BOSTON (CBS) – Gov. Charlie Baker and Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker announced they have launched the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund, which is aimed at helping people most impacted during the coronavirus crisis, is already up to $14 million thanks to early corporate donors.

The Baker family officially announced the fund’s creation Monday during a press conference at Eastern Bank Corporate Headquarters in Boston.

READ MORE: Military Jury Convicts Marine In Death Of Emerson College Student Daniel Hollis

The fund is designed to help healthcare professionals and first responders, households disproportionately affected by the impact of coronavirus, immigrant and undocumented residents, people with disabilities, and the homeless population.

First Lady Lauren Baker On Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund

 

Lauren Baker told WBZ-TV that with so many families struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus crisis, she wanted to use her platform to help.

“There are so many communities in Massachusetts that even in the best of times are struggling. These are communities filled with families who live paycheck to paycheck and right now they’ve been particularly hard hit by this COVID-19 health crisis,” she said. “Like so many people in Massachusetts, I want to help. I realize that as First Lady I’ve been given this incredible platform to draw attention to things that are important, and this is really important.”

Gov. Baker said the fund will rely on organizations that know best who needs the resources.

READ MORE: Worcester Aims To Reduce Illegal Fireworks After 'Alarming Increase Of Complaints'

“The goal here is simple,” he said, “which is to create a statewide fund that can support many of the local foundations and community assets that have been serving communities and people in Massachusetts for years and years and years to help those who are going to have the hardest time working through and dealing with all the economic consequence and public health consequence that’s associate with this particular virus make their way through.”

Lauren Baker said it has been inspiring to see Massachusetts residents step up during a time of crisis.

“The stories coming from Massachusetts about people doing special deeds for others is incredible. Those are the silver linings in this dark cloud,” she said.

So far, founding donors like the One8 Foundation, Eastern Bank, Bank of America, TJX, and Ernie Boch Jr. have helped the fund surpass $14 million.

The First Lady said there is no specific goal for how much the fund is aiming to bring in.

“The need is great and growing. In terms of how much money we need, the sky is the limit,” Lauren Baker said. “We are just going to try and raise as much money as we possibly can so we can deploy as much money is needed across the Commonwealth.”

For more information or to donate, visit the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund website.

MORE NEWS: COVID Vaccine Lotteries Don't Appear To Be Working, Report Says

“Every donation counts whether it’s $5, $50 or $5 million. Every dollar will go to serve people in need in every corner of Massachusetts,” Lauren Baker said. “With your help and generosity, we can weather this storm and come through it stronger together.”

Lisa Hughes