The Lend A Hand Society (LAH) provides grants to help meet the basic emergency needs of low-income individuals and families. Our three programs – emergency assistance, camperships for children, and the book mission — work in partnership with social service agencies in the greater Boston area. The book mission also makes grants anywhere in the United States.

Lend A Hand Society works through qualified, tax-exempt, nonprofit human service agencies in greater Boston to provide emergency grants to individuals. Grants are made on a one-time basis per family or individual. LAH doesn’t make grants directly to individuals, nor do we make grants to social service agencies to help pay operating expenses.

Lend A Hand makes grants to social service agencies for camperships to help provide children with an educational/growth experience. Through the Book Mission, grants are made so that educational institutions and libraries can purchase books to lend to low-income individuals.

Application Procedure

Emergency Assistance:

Social service agencies can apply for grants from the Lend A Hand Society at any time. Your request must include an Agency Client Referral Form, to be filled out here, and a cover letter on agency letterhead. The letter should clearly state the purpose of the grant and all other pertinent information.

Agencies should submit no more than three requests each month. Please send requests through the form above; no faxes, emailed or mailed requests will be considered. If your request is approved, a check, made out to the payee listed on application, is sent to the referring case manager. These checks should then be sent on to the payee directly. Checks cannot be made out to clients.

Example: ABC Agency is approved by Lend A Hand to receive a grant to help an individual pay a utility bill. LAH will send the referring case manager a check made payable to the utility company, not to the individual receiving assistance.

Referral Criteria:

  • Clients must live in greater Boston area (inside route 128). This includes neighborhoods in: Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Lexington, Lynn, Malden, Melrose, Milton, Nahant, Newton, Readville, Revere, Roslindale, Saugus, Somerville, South Boston, Stoneham, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Winchester, Winthrop, and Woburn
  • Clients can only be referred to Lend A Hand once in a lifetime with the exception of Gas Fuel Assistance. Clients can be referenced once for rent, utilities (oil, electric, water), and also be referenced once for gas. 
  • Clients must be in low-income


The application deadline for camperships is April 1. Applications must include a Campership Grant Application Form, a cover letter on agency letterhead and complete information on the camp organization and program.

Book Mission:

The application deadline for book mission grants is October 15th. Requests must include the Book Mission Grant Application Form, a cover letter on agency letterhead and complete information about the applying organization.

All requests should be sent by mail to:
Lend A Hand Society
89 South Street
Suite 203
Boston, MA 02111