A fund launched by Gov. Charlie Baker and first lady Lauren Baker to assist communities hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak raised some $4 million in its first week, Lauren Baker said Sunday.
The first lady told NBC10 Boston the fund, launched April 6 with $13 million, now held some $17 million after a week of donations.
"We're feeling really good about this network we are building," Baker said, adding funds would be distributed to communities "withing the next few weeks."
The fund aims to help support essential front-line workers and other vulnerable communities, partnering with a network of community foundations and nonprofits with deep roots in their communities and boots on the ground to deploy the funds quickly.
Baker said many communities across Massachusetts were struggling.
"There are many communities in Massachusetts and many populations that... will struggle to make ends meet, and they've been acutely hard-hit by this COVID-19 health crisis and the accompanying economic downturn," she said.
As of Sunday, the state had reported 756 deaths and 25,475 overall cases from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
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Baker, who sits on the board of directors for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, urged anyone who can to donate blood, saying hospitals in the state require about 400 blood donations per day.
"It's important we continue to donate blood if we can," she said, adding each donation could save up to three lives.