Here’s an NYCOTC shout-out to these local and national companies helping the helpers with FREE services and products.
For a limited time, the shoe company is offering healthcare workers across the U.S. a FREE pair of shoes, including shipping.
Doctors, nurses and others can choose from select Crocs Classic Clogs and Crocs At Work styles.
There is a limit of complimentary Crocs each day, with registration opening at noon EST daily.
The swanky Four Seasons Hotel on East 57th St. is providing FREE rooms to doctors, nurses and other medical personnel, to help them avoid long commutes and possibly infecting their families.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the offer in a tweet on Wednesday, thanking the hotel and adding “the first of many hotels we hope will make their rooms available”.
The five-star luxury hotel, where rooms typically top $1,000 a night, closed to the public last week and is not taking new reservations until April 15.
It is relatively close to several hospitals, including Bellevue, NYU Langone, Weill Cornell Medical Center and Mount Sinai.
The Four Seasons is owned by Ty Warner, the billionaire founder of Beanie Babies.
In a statement, he said Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings inspired him to take action.
“Many of those working in New York City have to travel long distances to and from their homes after putting in 18-hour days,” he said in a statement. “They need a place close to work where they can rest and regenerate. I heard Governor Cuomo’s call to action during one of his press conferences, and there was no other option for us but do whatever we could to help.”
Hertz is providing FREE vehicle rentals to New York City healthcare workers through April 30.
Healthcare workers can reserve a vehicle at 19 NYC area Hertz locations so they can continue providing critical care to the community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Hertz also is working with Mount Sinai Health System to supply FREE cargo van rentals to transport ventilators and other medical supplies to support the crisis.
Citi Bike is offering one month of FREE bike loans to first-responders including NYPD, FDNY and EMS and other healthcare providers, plus transit workers, under a new program called the Critical Workforce Membership Program.
Eligible critical service employees must apply for the free 30-day Citi Bike membership by signing up through their employers, according to Lyft, which now owns Citi Bike.
Healthcare employers should email [email protected] to obtain enrollment information to distribute to staff.
The program includes unlimited 45 minute trips on classic bikes or ebikes.
Eligible NYC employees who already have a paid Citi Bike membership can also access the free month.
“Our frontline workers are sacrificing so much to help and protect their fellow New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I want to thank Lyft for stepping up and helping us fight this pandemic by providing the employees on the front line with a safe, free ride to work.”
In a press release, Lyft says it will evaluate the program after 30 days “with City partners to determine ridership needs and the best ways to support the program further”.
The chain is giving all front-line responders a FREE tall brewed coffee — hot or iced.
The giveaway runs from March 25 to May 3.
If you know of a business or a group helping the helpers, let us know.
Email us at [email protected] and we’ll include it in an update.
More than twenty of New York City’s top restaurant groups have banded together to form a new hospitality organization called Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR)
The goal, according to Eater NY, is to organize relief efforts for laid off personnel and closed restaurants.
Founding members include chef Daniel Boulud’s the Dinex Group, Momofuku, Starr Restaurants, and Major Food Group, fast casual chain Dig, restaurateur Gabriel Stulman’s Happy Cooking Hospitality, Eataly, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant group, chef JJ Johnson’s casual enterprise FieldTrip, and more.
These groups also are helping support NYC restaurants, including our favorite local neighborhood joints.
You are invited to donate to support them.
Thanks to Eater NY for this list. It’s a menu of choices.
Like government-issued war bonds, the Dining Bond Initiative seeks to bring in immediate cash in exchange for future restaurant purchases.
Diners can buy gift certificates sold at a 25 percent discount ($100 worth of food for a $75 bond) to be redeemed in the restaurant within the next month or two, depending on how individual restaurants decide to honor the bonds. The program is open to all restaurants.
The JBF Food and Beverage Relief Fund is gathering donations from everyday diners as well as corporate donors to distribute micro-grants to independent businesses.
Houston chef Chris Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Foundation is accepting donations from well-wishers and applications for funds from restaurants and restaurant employees.
Give Local and Local for Later are aggregating lists of restaurants promoting gift card sales while their doors are closed. Many restaurants are banking on gift cards to help defer costs until the pandemic subsides.
Chef José Andrés and WCK have already been pitching in on coronavirus relief, feeding quarantined cruise ship passengers, but the organization’s chefs need financial help to continue preparing meals for those in need during the crisis.
Help for Restaurant and Delivery Workers
The RWCF, which works across a number of labor issues in the restaurant industry, launched the RWCF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
The fund collects donations to provide relief to individual workers affected by the coronavirus and to create zero-interest loans to businesses.
The OFW campaign, a nonprofit advocating against sub-minimum-wage laws for tipped restaurant workers, launched the OFW Emergency Fund.
The target $213,000 (based on the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13/hour) will provide immediate cash assistance to restaurant employees, delivery workers, and other tipped workers in the food industry.
Unite Here, a labor union representing groups in the U.S. and Canada, is collecting funds to help its 300,000 members with things like rent, groceries, health insurance, and lost wages.
The union represents other industries beyond food service, including hotels, airports, and casinos, but you can select a specific local group if you prefer to target your money to particular restaurant industry workers.
The nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United has set a target of $500,000 for its emergency relief fund, which seeks to help documented and undocumented restaurant workers who lose their jobs during the pandemic.
Spill The Dish offers a database of financial aid that combines donor funds with resources from government agencies and non-profits.
It allows users to search by state, and breaks down results for restaurant workers, business owners, and individual donors. Users can also add new donation programs to the database.
Help for Bars and Bartenders
The United States Bartenders Guild is helping bartenders affected by the virus through its emergency assistance program.
Jameson Irish Whiskeyhas pledged $500,000 toward the effort.
SipScience, an analytics company focused on the hospitality industry, has also launched a GoFundMe to raise $100,000 for the USBG National Charity Foundation.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing [email protected]