By: Amanda Cosenza (@wheres_amanda)
We all know that these are some weird times. As the festival community continues to see cancellations and postponements, the future of the events we love so much hangs in the balance. While this is unfortunate, many of us forget that at the center of all of this there is a vicious disease being battled against. For those who are not health care workers or do not have one close to them, it is easy to forget that there are those on the frontlines putting in the extra hours to help those who most need it. Not only that, but they are also putting themselves more at risk in the process. While we are quarantined at home, it’s easy to forget that there is a battle being fought at hospitals all across the country. No one is quite sure how long this will last but we do know that there are many who need our help. Right now nurses are amongst those on the frontlines who are especially feeling the weight of the situation. Not only are they dealing with severely ill patients, but because these patients are not allowed to have any visitors, they are also serving as the only source of comfort. Nurses and other health care workers really are heroes in this situation.
This is why a few weeks ago, Michael Bleau, the CEO of festival software company Event Hub, launched a charity project that is on a mission to help provide meals to nursing units treating COVID-19 patients. Feed Hero Nurses so far has delivered over 1,000 meals Los Angeles and NYC hospitals, with their first NYC deliveries going to SUNY Downstate Medical Center this past week. They began by servicing UCLA Santa Monica and hope to expand their efforts to more hospitals in LA, NYC, Philadelphia, and Southern Florida.
“Thank you so much for thinking of our teams during this challenging time,” said David Bailey, Chief Nursing Officer, UCLA Santa Monica. “We greatly appreciate this!”
They surpassed their original goal of $30,000 already and are well on their way to reaching their goal of $90,000. If you would like to donate to keep feeding hero nurses on the front line you can visit https://feedheronurses.org. The project has partnered with Postamates to facilitate delivery from local restaurants. They are also organized under 501c3 charity Random Acts to facilitate tax-deductible donations. Most of the meals are provided by local LA-based restaurants like Fat Sal’s Deli, Tacaya, and Sweetfin.
Recently, they teamed up with Steve Aoki to deliver Pizzaoki to UCLA Santa Monica. In case you didn’t know, in addition to being a world-renowned DJ Steve Aoki also owns his own pizza chain, Pizzaoki. Founded in Los Angeles in July of 2018, the pizzeria has now expanded San Diego, the Bay Area, Chicago, and Las Vegas. Feed Hero Nurses and Pizzaoki first teamed up to bring pizzas to UCLA Santa Monica and then coordinated another effort to deliver to two more hospitals, Good Samaritan in downtown Los Angeles and Dignity Health in Northridge. The team hopes to continue this partnership that is helping to provide those on the frontlines with a delicious and filling meal.
Another DJ who is helping to create a positive impact during these hard times is David Guetta. Even though Ultra Music Festival in Miami canceled, he recently live-streamed from outside the Icon Brickell and the W Brickell. In partnership with the Miami Downtown Development Authority, the concert was created to raise money for nonprofit organizations like Feeding South Florida and the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Response Fund. In two hours, over $700,000 was raised. In addition, many residents got to enjoy it from their rooftops. One resident, Jason Ve, told the local CBS news station the following:
“Even though we were not physically together in a usual concert setting, we were all dancing together in our separate balconies, united by the music and what we’re going through. It was such a beautiful moment. I looked over to my fiancé and I remember telling him, ‘I’m never going to forget this,’” wrote Ve. “I feel so blessed, and I guess this is Miami’s version of the Italy balcony singing And this was all for charity – where this event raised over $600K for COVID-19 relief.”
While these are very uncertain times it is heartwarming to see those in the dance community stepping in and helping. As mentioned before, the nurses and other healthcare workers are not only putting themselves at a higher exposure risk, they are also the only source of human interaction and comfort that patients get due to extra precautions being taken in the hospitals. If you have the ability please consider donating to Feed Hero Nurses or similar organizations.