New York City philanthropists of all kinds are responding to the coronavirus pandemic with a generosity and community spirit that recalls the months following the 9/11 attack.
Some donors, like Michael Bloomberg, are familiar names who have a long history of charitable giving. The former mayor is one of those supporting the New York Community Trust, a $75 million fund providing loans and grants to those affected by the virus. Bloomberg Philanthropies gave an addition $3 million to Johns Hopkins University for research into a treatment for the virus.
Ralph Lauren, a longtime friend of Avenue magazine, has also pitched in. Through his corporate foundation, he contributed $10 million to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The list of generous New York individuals and institutions goes on: JPMorgan Chase pledged $50 million for public health initiatives to combat the virus, and the Rockefeller Foundation committed $20 million. The UJA-Federation of New York pledged $23 million; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave $1.25 million to Citymeals on Wheels and God’s Love We Deliver to provide food to homebound New Yorkers, and the Estée Lauder Companies provided $2 million to Doctors Without Borders.
But it’s not just those with the deepest pockets who are giving. Within the five boroughs, many small-business owners are also doing their bit.
Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell are two New York City designers who, in normal circumstances, would now be dressing Avenue readers for the spring benefit circuit. But this year, they have devoted their talents and production capacities to producing masks and gowns for front-line health workers, who have been facing critical shortages of personal protective equipment.
And not all the contributions have been in goods or cash.
Invisible Hands is a service in greater New York, and parts of New Jersey, which offers free grocery shopping and delivery to the sick and elderly in their homes. Local high school and college students, as well as those who have recently lost their jobs, are among the small army of 1,300 volunteers who have been keeping the grass-roots organization running since it was founded in mid-March.
Are you an Avenue insider who is helping, or has heard a story of tremendous generosity in these times? If so, we’d love to share it with our community. Please message your story to us via Instagram (@AvenueInsider) or our Twitter account.