The Caring Commons

This webpage is designed to share resources among Bates faculty and staff during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. While the resource list is not intended to be exhaustive, it will be updated periodically as new major or particularly relevant resources become available. If you wish to add or correct a resource, please email Kristen Cloutier at the Harward Center.

Please CLICK HERE to visit Bates’ central website for all college communications during the COVID-19 crisis.

General Information about Coronavirus

Note: Mainers can dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), text your ZIP code to 898-211, or email to get virus-related information from the state. This line is TDD and TYY accessible for people with hearing impairment.

City of Lewiston Coronavirus Updates and Information

Coronavirus Updates and Information from the Office of Governor Janet T. Mills

Maine Center for Disease Control: Updates on the Situation in Maine

U.S. Center for Disease Control

World Health Organization

Food Resources

Good Shepherd Food Bank

Lewiston Public Schools Feeding Program

Auburn Public Schools Feeding Program

Trinity Jubilee Center (Lewiston)

Cumberland County Food Resources

Brunswick Area Food Resources

Find Local Food Products Available for Pickup

Androscoggin County Nutrition Assistance Programs

Healthcare Resources

MaineCare Information and Resources

Department of Health & Human Services Maine Crisis Hotline

Utility Resources

Emergency Moratorium on Utilities Disconnection

Educational Resources

COVID-19 Resources from Lewiston Public Schools

Free Internet Access for Students from Spectrum

Maine Department of Education COVID-19 Resources for Schools

Educate Maine Resources for Educators, Families and Communities

Articles and Ideas on Remote Learning from Macaroni Kid

Educational Resources from WinterKids

Online Activities for Kids During COVID-19

Resources for New Mainers (many translated into various languages)

The city of Lewiston’s YouTube channel contains several videos explaining general CDC information and specific State of Maine guidelines regarding COVID-19 in several languages: 
Maay Maay

“Flattening the Curve” translations from The Washington Post:

How to Self-Isolate for COVID-19 information from the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition (MIRC)

COVID-19 Resources for New Mainers from the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition (MIRC)

City of Portland Multilingual Resource Guide

Employment/Labor Resources

Bates College Bernie Carpenter Employee Financial Assistance Program (See below)

Unemployment Insurance FAQs Regarding COVID-19

Federal Guidelines on Unemployment Benefits

Maine Department of Labor Information on COVID-19 

Maine Department of Labor: Resources for Workers and Businesses

Q&A: Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Workers Impacted by the COVID-19 Virus

Small Business Disaster Assistance Loans 

Housing Resources

Maine Court System: Temporary Halt in Trials

Mortgage Help for Homeowners Impacted by the Coronovirus

Updates and Information from Pine Tree Legal Assistance

Childcare Resources

Department of Health and Human Services Childcare Emergency Plan

Other Resources

Various Resources from Maine Equal Justice Partners

Information and Updates from the YWCA of Central Maine

COVID-19 Resources from the Maine Women’s Lobby

Various Resources from Catholic Charities of Maine

Information and Resources from the Maine Council on Aging

COVID-19 Cleaning Tips from the CDC

Resources for Faculty 

Dean of the Faculty Support for Remote Teaching

Resources for Students 

Remote Access to Campus Resources for Students

Bates Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) Updates

Bates College’s Bernie Carpenter Employee Financial Assistance Program (from Employee Handbook)

This endowed fund, established in 1997, honors the memory and tradition of helping fellow co-workers practiced by Bernie Carpenter for “giving help, when and how it is needed most, to those most in need.” It is available to all employees and is intended for emergencies such as major illnesses, accidents, or similar catastrophes. 

Requests for emergency grants or loans will be made to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources in writing with a description of the emergency need. The request will be held in confidence and a standing panel of three employees will review the request. The panel’s decision is final, without the possibility of appeal. All attempts will be made for the panel to meet and make a decision within seven days. 

Repayment of funds is an expectation but is not a condition of receiving funds. Recipients are encouraged to contribute, when and how they can, to the fund after the emergency situation is resolved in order to increase opportunities for other employees in the future. If funds have not been repaid within one year, the amount of funds received will be added as income to the employee’s next W-2. 

The panel will consist of one faculty member, one staff member, and one representative from the Human Resources Department. The names of panel members are confidential.

Ways to Help

Bates College’s Bernie Carpenter Fund: Use the on-line form ( and select “Choose a designation” then “Other” and write in “Carpenter Fund.” You can also send a check to the College and note that it is for the Carpenter Fund.

Maine Initiatives COVID-19 Community Care Fund

Maine People’s Alliance Mainers Together Community Assistance Program

United Way of Androscoggin County COVID-19 Response Fund

Maine Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

The St. Mary’s COVID-19 Response Fund

The Marguerite d’Youville Fund

The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center and Food Pantry Fund

Maine Helps: An Online Resource from the Governor’s Office Outlining Ways Mainers Can Help Mainers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Volunteer Opportunities through the United Way of Androscoggin County

Volunteer Guidance on Safe Deliveries from Catholic Charities of Maine

American Red Cross Blood Donation

Maine Responds: Emergency Health Volunteer System

Educate Maine’s 2,020 Books Challenge