The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation board is awarding $8 million in COVID-19 relief in FY 2020 to non-profit organizations serving children and families in New York’s most vulnerable communities. The pandemic brought with it an unprecedented rise in unemployment rates, soaring to 14.5% in April of 2020, leaving many families and children in a position of food vulnerability and without adequate means to pay rent, mortgages, bills, or their children’s school tuition. In response to the devastating scale of the pandemic in New York, the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation’s board approved a proposal to immediately disburse $4 million in emergency funds at end of March 2020 to the Inner-City Scholarship Fund’s Emergency Tuition Assistance Program and the Archdiocese of New York , whose charitable agencies, health organizations, and pastoral leaders have been on the front lines serving communities most affected by the pandemic in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, and Rockland Counties.
An additional $4 million was awarded this week to 16 distinct non-profit organizations serving the most vulnerable children and families in New York with much needed health care and social services in communities devastated by the pandemic. “It is the hope of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation board that these grant disbursements will enable mission-driven, charitable organizations to overcome any financial challenges posed by COVID-19, equipping them to continue to serve their most vulnerable constituents safely and without disruption.” Mary C. Erdoes, Vice Chair of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation and Chief Executive Officer J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management.
FY2020’s $8 million in COVID-19 relief funding exceeds the grants awarded in FY2019 by $4.2 million and FY2018 by $5.4 million, aligning resources in unparalleled measure to ensure that the Alfred E. Memorial Foundation’s mission to bring hope to the neediest children of New York regardless of race, creed, or color, continues to honor the legacy of its namesake Governor Alfred E. Smith.
For over seven decades, the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation has raised hundreds of millions in support of charities devoted to serving the children of New York through its historic signature gala, The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner, hosted every year by outstanding political, business, and cultural leaders. The Dinner has the singular acclaim of being the one time during the US Presidential Campaign when the two candidates come together, in the spirit of mutual respect, for an evening of unity and good cheer on behalf of the underserved children of New York. In this sense, the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner honors a cause that transcends the polarizing political rhetoric of the day and exemplifies the vision of Governor Alfred E. Smith, a life-long advocate for needy children, who was known among his contemporaries as “The Happy Warrior” for his ability to maintain his positive outlook even as he tackled the pressing social issues of his day. Every four years, the Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner hosts the United States Presidential Candidates, often serving as their final public engagement before Election Day.
This year’s Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner is scheduled to take place October 1, 2020.