These are extraordinary times for everyone around the world and nowhere more so than New York City, which has found itself at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
New York is extremely important to Celtic FC Foundation, having built strong relationships with the supporters’ clubs across the state and delivering our Annual Gala Dinner there in recent years. We have friends who share with us the tragic effect COVID-19 is having on the city, and across the globe.
Celtic FC Foundation was due to deliver its Summer Games project in New York for the first time this summer through funds raised from 2019’s Gala event. Unfortunately that will no longer be possible. However, these funds will be diverted to the charity partners who would have been delivering the project with us, and two partner charities will each receive £15,000 to help them address the situation.
Celtic FC Foundation has already committed almost £300,000 to a range of projects and charitable causes aimed at supporting those affected by the virus.
Getting basics such as food and essentials has become an even greater burden. In a city like New York, this requires exceptional people taking exceptional measures to ensure the safety of those most in need.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to grip New York City, few are at greater risk than homeless families and individuals. Those without homes have nowhere to self-quarantine, cannot practice social distancing and those on the streets lack even regular access to a sink with running water and soap to wash their hands. Furthermore, homeless New Yorkers generally don’t have quality health care and are likely to have the types of underlying medical conditions that result in high mortality rates should they contract the virus.
Celtic FC Foundation are making a donation of £15,000 to Coalition for the Homeless. With over 62,000 people sleeping in shelters in New York tonight, the charity continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic delivering its Grand Central feeding project.
Celtic FC Foundation’s other partner, Children’s Aid, will also receive a £15,000 donation. For families living in poverty in New York City, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the everyday challenges they face, including hunger and food insecurity.
Children’s Aid is ensuring the health and safety of families living in poverty during this unprecedented crisis. They are working to ensure families, youth and children have access to food boxes containing safe, fresh, nutritious food distributed across a variety of community based hubs.
Sarah Murphy, Coalition for the Homeless Director of Development, said: “New York City is the epicentre of this terrible pandemic, and no-one is more vulnerable than our homeless neighbours.
“The Coalition for the Homeless is out there every single day bringing food and emergency supplies like face masks and hand sanitizer to the thousands of men and women trying to survive on our streets. We are so thankful for the generous support of Celtic FC Foundation, which allows us to continue these critical efforts.”
Caroline Gallagher, Chief Development Officer at Children’s Aid, said: “For families living in poverty, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the everyday challenges they face, including hunger and access to healthy food. Children’s Aid is working tirelessly to ensure the safety and health of our families during this unprecedented crisis.
“With the support of Celtic FC Foundation, we have the opportunity to continue to provide children and families in our target neighbourhoods’ access to fresh nutritious food.”
Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “Everyone at Celtic is delighted to support these fantastic initiatives in New York, a city which is continuing to experience particularly severe challenges. We are fortunate to have millions of fans worldwide and so many in New York who have been hugely important in establishing and supporting our charitable work there.
“We send our fans, our charity partners and everyone in the city our love and best wishes during this difficult time and we will continue to offer as much support as we possibly can to help people in need.”
Tony Hamilton, Celtic FC Foundation’s Chief Executive, added: “This pandemic, by its very nature, means that no place is safe. We raised a considerable sum of money thanks to a wonderful committee we have on the ground in New York and a very generous audience on the night, and it’s right that we reach out now when the city and its people need help the most.
“We’re doing similar work in the UK and Ireland, and we look forward to the day when we can go back to our original plans and bring summer games to the young people of New York.”
Speaking about Celtic FC Foundation’s donation, Paul Geaney, Chair of the New York Dinner Committee said: “Celtic Football Club was founded as a charity to raise funds for those on the fringes of society – to help them keep hunger and sickness at bay in difficult times.
“That is why supporting these two wonderful charities at such a time of need in NYC goes to the very heart of the Foundation’s mission. The NY dinner committee members are proud of the Foundation’s support of those most at need in our home city and are grateful to The Coalition for the Homeless and Children’s Aid for their tireless work on behalf of our most marginalized and at risk fellow New Yorkers.”
For more information on this or any other Celtic FC Foundation activities, please email [email protected] and we will respond to you as soon as we possibly can.