January 14, 2022
To provide immediate relief, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York, Bank of America, and the Met Council will provide pre-loaded gift cards to each impacted family
Additional funds raised by the Mayor’s Fund will be distributed in coming days to families and community based organizations
NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City today announced the City will distribute $2250 gift cards to each household impacted by Sunday’s fire in the Bronx to provide immediate relief for families, for a total of $265,500. The Mayor’s Fund contributed $1000, Bank of America matched that donation plus an additional $50 to cover any ATM fees, and The Met Council donated $200 food cards, for a total of $2250 going to all 118 households affected.
“The entire City of New York is grieving with the families impacted by Sunday’s fire in the Bronx. In a matter of days, we have received an outpouring of support and donations from across New York and across the country — this collective effort humbles us,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “The City is acting now to provide immediate relief to impacted families and we will continue to provide all of the support and resources we can to those affected. I’m grateful to Bank of America and the Met Council for their partnership and want all of our Bronx neighbors touched by this tragedy to know this: New York City has your back.”
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy," said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. "We hope this immediate cash assistance will relieve some of the immediate burdens facing our affected neighbors in the Bronx. I thank the Mayor's Fund and our agency partners for moving so quickly to support those in need."
“In the days after the tragic fire in The Bronx, New Yorkers responded in overwhelming numbers to help their neighbors in need,” said Daniele Baierlein and Jorge Luis Paniagua Valle, Co-Executive Directors of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “We are thankful to the thousands of grassroots donors from all five boroughs and from across the country, and for the generous support from our partners in the business, entertainment, and philanthropic communities.”
“This outpouring of support shows how we come together to help our fellow New Yorkers in times of need, and we couldn’t be more appreciative,” said Rob Speyer Chair, Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Board of Advisors. “Thank you! Mayor Adams and the Mayor’s Fund mobilized immediately, and organizations from all over the world responded to offer assistance. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims of this unspeakable tragedy, and we will all continue to work diligently to support them.”
“Bank of America is committed to helping New Yorkers, and we felt the need to partner with the City of New York to help those impacted by the devastating fire in the Bronx,” said Jose Tavarez, President of Bank of America New York City. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to helping meet the basic needs – water, food & shelter – in the communities where we work and live.”
“Our hearts goes out to the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. That’s why we’re so grateful to partner with Mayor Eric Adams to provide immediate relief via Emergency Food Cards to families impacted by this devastating fire. These $200 food cards can be used in any grocery store or supermarket and will allow families to buy perishable and culturally appropriate items like halal meat, chicken and dairy that are difficult to donate in large quantities because of the lack of refrigeration at the distribution sites,” said David G. Greenfield, CEO of Met Council on Jewish Poverty. “The Jewish community stands united with Mayor Eric Adams and our fellow New Yorkers to do everything we can to help these families recover.”
“I’m grateful for the support and financial contributions from my friends and colleagues, but there’s still much more work for us to do," said Bronx Native and Grammy-nominated musician Fat Joe. "Many of these Bronx families lost everything, so it’s important that we continue to donate and help those in need.”
Since launching hours after Sunday’s tragic fire, the Bronx Fire Relief Fund has received thousands of grassroots donations from across the country and from partners in the business and philanthropic community. Bronx native and Grammy-nominated musician Fat Joe also helped raise awareness in the music and entertainment industry, leading to additional donations in the first days after the launch of the fund. To date, the fund has raised more than $2.2 million. To donate, please visit www.nyc.gov/fund. To provide immediate relief now, a portion of the total funds raised will be sent immediately to each household affected. The City’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU) will distribute these cards directly to each household. For the remaining funds collected, The Mayor’s Fund will work with agency partners to assess outstanding needs and continue sending support directly to victims and local relief organizations.
