Across the world, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has thoroughly exhibited its devastating features as the number of infections and deaths exponentially increases. In New York City alone, the death toll has soared over 10,000 and the reports of illnesses are projected to rise. As Governor Cuomo extends the state’s lockdown to at least May 15, while schools and nonessential businesses remain closed, students at Townsend Harris High School have decided to take action.
Beginning on April 9, CRIT, the COVID-19 Response Initiative Team, initiated a fundraiser designed to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the Queens healthcare system. Organized by Juniors Shawn Edelstein, Andrew Mak, and Edison Park with the THHS Model UN team, these efforts go towards NYC hospitals as they fight the global pandemic.
“The recent coronavirus development has shown that our local hospitals do not have the proper resources in order to fight this pandemic. We have seen countless families in our communities lose loved ones,” Andrew explained. “Our hospitals are not equipped with the proper equipment to continue this devastating fight. They have already depleted their resources and are in dire need of new and immediate assistance.” To address this urgent issue, CRIT calls on the THHS community to reach a goal of $5,000, all of which is to be donated to Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York.
“Jamaica Hospital needs donations for necessary equipment and supplies such as PPE, and to provide medical workers with meals, lodging, and transportation,” expressed Andrew. As the coronavirus outbreak grows in the New York epicenter, it becomes evident that several hospitals are stretched thin with an influx of patients and inadequate resources.
The CRIT team has made extensive efforts to spread online awareness. “We have an EdCo page for donations, a website to raise awareness, and an Instagram account to gain support. We’ve also posted on the THHS student and alumni Facebook pages, and had an email sent out to students through Pupilpath by Mrs. Loew,” Edison described. “Since this is a crisis that affects all of us, we were able to reach out to family and friends beyond Townsend and have received immense support from them.” As of April 18, CRIT has raised $3,149, passing the halfway mark of the original goal.
The movement is supported by several members of the THHS community, including AP US History teacher Frank McCaughey. “I was so impressed that the students put [the fundraiser] together on their own and took action to improve a difficult situation and enact change. Townsend students have consistently amazed me with their kindness, knowledge and generosity since I started in September, and this was just another example of all of those things.”
“Even if students cannot donate themselves, anyone can make a difference by spreading our campaign to people they know who may be able to help. The more people we get involved, the more we can do to support our local hospitals,” encouraged Andrew.
If you would like to donate or help spread the word, the following links lead to more information and the donation site for CRIT and the THHS fight against the coronavirus.
Website (Best Viewed on Computer)
Shawn emphasized, “We hope that this fundraiser will be a way for the THHS community to give back to the people putting their lives at risk to keep our community safe in this time of need.”