Union donates COVID-19 emergency relief to western Queens students

Courtesy of NYC Kids RISE

District Council 9 and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades are donating $25,000 in COVID-19 emergency relief to elementary school families participating in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program.

Many of these families live in areas of western Queens that have been most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including Corona, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst.

“District Council 9 represents over 2,200 members and their families in Queens, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the area during this troubling time,” DC9 Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer Joseph Azzopardi said. “In addition to seeing the highest number of COVID-19 cases, Queens is home to a number of families who have been deemed essential workers and are putting themselves at risk every day to go to work and provide for their loved ones. DC 9 wanted to show our appreciation for their hard work, acknowledge their struggles, and help them as much as possible during this pandemic.”

To date, NYC Kids RISE has raised a total of $400,000 to provide $150 emergency disaster cash relief gift cards to more than 2,500 families enrolled in the Save for College Program. This represents approximately 25 percent of all kindergarten, first-grade and second-grade families in public schools across District 30 in Queens. District Council 9’s contribution will provide emergency cash support to more than 160 families at 11 elementary schools across three ZIP codes within the school district: 11368, 11373 and 11372.

Other supporters of NYC Kids RISE’s emergency cash relief initiative include the Gray Foundation, Robin Hood, Amalgamated Bank and FIS.

“Especially at this time, it is critical that we invest directly in families, particularly the essential workers and communities who have been hardest hit by this crisis,” said Dana Zucker, chair of NYC Kids RISE and executive director of the Gray Foundation. “This contribution from DC 9 is a prime example of the incredible investment in families that we have seen across communities in this time of crisis. We are so grateful for District Council 9 and its membership for their support and partnership.”

The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a universal, community-driven, wealth-building platform that provides families, schools and communities with a way to work together to save for their children’s futures. It’s a scholarship and savings program designed to make college and career training more accessible and achievable for all NYC public school students, regardless of their family’s income or immigration status, starting with all kindergartners in School District 30.

“We are seeing an outpouring of support for our most vulnerable communities,” Councilman Francisco Moya said. “New York City is resilient, and we always come together to get through tough times. DC 9 and NYC Kids RISE are providing important resources for families in Queens and we are thankful for their leadership and community-focused efforts during this time.”