Central New York is in this together

virtual hug

Central New York comes together in times of crisis

Central New York is amazing in so many ways.  It’s never been more apparent than during the COVID-19 crisis as its citizens and businesses prove that CNY is a community that cares.

People are putting up displays of hope and unity to encourage neighbors and passersby. Medical facilities are collaborating, and companies are making donations and changing their business models to produce necessary equipment. Random acts of kindness are on the rise, too.

And what we’re doing in CNY is helping communities beyond our area.

Medical personnel kicked into action

Crouse Hospital and Upstate University Hospital launched a “wartime planning” state to help protect and care for our community. They, along with St. Joseph’s, quickly canceled elective surgeries, added beds and converted units to Corona-ready areas to prepare for an influx of patients. Drive-by testing centers cropped up — Syracuse Community Health Center launched a testing program for people who don’t have doctors and WellNow Urgent care started offering in-vehicle triage procedures.

Local companies show they care
Many local companies have donated personal protective gear to hospitals for health care workers who are on the front lines of testing and treating coronavirus patients. Here are a few who have stepped up to provide additional assistance:

-  Hillrom Corp. donated diagnostic equipment needed to start a community health testing center. It also doubled its production of critical care products needed to meet patients’ needs.

-  Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards, along with at least five other local distilleries, converted their distilleries to start producing hand sanitizer.

-  Two of the area’s largest construction companies, Hayner Hoyt and Hueber Breuer, donated face masks to local medical centers to protect medical workers.

A lacrosse helmet manufacturer, Casecade Maverik Lacrosse, switched to making face shields needed by medical personnel.

-  Syracuse University and The Scholar Hotel Syracuse prepared to take less-critically-ill patients from hospitals, should they get overrun.

-  Bike-share company Gotcha is offered restaurants its bikes to make deliveries.

-  Local film company American High corralled volunteers at the Greater Syracuse Soundstage to make healthcare face shields. The shields were designed by Budmen Industries, which makes custom 3D printers. The company is giving away the template for free on their website, so anyone can make them.  More than 3,000 people worldwide have downloaded the template.

Donations are on the rise
Central New Yorkers are known to dig deep in times of need. Just a few examples of what’s happening in the community right now:

-  The United Way of CNY, Allyn Foundation and The Central New York Community Foundation partnered to set up a fund to help local non-profits get through the pandemic. It raised $1Million in its first week to help people in need of food, education or those with healthcare issues.

-  Volunteers responded quickly to a call from The Food Bank of Central New York to pack 500 boxes of emergency food at its warehouse. The Food Bank has also received donations from wholesale food suppliers and temporarily closed restaurants, so they expect to continue packing boxes.

-  The CNY Diaper Bank developed a crisis fund for the public to donate money to distribute diapers for families in need, as it is not able to accept donated diapers at this time.

-  A CNY deli, Lucky 7 Deli Grocery & Deli, served hundreds of free spaghetti and meatball dinners from a walk-up window to help its neighbors in need.

Companies reward front-line workers
We’re thankful for health care workers, essential store employees, IT, delivery, security and more who are on the front lines of serving Central New Yorkers.  And how some local companies have rewarded their staffs for their efforts: Employees at Byrne Dairy & Deli were given cash bonuses; Wegmans increased its workers’ hourly rates for March and April; Tessy Plastics gave every employee a $2,00o bonus. Other CNY employers are following suit.

Central New Yorkers show solidarity
Many neighborhood groups are working together to take care of others, while maintaining social distancing.  Social media posts show neighbors delivering groceries for the elderly, sharing much-needed toilet paper and more.

Walks around our neighborhoods show cheery re-strung Christmas lights and chalk messages of hope on driveways and sidewalks.

It’s all intended to spread the message that Central New Yorkers are in this together.