In the weeks since a devastating 10-alarm fire in East Cambridge, the MIT community has banded together to offer aid and relief to the students, staff, and community residents who lost their belongings or homes during the Dec. 3 emergency on Berkshire and York Streets. From opening the doors to on-campus housing to making an Institute donation to the Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund, and inviting members of the community to do the same, MIT is standing with the impacted individuals and families. And now, thanks to the Graduate Student Council (GSC), there is a new way to provide sustained support for MIT graduate students impacted by the tragedy: a fire relief gift registry.
Spearheaded by the GSC’s Housing and Community Affairs Committee, the Amazon gift registry was designed to meet the direct needs of the eight graduate students who lost their belongings or homes. The GSC asked them to register for the household supplies and goods they need now and in the coming months and then invited the MIT community to purchase items off the registry by following these easy instructions:
- Visit amazon.com.
- Under “Accounts and Lists,” click on “Find a List or Registry.”
- Search for the email address firstname.lastname@example.org to find the “Cambridge Fire Relief” registry.
- Purchase items registered by displaced community members.
"This registry provides an opportunity for us to show compassion for members of our own community who have suffered,” states Ryan Gillis, GSC Housing and Community Affairs Committee co-chair. “I hope that we can reach out together and help the victims of this fire.”
The GSC’s generosity is in keeping with MIT’s larger response to the fire. In the immediate aftermath and in the weeks since the blaze, administrators, faculty, students, and staff have offered support in a variety of ways, including:
- The Division of Student Life contacted impacted students on the day of the fire to offer them open rooms in Tang Hall. Altogether, six students and their partners moved into Tang, and MIT Dining helped them get meals. Another family was moved into an open Westgate apartment.
- Human Resources highlighted its MyLife Services so that MIT employees (and family members) can access free assistance in the following areas: emotional support and counseling, as well as personalized legal, financial, and relocation help and resources. This benefit is free and is available 24/7 by calling: 844-405-5433. All calls are confidential.
- Human Resources informed employees about backup child care and backup adult care services. These services, provided by the Work-Life Center vendor partner, Care.com, can be accessed by visiting mit.care.com and completing the enrollment form. Then, call Care.com at 1-855-781-1303, extension 2, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., to schedule care.