Mayor’s Fund Raises $54.5 Million For Frontline Workers And Vulnerable New Yorkers

July 14, 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray today announced that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has raised $48.8 million.

This includes more than $5.7 million in in-kind donations, to support equitable relief and recovery efforts for the communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on immigrant communities and people of color,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As our city continues to the weather this crisis, we will keep finding innovative ways to increase resources and assistance for our most vulnerable neighbors and frontline workers.”

“As our city unites to build a future that is fairer and more equitable, it is essential that New Yorkers in the hardest-hit neighborhoods can access the resources they need to support themselves and their families,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Thank you to our generous partners who have answered the call to provide this critical relief for frontline workers and communities of color during this unprecedented crisis.”

The Mayor’s Fund launched the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund in early March to support priority areas including: healthcare workers and essential staff; local small businesses; displaced hourly workers, including immigrant workers; and families, youth, and other vulnerable New Yorkers.

The expansive fundraising efforts have included large-scale public-private partnerships, as well as a grassroots campaign that have together garnered 9,500 donors from all around the country.

Support for Frontline Workers

To ensure that New York City’s healthcare professionals and essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic stay nourished, supported, and protected, the Mayor’s Fund:

  • Partnered with the Debra and Leon Black Family, Aramark, Robin Hood, and the American Red Cross to launch NYC Healthcare Heroes. The program is providing more than 400,000 packages of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, and household cleaning and personal care products to staff at hospitals across the five boroughs. These deliveries alleviate the burden on workers who often do not have access to supplies or time to shop after working back-to-back shifts caring for COVID-19 patients in hospitals and facilities across the city.
  • Developed and launched Food for Heroes, which will deliver 169,400 nutritious meals to healthcare professionals and EMS, morgue, and sanitation and other essential workers across New York City to fuel them during their shifts.
  • Supported NYC Health + Hospitals with a $400,000 donation to purchase critical personal protective equipment. The donation was made possible through Peg’s Cure, an initiative created by Cedar Mills LLC in honor of Peg Broadbent, former CFO of Jeffries Group LLC who died due to complications from COVID-19.

Aid for Restaurants in Hardest-Hit Communities

To support the owners and employees of restaurants in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, the Mayor’s Fund:

  • Collaborated with One Fair Wage, NYC Opportunity, and the Human Resources Administration to launch the Restaurant Revitalization Program. The program is providing short-term payroll support to an initial 100 restaurants committed to paying full minimum wage with tips on top, in addition to providing hardest-hit communities with approximately 53,000 meals over 6-12 weeks.

Services for Immigrant Communities

To support New York City’s immigrant communities, many of whom are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the Mayor’s Fund:

  • Partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Open Society Foundations to create the Immigrant Emergency Relief Program. The program works with community-based organizations to provide direct, one-time emergency relief payments to up to 20,000 immigrant New York City families who are hardest hit financially by the crisis, yet excluded from the reach of the federal relief program.
  • Launched the Immigrant COVID-19 Burial Assistance Program with funding support from SOMOS Community Care, Trinity Church Wall Street, Amalgamated Bank, and Robin Hood. The program provides up to $1,700 toward burial expenses for immigrant families—regardless of legal status—who are unable to pay for the funeral expenses of relatives who died during the pandemic.

Supporting Youth in Hardest-Hit Communities with Summer Opportunities

To ensure that youth and families are safe and supported, the Mayor’s Fund:

  • Raised $6.8 million in philanthropic support for SYEP Summer Bridge 2020, a public-private partnership that leverages an additional $40 million in public dollars to provide constructive engagement and enrichment activities to keep 35,000 New York City youth active and productive this summer.
  • Partnered with the Mayor’s Office to Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and Sanctuary for Families to launch a pilot program to deliver micro-grants to survivors. The first-of-its-kind initiative helps mitigate safety, economic, and housing challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mayor’s Fund continues to pursue additional funds to launch and support programs and initiatives that meet the ever-changing needs of New Yorkers as the city continues to recover from the pandemic. Anyone can contribute at

“These unprecedented times have required unprecedented actions. One of the most essential has been the generosity and enduring spirit of New Yorkers. The Mayor’s fund has harnessed that spirit to identify the most pressing needs of those who need the most help and by championing our essential workers,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor for COVID-19 Relief. “It has brought together the philanthropic community, business sector and thousands of New Yorkers in our fight against COVID-19 and its devastating effects. The power of partnership is proven once again and I am grateful for the leadership of our private sector partners.”

“From the start the pandemic, we’ve tapped into the generosity and ingenuity of the City’s business and philanthropic sectors to aid New York City’s response. Working together, we have provided critical support to the most vulnerable New Yorkers and the front line workers caring for them,” said COVID-19 Public-Private Partnership Czar Peter Hatch. “I want to thank our many partners for their generous contributions during this crisis.”

“It has been an inspiration to see how New Yorkers have come together over the past few months to support our essential workers and others directly impacted by COVID-19,” said Rob Speyer, Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Board of Advisors. “I am grateful for the work of our community-based partners, who have helped us harness that goodwill on behalf of those families, businesses and organizations most in need.”

“Through the power of partnership, a diverse cross-section of supporters reached into their pockets to support their neighbors, providing whatever they could to help our communities weather one of the most challenging periods this city has seen,” said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “We are thankful for the generosity not just of the philanthropic and business communities, but of the more than 9,000 individuals who, despite facing a national economic crisis, gave donations ranging from $5 to $5,000. Their support has put vital resources directly into the hands of the New Yorkers who need them most.”

“Covid-19 has revealed for all to see, the great disparities in our society. It has also revealed just how essential undocumented workers are to the functioning of our communities. And yet, the Federal Government chose not to include undocumented workers in federal relief. I commend the City of New York, under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, for standing by undocumented workers at this moment of extreme crisis. Unfortunately, the funding we have put forward does not come close to matching the need. It can only be described as the tip of the iceberg (a drop in the bucket). Far too many families will not be able to access this funding. We need additional donors to step up, and, ultimately, we need the Federal and State government to join the Mayor of New York in recognizing the essential role undocumented workers play in our communities and in our economies, and include them in Federal and State relief packages,” said Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations.

“The Mayor’s Fund is a necessary response to address the needs of those who have been impacted disproportionately by the pandemic. Ford was happy to contribute funds to ensure community-based organizations and mental health providers are working together on solutions and support for those in need. In this time of crisis, we must make a clear commitment to the mental health of low-income New Yorkers,” said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.

“New York’s immigrant communities continue to bear the weight of this pandemic as they risk exposure serving in frontline roles, despite so many being denied federal aid and even losing loved ones to the virus,” said Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood. “Robin Hood’s partnerships with both the NYC Healthcare Heroes and the Immigrant COVID-19 Burial Assistance programs are examples of our continued commitment to stand alongside New Yorkers who need us now more than ever.”

“We at Cedar Mills and the Broadbent family are incredibly grateful to the Mayor, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the Wall Street community and individual donors for partnering with us in honoring Peg Broadbent’s memory by raising desperately needed funds in order to protect our City’s beloved first responders and frontline healthcare workers,” said Chris Cohen and Andrew Grieco founding partners of Cedar Mills LLC.

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