The fund builds upon the strong initial support provided by first responders, city services and grassroots organizations. First responders from the Fire Department (FDNY), the New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM), and the American Red Cross provided critical assistance during and immediately following the fire.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bronx community that was affected by the East 181st Street fire," said Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Fred Kreizman. "We greatly appreciate the Mayor's Fund, Bank of America, and the Met Council for their partnership in supporting New Yorkers in need. CAU will continue to work on the ground with the interfaith community and our community-based partners to support the impacted families."
“The Public Engagement Unit works directly with communities, so we know how important it is to hear from survivors about their immediate needs, while also planning for long-term assistance” says Adrienne Lever, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit. “I am proud that our team is able to be part of this rapid response effort and provide some relief in this midst of this terrible crisis, and the City is committed to making sure the survivors get the longer term support they need.”
NYCEM established a service center at Monroe College open from 12-8pm on Thursday and Friday and from 10am-5pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, where individuals can receive assistance with City services including housing, COVID-19 testing, food, burial assistance, and mental health support. In addition:
For local updates, individuals can text ‘181STFIRE to 692692 for updates and resources for victims. For information on the status of loved ones, call 311.
“I commend Mayor Adams for his efforts to comprehensively support the survivors of the horrific Bronx fire by providing funds to each impacted household,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Myself, along with Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul, Rep. Torres, Borough President Gibson and many others have pledged our support for the Bronx community and to help in any way we can. I have called on the federal government to compassionately and expeditiously work towards finding new housing for all those who have been displaced, and I will continue to work with my partners in the Borough President's Office, the City, and the State to ensure that all is done to help these families recover and heal.”
“I'm devastated by the horrifying and deadly fire in the Bronx and my heart is with everyone who has been injured, lost their home or lost a loved one. I’m grateful to Bank of America, the Met Council, and all those who donated to the Mayor’s Fund for their generous contributions and am glad to see that the funds are being distributed rapidly to provide immediate relief to the families affected. I stand ready to fight for whatever federal action is necessary to prevent similar tragedies in the future,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
"I commend the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in partnership with Mayor Eric Adams for this ongoing effort to support families throughout the Bronx who were impacted by Sunday's tragic fire," said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. "We stand united to commend the courageous efforts of our emergency personnel and first responders - and our collective efforts through this fund, will help further our work to provide emergency relief, much needed supplies, and resources to support the victims and their families devastated by this tragedy and help them recover.”
“The most immediate need of the families continues to be financial assistance to be able to recuperate the losses caused by fire. The families lost everything and will struggle to piece their lives back together as they seek to recover from this nightmare. These gift cards are a much welcomed help and will help the families right away. Together, as electeds at all levels of government, we remain committed to supporting the families and helping them build back their lives,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres.
“The heartbreaking fire in The Bronx destroyed and uprooted the lives of the many families devastated by this tragedy,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman. “Many of them now only own the clothes on their back and most of them are immigrants that have nowhere else to go. The Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC is a much needed effort that will allow the distribution of gift cards to each household impacted by Sunday’s fire, providing immediate relief to those families. While we support this emergency situation through this fund, I call on all levels of government to find systemic solutions to the root causes of fires such as championing investments in safe, affordable housing options and affordable utilities. I will do my part to fight to see to it that preventable home fires are addressed.”
“Our campaign is harnessing the grassroots power of our supporters to help these families. We chose to partner with the Mayor’s Fund because they are providing immediate, direct cash payments to victims - rather than make them labor through the stacks of paperwork too often expected of disaster victims,” said Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “In addition to financial support, the City must also must provide justice for the lives lost. There have been many troubling reports about the building’s management and their failure to take basic safety precautions. These reports must be investigated and responsible parties held accountable.”
"In hard times, New Yorkers always come together and help their neighbors," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. "Following the horrific 5-alarm fire we saw this week, The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York acted immediately to not only collect funds for the impacted families, but to understand their specific needs. The news that each impacted household will receive pre-loaded gift cards immediately is a necessary step in helping these families get back on their feet. I thank the Mayor’s Fund, Mayor Adams, Bank of America and the Met Council for their partnership in making sure our Bronx families receive this direct support, and the thousands of New Yorkers near and beyond who contributed to the mayors fund to advance NYC.”
