April 2020 – To help those hit hardest by COVID-19, Chaffetz Lindsey is sponsoring a fundraising drive to benefit two great organizations that regularly help New Yorkers in need, and that are now stepping up their efforts to support those hit hardest in this time of crisis. Please join us.
Each week during the shutdown, we have been holding a zoom staff meeting. On one of these sessions, we were discussing how fortunate we feel to be able to work throughout this crisis. We remain concerned about the ongoing health risks and about the crisis’s full economic impact. But so far, we’ve been spared being hit as hard as many others who have lost loved ones and/or who cannot continue their work during this shutdown. That got us thinking about how we can help. While working from home, our team is not spending money on subway or train fares, lunches, taxis or Ubers, dinners out, etc. We decided to pool some of that money and donate it through a “Donate Your Commute” campaign.
Our Administrative Assistants (aka the Chaffetz Lindsey “A-Team”) stepped up and took the lead on fundraising. They also took it upon themselves to determine where we could direct the funds that would be most impactful in the current environment.
Our firm regularly supports New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a legal services organization that helps the underserved navigate a difficult legal system. Therefore, NYLPI was an obvious choice for donating some of our commute savings. This crisis exacerbates the hardships faced by NYLPI’s clients because many of them cannot work from home, do not have access to quality healthcare, already have higher rates and risk of respiratory disease due to environmental harm, are afraid to get treated because of their immigration status, or are individuals with disabilities, or seniors. In this time of crisis, NYLPI’s advocacy for the rights and safety of front-line workers (sanitation, healthcare, education, and transit sectors) also is critical.
Our A-Team also suggested we should support another organization along with NYLPI that will provide the immediate basics that people need, like nutritious meals. They selected City Harvest, New York’s largest food rescue organization. City Harvest has mobilized to help New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working hard to ensure that, while schools and businesses are closed, and during the fallout from the shutdown, children and their families can put meals on their tables. Food banks are facing unprecedented strain in the face of the shutdown. In this April 19th New York Post article, Racine Lee Droz, City Harvest’s director of food sourcing, says “the group is bracing for the situation to get worse in the weeks and months to come. ‘The need will last far longer than when the government reopens the city because so many people are unemployed. We plan on operating this way until the end of September.’”
We decided to split our pooled donations 50-50 between City Harvest and NYLPI, and our A-Team set their individual bar for donations at a generous $100 each. They rallied to get 100% of our firm to give generously, too. They also are reaching outside the firm, to their own network of friends and families to raise money, and they have encouraged all of us to do the same.
Because of the enthusiasm and leadership of our A-Team, we have so far pooled individual donations of almost $15,000. The firm has also agreed to match up to $20,000 of additional outside donations.
If you also are working from home right now and are saving money by not having a daily commute, we would love to have you join us to support NYLPI and City Harvest. To calculate your own commute savings and to donate to these two great organizations, please click here.
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