Coronavirus Relief Efforts
Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation Donates $5 million to Coronavirus Relief Efforts
By Eliza Fogel
Created by Rihanna in honor of her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite in 2012, Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation is giving back in tremendous ways amid the coronavirus pandemic as the foundation has recently announced a $5 million donation to help fight the virus outbreak. A post on Instagram from March 21st describes that the funds will be allocated to Partners in Health, District Relief, Feeding America, International Rescue Committee, and the World Health Organization. These funds will be used to prepare communities with critical protective gear, food across multiple regions, equipment, and medical supplies. The Clara Lionel Foundation explained their efforts in a statement on CNN saying, “when we first began this year, never could we have imagined how COVID-19 would so dramatically alter our lives.” The statement was elaborated with “it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, this pandemic will affect us all. And for the world’s most vulnerable, the worst may be yet to come.”
The Clara Lionel Foundation has made a strong effort to push for the acceleration of testing in countries like Haiti and Malawi along with an increase of supplies and resources for native communities. Furthermore, the foundation emphasizes the importance of being prepared whether it be preparing and protecting health workers or marginalized communities.
The CFDA Launches “A Common Thread” to Provide Relief for Coronavirus
By Eliza Fogel
Although the 2020 CFDA awards have been postponed, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has done a lot to give back. On March 24th, Anna Wintor and CFDA chairman and designer Tom Ford announced the council’s newest philanthropic initiative called “A Common Thread” to provide relief efforts to those who are affected by the Coronavirus. “A Common Thread” is a storytelling initiative across all CondéNast channels to raise awareness and needed funds for those in the American Fashion Community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative has launched a video series to tell the stories of professionals in fashion whose careers and livelihoods have been affected by the Coronavirus. These videos highlight designers who work tirelessly behind the scenes of Vogue and the CFDA’s digital platform. For instance, the CFDA “A Common Thread” has included a story about designers making masks and medical supplies. “A Common Thread” will be repurposing the CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund to support businesses who have suffered in the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.
If you would like to support the CFDA, you can do so by texting THREAD to 44-321 or contributing to the online fund.
How the Shelter “Women in Need” is Combatting Covid-19
By Julia French
Christine Quinn, owner of Women in Need, the biggest shelter and housing support for the homeless in New York City, serves about 5,000 people each night, of which half are children. As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds, organizations like Quinn’s are facing a rough patch.
Her main focus right now is on figuring out how to help mothers and children in her shelters. During this time, many mothers have lost their jobs, which leads to more and more people coming in with their families in desperate need for food. She has been working with the city on how to get meals that would be offered to the mother’s children at school back to shelters like hers.
Another massive worry for the organization is knowing that there is a good chance that their clients will become ill. Knowing this, WIN spent around $200,000 more than they were budgeted for in order to get masks, gloves, and food. “We are overspending—but it’s necessary,” said Quinn during an interview with Vogue.
Quinn went on to discuss the lack of education being given to these homeless students who have no tablets to connect with school for remote learning. “I’ve said it a million times: None of the shelters in New York City have Wi-Fi. Many of the shelters are challenging to wire—some have been built in former military facilities, where the walls are thick—but many of them could be wired.” The city has yet to invest in giving Wi-Fi to these shelters. Without Wi-Fi, several children in the city are incapable of learning or connecting at all with their school.
With around 700 workers, the staff is beginning to become concerned about their own health and the health of their family members. Some of the staff are also having to deal with the stress of having their own family members laid off from work. Quinn said, “I hope that we come out of this crisis with an appreciation for the people who have to go to work every day. In our shelters that’s the security guards, the case managers, the rec workers, the social workers—they have to be hands-on in a shelter. Sometimes we forget that doctors and nurses and shelter workers and other frontline people are not robots—they are people with families who take care of their kids and their parents. That’s a big part of this that we don’t want people to forget.”’
Before the pandemic, New York City was at an all time high for the number of homeless; 70 percent of those homeless people who are living in shelters are families with children. Over fifty-percent of the mothers in WIN are working after being with the organization for a while. Quinn said, “This concept that people are lazy or drug addicts couldn’t be farther from the truth. People disregard the reality of the shelter population because the idea of a child spending a quarter of her life in a shelter is so upsetting and disturbing. We need to stop leaving these people behind.”
Focusing on Quinn herself, she has a father at the age of 93 who is healthy and safe. “I speak with him every day and he’s really fun to talk to. He’s a World War II vet, so he has the attitude that we will survive.” Her father’s main question right now is: “Will my beach season be cut short?” She is more than glad that her father is remaining positive at such a dark time. And sadly, he will not be going to the beach any time soon. Quinn wants everyone to know that right now, we have to come together and help everyone in our community in order to win this battle.