To our Community:
Hope is in the air in New York City. If you walk the city streets, there’s no doubt we’re on the precipice of a new chapter. Masks are coming off. Parks are bustling with New Yorkers enjoying the sun and warmer weather. Outdoor (and now indoor!) dining is in full swing.
To some, it may seem like an odd time to announce a storytelling initiative centered around COVID-19. It’s time to celebrate! We’re ready for vacation, to visit a restaurant or movie theater we’ve missed, or hug someone we haven’t hugged in months.
But as The Bowery Mission emerges from this challenging season into a new, more hopeful one, we believe it’s imperative that we take a moment to remember, and reflect, on the experiences of our community in the past 15 to 16 months.
To that end, we are so honored to introduce a new site, bowery.org/COVIDheroes, dedicated to the faithful services of our frontline staff and volunteers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From the moment our worlds changed in March 2020, through the present, these men and women have demonstrated enormous courage in serving vulnerable New Yorkers.
This project is our humble attempt to honor their sacrifice and preserve their voices, their losses and their victories, their joys and their sorrows. While the world was sheltering in place, they left their families and homes daily to serve New Yorkers without a home, driven by their commitment to love their neighbors well.
Reflecting on The Bowery Mission’s nearly 150-year history, I am deeply conscious of how these staff and volunteers carry forward the Mission’s legacy of care during times of great crisis. Through their sacrifice, we have been able to keep our Red Doors open through this ongoing pandemic — just as the mission did during the 1918 flu pandemic, the Great Depression, 9/11, and Hurricane Sandy through the faithfulness of generations before. This legacy both humbles us and drives us; it reminds us of who we were, and who we will continue to be, by God’s grace.
Will you join me in honoring their faithful service? Watch a video, read a staff profile, scroll through our photo essay! Our stories are your stories. And our hope is that, through this project, you too will feel invited into The Bowery Mission’s community of care and compassion.
James Winans, CEO
Meet our heroes
Hear from our frontline workers who set their lives on the line so vulnerable New Yorkers could receive care and HOPE during the pandemic.