By Loulou Chryssides
When the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic first hit, everything was placed on pause. Within the course of 24 hours, our lives changed completely.
At Give Me Astoria, specifically, we initially did not know what the future would hold. Friends in the neighborhood were closing their businesses left and right while loved ones battled the illness itself.
However, when life’s obstacles arise we have two choices: to try and make the best of it or let ourselves be overwhelmed by fear. Keeping this mindset, our team decided to take the smallest first step possible and deliver a dinner from Nino’s AQ to the incredible doctors, nurses, and essential workers at Mount Sinai Queens. After receiving countless messages from the Mount Sinai Queens staff, we decided to keep the momentum going and begin a GoFundMe in order to provide meals for the essential and frontline workers who were selflessly working around the clock, while simultaneously supporting our local restaurants who needed business to keep their doors open.
Within days, our GoFundMe campaign received hundreds of donations from Astorians near and far. While we knew that the Astoria community always comes out to support each other, our team was overwhelmed with gratitude that this initiative took off the way it did.
With the help of our Give Me Astoria community, we were able to raise over $25,000 in funds to help feed healthcare and essential workers from NYC to Long Island, all while supporting dozens of local restaurants who kept their doors open throughout the process.
And now for the big question. What comes next? The future may be uncertain, and that is why we must continue to practice social distancing, in order to greatly help prevent the spread of droplets, and therefore, the chance of transmission of COVID-19.