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The Call Heard ‘Round the World

When NY Governor Andrew Cuomo asked the world to help New Yorkers in their hour of need during a global pandemic, people responded.

At Unity House, an essential non-profit hard at work in these times, we saw generosity in action in response to that call for help.

Among our services are housing programs and a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Some of this work cannot easily accommodate the need for social distancing so early on we determined that non-surgical grade masks would be needed. We did not want to take away precious PPE from healthcare workers, but we needed face masks for our staff and clients.

New York’s Empire State Development Office referred organizations who responded with offers to ship donated fabric masks to New Yorkers in need. That is how we came to know the Rosa Thay Nguyen Children’s Foundation, based in California. The foundation was started by the children of the late Rosa Thay Nguyen. She was a Vietnamese refugee immigrant who dedicated her charity work to helping children, especially those in difficult circumstances. In reading about the work of the foundation and the inspiring matriarch, we thought of our own inspiring matriarch: the late Mary Jane Smith, who was among the founders of Unity House.

The Rosa Thay Nguyen Children’s Foundation generously shipped masks to Unity House, gifts we very much appreciated. We are grateful for the support of so many, near and far, who help when help is needed. Their commitment to helping others is a reminder that we will all get through this together, especially in the Capital Region where we are #NYTough.