Coronavirus Relief

The National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) goal at this unprecedented time in our country’s history is to connect and help our Italian American community here in the United States while we work with those who can help the people of Italy.

NIAF Chairman Patricia de Stacy Harrison wants to thank NIAF’s Management, Executive Committees and the Board as a whole, for their responsiveness as together we look at viable ways to meet this goal.

In terms of Italy outreach, Chairman Harrison particularly wants to thank Peter Arduini, Anita McBride and Joseph Del Raso, who continue to work with Italy’s Ambassador to the United States Armando Varricchio, to focus on priority needs. The Ambassador is very appreciative of NIAF’s help. NIAF Board Member Peter Arduini, is a member of the board of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and coordinated with Advamed CEO Scott Whitaker and the Ambassador to identify resources available to meet urgent needs for Italy.

NIAF continues to look for ways to help. As Italy is gradually reopening, the United States death toll has reached 100,000 from the disease.

We encourage those who want to help to consider donating to one or more of the following relief campaigns. Each campaign supports specific needs in Italy and the United States. Since NIAF has created this page in March, some of the campaigns have concluded and achieved their impressive goals to donate money to research and resources both here and in Italy. Fundraising campaigns that have concluded are denoted as such below:

Italy Stay Strong
The Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation (ISSNAF) is orchestrating the #ItalyStayStrong fundraiser. On April 1, the Embassy and ISSNAF launched the campaign to assist three Italian medical and research institutes that are at the forefront of the outbreak: the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome, the Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan, and the Cotugno Hospital in Naples. Donations are still being accepted.

Sant’Anna and San Sebastiano Hospital in Caserta, Campania
Vincenzo Andreone organized this campaign aimed to enable the hospital to purchase respirators, masks and protective devices for patients and operators. The GoFundMe fundraiser has recently closed, raising nearly €7,000: https://bit.ly/3ahzOtA. More details will follow soon.

Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo
Cesvi, an Italian charity founded in Bergamo, is raising money for the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital and for home assistance for the elderly living in Bergamo and Milan, the area with the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in Italy to date: https://bit.ly/33AJTPY.

San Raffaele Hospital in Milan
There are two opportunities to support the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. Donations can be made directly to the hospital: https://bit.ly/3drf6d1. Donations can also be made through a GoFundMe campaign created by the Ferragni family; the funds raised will be directly donated to the hospital to strengthen intensive care: https://bit.ly/2Wy7hfg.

Spallanzani Hospital in Rome
We the Italians’ month-long GoFundMe campaign for Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, surpassed its €50,000 goal by fundraising €53,000 from more than 300 generous donors by the end of April. Spallanzani Hospital is the most important research and treatment center in Italy for contagious diseases. These funds will be allocated to treatment and research to fight the coronavirus. When it will be possible according to the law and security protocols, We the Italians will produce a short video about the Spallanzani Hospital to show all donors and all Italian Americans this true embodiment of Italian excellence and research of which all of us Italians are proud. The video will also thank the hospital’s staff for its dedication to take care of those from all over Italy who needed and still need help. Thank you to those who donated to support this cause. For further updates, visit: https://www.wetheitalians.com/.

Southern Italian Hospitals Relief
The U.S. Delegation of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George participated in fundraising efforts led by the Constantinian Order Charity Onlus to assist Southern Italian hospitals to combat COVID-19. John M. Viola, the royal delegate for the United States Delegation, facilitated the American GoFundMe, which ended its campaign on May 26, meeting its goal of $50,000 through the GoFundMe appeal. Worldwide, the Constantinian Order (through its non-profit COC) raised over €223,445 for Coronavirus relief efforts, in two months.

Below are some of the ways the Order has assisted frontline efforts in the fight against Covid-19 in Italy.  A summary of donations, including press releases, etc. can also be found here: Covid-19 Emergency Beneficiaries. A variety of ‘thank you’ videos (with English subtitles) can be found here: SMOCSG USA. Before the GoFundMe concluded, it had already dispersed funding to hospitals in Calabria, Sicily and Campania: https://bit.ly/3cKIyJN.

Celebrity Chef Mary Ann Esposito has joined the Foundation in this effort by sharing NIAF’s website that lists these relief campaigns on her Ciao Italia website for her fans to support as well.

In terms of what we are doing for our Italian American family, some of us had the opportunity to listen to a unique “Telephonic Town Hall Virtual Meeting” with Dr. John Rosa and Dr. Angelo Falcone on the facts about the coronavirus on Sunday, March 22. It was informative and also provided tips for getting through this crisis. They are planning to expand and continue this conversation and we will let you know when this will be scheduled.

NIAF Board Member Dr. Antonio Giordano, director of the Sbarro Health Research Organization, informatively explains COVID-19, how to contain the infection and next steps in this article: http://bit.ly/33x08xh.

As you know, there was a critical shortage of surgical masks and supplies for our local hospitals and emergency rooms. Here are the following initiatives that addressed this crisis:

NYC Sews
The NYC Sews initiative organized fabric donations and individuals that could sew to make masks for healthcare workers in the US. Fabric manufacturers joined the effort as well. From March to May, around 50 packages were made and delivered for all participating tailors to contribute by making masks. Twenty-two tailors created more 1,000 masks that will now be delivered to the essential workers, TLC drivers in the city, in memory of Anil Subba.

On Tuesday, April 2, 2020, Anil Subba, who worked as an Uber driver, passed away due to the coronavirus. He is the first Uber driver to die due to the virus. He was the sole provider for his family and made the decision to stop working two weeks prior to his passing to avoid contracting this deadly disease. This decision was made after he transported a sick passenger from JFK airport during the first week of March. Masks were donated to TLC drivers throughout the city in Mr. Subba’s honor.

For further details on this grassroots effort, visit: https://powerofoneforall.net/.

EATs for EMTs
Renee Cafaro organized EATs for EMTs GoFundMe to help support restaurants in NYC while giving free meals to EMTs who are the lowest paid first responders in the city. Within one month, the campaign reached its goal—free meals were delivered to every FDNY EMS union office across the city.

“We’ve been able to infuse a bit of much-needed revenue into NYC and a boost of moral and a hot meal to the men and women on the front lines responding to our 911 Calls,” said Renee Cafaro. “It’s been an honor to do this project. Thank you.”

To view the progression of the campaign and the local restaurants who made the deliveries possible, visit: https://bit.ly/34rpkWl

If you have access to a trusted site that is dedicated to filling this need, we will post on our website.

For the most up to date and factual information, visit the CDC’s website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, and the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html. For further updates on all of the initiatives and campaigns mentioned, visit: www.niaf.org/coronavirusrelief.