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20 October 2023

Aspiring Toward Long-Lasting Impact in Our Community

by Moderna
Media Center > Blogs > Aspiring Toward Long-Lasting Impact > Hero

We are passionate about addressing the inequalities made even clearer by the pandemic, while contributing to the communities where we live and work. That’s why, in 2022, we launched the Moderna Charitable Foundation to support organizations that promote public health and access to quality healthcare, advance scientific education and innovation, and advocate for diversity and inclusion, particularly in underserved populations. 

At launch, we announced approximately $5 million in initial grants, including two local nonprofit organizations in the Boston area—Boston Medical Center’s Good Grief Program and Heading Home.

Thriving through grief and loss: The Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center 

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a mental health crisis impacting families everywhere. Data suggest that from April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, more than 140,000 children in the United States experienced the death of a parent or grandparent caregiver. The Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center provides trauma-informed, culturally responsive therapeutic services to children (age 0-18) impacted by death and acute loss and works tirelessly to best serve urban children and youth who have suffered multiple, traumatic losses. With the Moderna Foundation’s grant, Good Grief has been able to respond to the urgent need for services, while also adding language capabilities to their team to serve more children and families.

“Nayla is a 12-year-old girl who connected with the Good Grief Program after her father died from complications secondary to COVID-19 and is now living with her maternal grandmother. Nayla has been estranged from her biological mother since she was young because her mother carries a substance use disorder. When Nayla walked through the doors of the program, she quite literally embodied rainbows and butterflies. Her early artwork depicted sunshine and rainbows and inspirational messages such as, “Everything will be okay” and “Kindness is cool.” Despite Nayla’s bright smile, her Good Grief therapist detected that there was pain and sadness being pushed out of sight. In a recent session, Nayla’s therapist asked: “What does grief look like?” Nayla selected an image of a single, rotten apple surrounded by fresh apples and shared that grief feels ‘like a rotten apple. Everyone is happy around me, but I stay in silence, suffering.’ This one question opened up a new pathway for Nayla and her therapist to begin to process her many losses. Their work is now focusing on the ways that Nayla wants to integrate her losses and grow beyond them. By focusing on the ways that Nayla’s experiences are growth-promoting, she can take her apple seeds and cultivate something meaningful. A simple exchange in the context of a trusting relationship highlights the powerful potential embedded within grief therapy.” 

- Story shared by Boston Medical Center’s Good Grief Program, U.S.

(some details were changed to protect patient privacy)

Addressing disparities right at our front door: Heading Home

Just a quarter mile from Moderna offices in Central Square, Cambridge, Heading Home, one of Massachusetts’ leading providers of shelter and housing, knows first-hand the devastating downstream health impact when people are unhoused. With Moderna’s help, Heading Home has embarked on building 16 permanent supportive housing units for adult individuals with co-occurring health and disabling conditions. Supporting over 2,000 adults and children this year in Heading Home’s housing-plus-services model, clients receive essential stable housing options with dedicated case management, economic mobility coaching, and specialized clinical support with licensed social workers. For 18 consecutive years, Heading Home’s retention rates have been 90+; in 2023, 95% of clients retained permanent housing for at least one year.

Media Center > Blogs > Aspiring Toward Long-Lasting Impact > Picture 1

Moderna volunteers have participated in holiday decorating, shelter clean-ups, and helped outfit an apartment for a family moving into their new permanent home

“The Massachusetts housing crisis, fueled by low affordable housing stock, an exceptionally high cost of living, and childcare costs that are among the highest in the country, is a financial stability disruptor for those barely making ends meet. With the Moderna Charitable Foundation, we share concerns about homelessness as a public health issue and the ongoing disparities that this population has experienced as a result of COVID. With housing as a social determinant of health, we know that outcomes for underlying clinical/medical co-occurring conditions improve for clients, once housing is in place.”

- Suzanne Picher, Heading Home Inc., Boston, U.S

The Foundation is an extension of the societal impact we have made with our COVID-19 vaccine and seeks to be a full partner in the pursuit of health and education equity. We continue to challenge ourselves and to expand the impact that our commitments can have on our stakeholders. We are excited about the journey ahead to build the most impactful version of Moderna.

To learn more about how we advanced our ESG strategy and our plans for the future, read our most recent ESG Report here.