“While we are still reeling from last Sunday's tragedy, it is incredibly moving how our City's government, non-government partners, and every day New Yorkers have stepped up to provide much-needed support and relief to the families impacted by the devastating fire in the Bronx," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "I want to thank Mayor Adams and his administration for immediately distributing the funding received from countless New Yorkers through the Mayor's Fund to each affected household, as they are in desperate need. The work is not over and I am committed to continuing working to help these families rebuild."
“We are still in shock by the devastating fire that occurred in the Bronx this Sunday. But we are thankful and grateful to everyone who assisted affected families during these challenging times. Our entire city was there for vulnerable families, and worked around the clock to make sure every family received the help they needed - food, clothing, housing, and financial assistance. I want to especially applaud the Mayor for the incredible leadership and support he provided every step of the way," said Council Member Oswald Feliz
“Those affected by this horrific fire need our help, and I have been heartened to see how our City’s leadership and individual residents have stepped up to come to their aid,” said Council Member Eric Dinowitz. “The Mayor’s Fund, along with Bank of America and Met Council, are providing vital resources, including mental health services, that are desperately required at this time. I extend my deepest thanks to them and to those that have contributed to this massive relief effort.”
“The horrific tragedy we experienced this week has been overwhelming for many communities here in the Bronx. While the devastation of this event still weighs on us, it has been exceptionally heartwarming to see how many people jumped into action for the families devastated by the fire. Thank you to the quick work of the Mayor's Fund, and the generous donations from Bank of America and the MET Council. I also want to express my gratitude and appreciation to the residents of District 18 who have volunteered and gone out of their way to donate so much these past few days. The generosity I have witnessed from individuals in my district and throughout the borough is a testament to our strong sense of community in the Bronx," said Council Member Amanda Farias.
"The outpouring support from public and private partners in the aftermath of Sunday's tragic fire has been awe-inspiring," stated Council Member Rafael Salamanca. "I applaud the Adams' administration for all that they have done and continue to do to provide relief in this time of great need. As a city, we must support these families any way that we can."
"Our hearts are broken in listening to the stories our neighbors share at Twin Parks North West. Only they will ever know the depth of what they experienced on that tragic Sunday. I thank Mayor Eric Adams for swiftly moving with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Bank of America and the Met Council to provide financial support affected families, which will allow families to self-determine how to meet their needs. I also thank the many organizations, individuals and elected officials for the ongoing support they have been providing. As our City moves forward in supporting families and responding to this terrible crisis, we must ensure transparency and fairness in disbursement of all funds raised, and a robust search into what went wrong and how we will prevent a tragedy like this from ever occurring again," said Council Member Pierina Sanchez.
“I’ve listened to horrific stories of loss over the last week, and while nothing will make any of these families whole again, this is a good first step to help them regain a sense of normalcy. The support from fellow Bronxites, New Yorkers, and the country has been overwhelming. I want to thank the NYC Mayors Fund and their partners at Bank Of America and The Met Council for their contributions. I also want to credit the incredible rapid response by the FDNY, Red Cross and the NYC Emergency Management for providing immediate assistance at these families darkest moment," said Council Member Marjorie Velazquez.
“There hasn’t been a tragedy like this in so long, it is overwhelming to everyone involved. With the love of our community and so many others, within a week collectively, we can provide aid to these families through programs, donations, and monetary means. Our hearts go out to all of them. I am here for you, as well as my staff and many others,” said Assemblymember Yudelka Tapia.
“The business community joins Mayor Adams in recognizing the depth of this tragedy and the obligation to provide resources to support its victims through contributions to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City.
New Yorkers interested in contributing to the fund can donate online: www.nyc.gov/fund, or by mailing a check, made payable to "The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City" indicating that donations are for the Bronx Fire Relief Fund in the memo field or in a note enclosed with the check:
Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
253 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007