and other items, with the proceeds benefitting The Hope Fund.
Rachel Goodrich, auction donation co-coordinator, said some of the more high-profile items include tickets to the sold-out Kiss 108 Jingle Ball with pop star Justin Bieber and tickets to the Women’s U.S. Open semifinal tennis match. Other offerings include an autographed Patriots football, a wine tasting for 12, and a ride on a fire truck during the Fourth of July Parade next summer.
The event will be shown live on Sudbury TV (Comcast 8 and Verizon 31) and can also be viewed on-line at Sudbury TV.org.