BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
This year, the downtown Flushing Business Improvement District has changed its annual gala to a fundraiser to support struggling small businesses by purchasing and delivering “Thank You Meals” to first responders on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis.
Flushing BID members on May 28 were joined by Community Board 7 Chair Eugene Kelty and District Manager Marilyn McAndrews, as well as a representative from Congresswoman Grace Meng’s office to deliver 130 meals to Union Plaza Care Center, located at 33-23 Union St.
Deborah Luongo, director of Union Plaza Care Center, said she appreciates the community’s outreach as the center continues to navigate through the coronavirus crisis.
“We were hit hard with the pandemic, but residents in the house are recovering,” Luongo said. “In the past four weeks, we were able to set up family visits through the glass door in between for the non-ill residents to see their loved ones face to face. Union Plaza Care Center has been the foundation of downtown Flushing serving the community in different capacities. Throughout this pandemic, the center and its crews did an excellent job taking care of the seniors and serving the community.”
The meals are purchased from local Flushing restaurants that are delivered to hospitals, police departments, sanitation departments, fire departments and nursing homes.
The BID delivered meals to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital on May 18 and the NYPD 109th Precinct on May 22. The Thank You Meal delivery to first responders will continue in the next few weeks.
During a month-long fundraising, the Flushing BID has received donations of $18,000 from 10 sponsors including: Hanover Bank, The Shops at Skyview, World Journal, Betsy Mak Appraisal Group, Flushing Bank, NY Tung Ren Tang, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, United Health Care, Wei Wei & Co., and USTA.
Flushing BID will also use the funds raised to purchase PPE for local small businesses to help them prepare for reopening.
“On behalf of the Flushing community with the support of generous gala fundraising sponsors, we thank them for the courageous commitment to their job and selfless dedication to others.” Said Dian Song Yu, executive director of Flushing BID.
This story first appeared on qns.com.