In light of the pandemic, the world has seen some major shifts and setbacks. New York City was perhaps hit the hardest, and its residents have felt the strain. So much so that many people are leaving. One New Yorker, a comedy club owner, went as far as to detail every reason why he left New York, and why he thinks it’s effectively dead.
His piece was no joke and went into detail on plenty of areas in New York City that have been hit hard. In true New York fashion, there was a quick rebuttal of that notion, from none other than Jerry Seinfeld himself written in the New York Times.
While the original piece definitely shed some light on areas that New York City are struggling right now, Seinfeld offered us a pep talk on why New York is a city with an eternally beating heart–and that’s the heart of its people.
At North Node, we are unequivocally those people who are willing to fight for what’s right. We love this city and all the passion that lies within, and it’s our duty to stand up together and see that it gets through this hard time. You can be part of that change by giving back to the community that has given us the world– and we’ll tell you how.
Revive the Arts
Not only are New Yorkers tough, but they are fanciful creatures. Ones that live colorfully, proudly, out loud. As Jerry said in his NYT piece: “Real, live, inspiring human energy exists when we coagulate together in crazy places like New York City.”
Right now, beloved Broadway productions may be at a standstill, but art survives anything. By volunteering your time with organizations like Arts for All, NYFA, and Council for Art Education, you are sharing your heart and inspiration with fellow New York artists, and joining the force that will continue to light the creative flame for so many who may be feeling the strain.
After all we have New York to thank for Madonna, Warhol, Basquiat, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and countless others. Their global legacies all started on the art scene in New York, surrounded and supported by those who create beauty
Change your Attitude
If the “Death of NY” piece on LinkedIn was a brutal depiction of what’s happening in New York, Jerry Seinfeld’s defense hit just as hard. Jerry counteracted all of the negativity by pointing out all the ways in which New York simply won’t roll over and die.
So how can we keep NYC alive? For starters, don’t be so negative. Yes, many restaurants have shuttered–but many of them are still kicking. Restaurants like Olmsted, La Morada, and FieldTrip are up and running doing what they can in their communities–and they’re open to extra hands and donations.
Other organizations, like Bed-Stuy Strong, rallied together quickly to connect volunteers with those in need. A similar organization, Centro Corona Mutual Aid Network, took off quickly in Queens, and delivers life-sustaining medicine and food to local residents.
Not only can you help business and individuals, but you can help to fight for a cause. Organizations like Fuel the People look for volunteers to distribute food and first-aid to Black Lives Matter protests. The food is donated by NY-based Black- and POC-owned restaurants, so you’re offering a double dose of philanthropy with a dash of social justice.
Be Part of the Life Blood
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that New Yorkers are tough. Even as the epicenter of the world, we joined together to flatten the curve and help each other heal.
We’re not out of the woods just yet, and you can do more than just wear a mask to save lives
There’s a true life blood pumping through New York. We are a large family. The best way to be part of that life blood is by donating. COVID has sparked a dire need, and stopping into a blood van if you’re healthy is part of boosting the vitality of this city.
Spruce It Up
There’s another thing Jerry said in his article: that the comedy club owner should spruce up his own joint a little. A brutal comment, funny in Jerry’s wise cracking way, but also a reminder to us that keeping NYC clean is part of keeping it the “diamond” that it is.
Volunteering at Queens Gardens is one way to be part of the efforts to keep New York beautiful. DSNY offers Sanitation’s Volunteer Programs, where you can lend a hand in efforts and campaigns to Keep New York Beautiful.
There are plenty of areas around New York that need help. Whether it’s Central Park or State Beaches, tidying up and supporting our natural environment are integral to making it feel like home and having a sense of pride.
If George Costanza can get a job with the Yankees, then you can do anything.
Help to keep that athletic New York spirit alive by contributing to the Achilles International,
where you promote sports and home workouts virtually
Even if sports clubs and teams look different, they’re still important to the health and happiness of our youth. Yankees royalty Derek Jeter created the Turn 2 Foundation to encourage youth toward healthy lifestyles and academics. Several of this foundation’s programs are based in New York, so your donation goes to making sure the push for education isn’t lost by campus closures.
Don’t Miss the Train
Above all, what makes and keeps New York what it is is it’s urgency. In response to COVID, we’ve been unflinchingly committed to finding ways to begin repairing. POTS Bronx organizes plenty of ways to get involved in relief efforts. By volunteering, you can lend a hand in busy emergency rooms, help the homeless with medical and dental services, or distribute food at the pantry.
Another organization, St George’s Society, has been around 250 years, experiencing all of the worst times in New York. Still they remain a shining example of how doing good can keep our city alive and filled with love. Let them know you’re able and willing to help out, and you’ll get plenty of opportunities to give back to your community
In celebration of their longstanding efforts, brands like Hearst Media and Johnny Walker
partnered with them to celebrate their efforts. Once New York picks back up, this mutual interest
could mean giving you an edge to get noticed–and land a job.
Doing Nothing? Fuhgeddabout!
New Yorkers do what they can, by any means possible, to make their dreams happen. And if we’re to keep our city alive, we have to make a positive change in our communities. Get in touch with one, or several, of these organizations and you can be an important force to help keep New York standing.
For all that it has given you, it’s never been a better time to give back. It’s the people that live here that are responsible for making New York shine so brightly. Volunteering is the one way to be sure that New York City, though battered, will never be broken.