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October 4, 2021 Giving Guide 2021


Future Goals

Incorporate COVID-19 Key Performance Indicators into agency-encompassing data analytics dashboard for regular review.

Systematize fast-cycle decision-making for ongoing pandemic response while completing short- and longer-term strategic plan responses to the new environment and lessons learned.

Review and redesign all service lines to ensure safety of the people we support, particularly those with high-risk profiles for infection, in alignment with Reopening Massachusetts standards and state agency guidelines.

Ensure a culture of safety, equity, and inclusion for all staff in HMEA’s diverse workforce.

Redesign service delivery for optimal efficiency and efficacy, including widespread use of telehealth, while maximizing revenue capture.

Identify provider partners for idea-sharing, leading to interagency innovation and sustainability.

With the Center for Developmental Disability Evaluation and Research at UMass, further develop the Health Advocacy and Tracking benchmarking system for 13,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Fundraising Opportunities

HMEA’s incredABLE 5K: On May 22, 2022, HMEA will host its 21st Annual incredABLE Day: a 5K run, community walk, and day of family fun. The event typically attracts over 2,500 attendees and requires 200 volunteers to meet our goal of raising $200,000, which is returned to our Residential, Day Services, Children’s, and Family Supports programs to sustain our mission. Sponsored by dozens of local and national partners, the day includes free, family-friendly activities for all abilities. Participants are provided comprehensive resources to assist in fundraising and information-dissemination efforts in their communities. For 2021, the event was again held virtually and involved many innovative fundraising methods; visit to learn more.

5K For Autism Acceptance: Held annually in April in Worcester, HMEA’s Autism Resource Central hosts its 5K run and walk for autism acceptance. A community of over 3,000 attendees and more than 100 volunteers come together for a day of all-ages family fun and entertainment. With the goal of raising $150,000, proceeds from the event support the continued provision of high-quality services and supports for children and adults with autism, and their families, in Central Massachusetts. For 2021, the event was held virtually and involved many innovative fundraising methods; visit to learn more.

Giving Opportunities

Annual Fall Appeal letters are distributed to the HMEA community, asking our audience to consider making a life-changing donation as we approach the annual season of giving. The letter features personal stories of some of the impactful ways HMEA’s services have empowered supported individuals and their families to reach for independence. 

Spring Appeal letters are sent prior to the close of HMEA’s fiscal year in June, inviting those who have not yet made a donation in support of our incredABLE fundraiser to make a meaningful impact on our programs. 

In-Kind Donations are gratefully accepted throughout the year and may include therapeutic equipment, adaptive exercise, assistive technology, communication devices, home furnishings, safety and cleaning materials, and more. Donations of raffle prizes and advertising for events are very much appreciated. Annual holiday drives for food and gifts for families supported by HMEA’s services are held in the fall and winter. 

Other: Donations in any amount can be made by texting the code “Give2HMEA” to 44321. Donations can be submitted at Donors may designate HMEA as their AmazonSmile and RoundUp beneficiary. Sponsors of the annual incredABLE Day event are valuable supporters and new relationships are always sought. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Along with many of our services, most volunteer opportunities at HMEA have also moved to virtual platforms. We invite virtual activism, networking, and mission- and information-sharing via our Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages; search for HMEA Inc. Our Board of Directors, Family Advisory Council, Human Rights, Development, and 5K Committees comprise critical volunteer roles; anyone interested in serving in these capacities is invited to contact the agency. As safety and health guidance allows, additional in-person volunteer roles for individuals and groups, such as maintenance of our Day Services sites and 26 group homes or logistics of fundraising events, are expected to increase; those interested are invited to connect with us via any of our platforms. Suggestions of volunteer roles, based on relevant skills, talents, or resources are always welcomed.


As the pandemic dictated the need to absorb and synthesize large, daily amounts of critical and ever-morphing information from multiple sources, traditional decision-making and communication have been disrupted and replaced by fast-cycle planning and response. HMEA stood up an Isolation Center in a matter of weeks and procured grant funding that has been instrumental in containing viral spread in group homes. The agency also quickly adopted telehealth and virtual support solutions across all service lines. 

The phases of redesign, reopening, and re-engagement in community life will require a continued commitment by government to fund extraordinary expenses related to keeping people with complex health conditions and their staff safe. Also critical is flexibility and reimbursement for alternative methods of service delivery as we move to a new normal over time.