All about giving

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A Chelsea window. 1:30 PM. Photo: JH.

Friday, July 24, 2020.  Very warm again yesterday thanks to the punishing humidity. Mid-90s on the thermometer which doesn’t measure the humidity. But dropping to the high 70s by evening, with rain in the forecast but a no-show after a torrential and windy rainfall.

The city traffic is back to normal. Heavy. But the shops along the way — except for the restaurants set up outdoors and onto the streets — are very quiet. But it’s summertime and on these hot days, out of town or here people want to be inside.

JH’s kitties have the right idea.

Although on weekdays my neighborhood is busy by various construction projects, including scaffolding coming down or going up. The two girls’ schools — Brearley and Chapin — are receiving supplies, getting repairs, presumably getting ready for a new school year. Trucks and vans are parked and double parked everywhere.  People are walking their dogs and their babies. Plus the exercisers walking along the partially blocked off roadway. 

Although the last four months in the city have been dead. It has been odd. “Weird” is another word used to describe it. No action. No activities, traffic, nothing. It has been a community depression. We are emerging from it now. Or so it seems; let’s hope so. There’s also lots of construction of mainly high rent apartment buildings all over the city. That’s been ongoing right through lockdown. Towers, thirty/forty stories. I always look at them wondering who will be able to afford those rents?  All this is coupled with all the current go-around talk about New Yorkers leaving the city. 

But there are more important issues looming for all of us as a community. New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity is expected to surge nearly 40% during this economic crisis. Food insecurity is not knowing where your next meal (or you child’s next meal) is coming from. It’s Last Call on Life. City Harvest’s work is needed now more than ever. 

Lighthouse of Hope Outreach and Resource Center, a food pantry in Brooklyn, has seen a 33% jump in the number of people coming through its doors each week compared to pre-COVID-19. It is now serving some 300 people per week. According to Marva Nicholson, the agency’s Executive Director, “People are still out of work. They still need food. Prices at the supermarkets are high. We’re in Brownsville, Brooklyn. There was a high unemployment rate before the virus. With the virus, the unemployment rate is even higher. This is an underserved population. COVID-19 only made it worse.

“With City Harvest bringing food to our community, even before COVID-19, it was a blessing. Every week, they always have something for us—refrigerated, shelf-stable, frozen—whatever it is, we always have something nutritious to give to people and enough to give.”

City Harvest is their main food provider. I’m repeating this message because there is something that many of us can do. Anything you can spare — five dollars, ten dollars, a thousand dollars, all of it goes to keeping our neighbor.

In Another Part of the Philanthropic Forest:  John Hendrickson, the widower of Marylou Whitney, has organized an online auction of The Marylou Whitney Collection. The collection is made up of a selection of Marylou Whitney’s personal belongings. All proceeds will be donated to Saratoga Hospital to build a medical facility where backstretch workers at Saratoga Race Course, who were dear to her heart, will receive on-site medical care. The backstretch workers currently receive care in a small trailer.  

John Hendrickson is committed to building this new state-of-the-art facility as a tribute to the healing spirit that Marylou exuded. There are approximately 1500 of her belongings being auctioned off online beginning this coming Monday (July 27th through August 1st).

“The welfare of backstretch workers was so close to her heart,” Hendrickson said;  “and they loved her. She would be thrilled that her belonging are going to a greater good. The public’s participation in this auction will appropriately honor her legacy of kindness to everyone.”

This link will connect you to the Collection which also includes a forest green 1992 Jaguar convertible with only 35,000 miles on it.

Marylou Whitney’s 1992 green Jaguar XJS convertible.

But there’s also her clothes, her furs, the shoes, her jewelry, her hats and scarves, handbags, all in perfect, like-new condition, naturally. Smart looking and classic.  

Have a look; maybe make a bid. You never know …

Also, before I forget, today, Friday, July 24th through Monday July 27th Saks Fifth Avenue is celebrating their shoe floor by donating 10% of net proceeds from shoe sales to benefit Bring Change to Mind; The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering & NewYork-Presbyterian Phyllis and David Komansky Children’s Hospital. Shop in store or online using code GIVEBACK. 

10022-SHOE ON 8
Fifth Avenue and 50th Street. 

For more details and exclusion information, email

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