10 Heartwarming Ways New Yorkers Are Helping Each Other During This Time

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

10 Heartwarming Ways New Yorkers Are Helping Each Other During This Time

There’s nobody quite like New Yorkers.

And there’s nothing quite like the New York spirit! Even through all the trials and tribulations of this time, New Yorkers have been coming together like never before.

Here are some of the top moments from the past month or so to put on a smile on your face and remember why this is the greatest city in the world!

1. Clapping and Applauding Every Evening for Essential Workers

NYC neighborhoods have taken it upon themselves to continue the tradition of thanking all its essential workers with a round of applause every evening at 7pm, right when most healthcare workers are switching shifts. These videos from all around the city will surely bring a tear to your eye! It’s such a simple gesture but one that really shows how much we appreciate all they’re doing for our city.

2. Lighting Up in Blue on Thursdays To Show Solidarity With Hospitals

Instagram / @thegarden

Along with over 400 landmarks from all over the country, NYC is participating in #LightItBlue, an initiative to show gratitude and support for hospital workers and first responders fighting COVID-19. #LightItBlue started in the U.K. to help show solidarity with their National Health Service workers, and now we’re practicing it in NYC (and the entire U.S.!). The lighting will continue every Thursday evening from now on to show the country’s ongoing love and support for its healthcare workers caring for others and risking their lives every day.

3. Making Thousands of Much-Needed Face Masks and Shields

Instagram / @nycmayorsoffice

Today Brooklyn Navy Yard houses over 500 businesses, but it has a rich history of being a vital factory during WWII. And now, history is repeating itself. Different companies that are housed in the Navy Yard have joined forces to use their skills and materials to help fight our new war: coronavirus. Multiple different companies based there have completely changed their businesses to now make needed items like hospital gowns and face masks for healthcare workers.

4. Some Landlords are Forgiving Rent for their Tenants

Instagram / @johnnycirillo

While the bill for “rent cancellation” still moves through the state senate, some landlords are taking it upon themselves to ease tenants’ worries. With lots of New Yorkers out of work and businesses closed due to city regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many wondered what they would do about rent due at the beginning of this month. And some landlords, like Brooklyn’s Mario Salerno, are helping them out. Read about them here!

5. Putting Rainbows in Their Windows

Brooklynites have been lifting spirits in a particularly sweet way: by putting rainbows in their windows! The “Rainbow Connection” first began as a way to entertain children on daily walks, according to Buzzfeed, since they couldn’t see their friends or go out to playgrounds anymore. Neighbors started putting rainbows in their windows, whether in the form of drawings, paintings, etc., so children could try to spot as many as they could while out and about. Now it’s a tradition for anyone who wants a spot of brightness in their day!

6. Sharing Digital Resources to Feel Like We’re Still Exploring the City


Many NYC institutions are sharing free digital resources to help New Yorkers feel like they’re still enjoying their favorite spots in the city! Here are some of our favorites:

7. Cooking Meals For First Responders & People in Need

Instagram / @elevenmadisonpark

Eleven Madison Park is known for its unparalleled fine dining in NYC (which can cost over $300 per person), but now their industrial kitchen will be used for something much different. They have partnered with Rethink Food NYC, a non-profit organization “working to recover nutritious excess food to provide low or no-cost meals to New York City families in need,” along with American Express, to cook meals for both medical workers fighting the virus and for New Yorkers in need of food.

Also, Sauce Pizzeria Is Delivering Over 250 Pizzas Each Day To Hospitals & First Responders!

8. Keeping Romance & Love Alive

Some people aren’t letting quarantine kill the romance! When this New Yorker noticed a cute neighbor, for example, he decided to ask her out, following all the recommended safety rules of course. He shared his whole story via Instagram (in different parts) and it’s pretty amazing how he was able to keep the same dating norms while isolated, he just had to get a little creative.

This couple also had an adorable, socially-distant New Yorker wedding from the New York streets.

9. Connecting With Neighbors Through Music

Though most questioned if New Yorkers could really be as festive as Italy, singing out on their balconies in these trying times (did you see Trevor Noah’s take?!), one Morningside Heights community is trying! Gretchen Connelie shared videos of the residents of her building in Morningside Heights all leaning out their windows to sing different songs, which she said has been happening now every evening at 7pm.

10. Bringing Groceries and Medicine to Older New Yorkers


Two New York college students named Liam Elkind and Simone Policano were able to recruit 1,300 volunteers in 72 hours (according to the Associated Press) to help to bring groceries, medicine, plus some socialization and a cheery face to older New Yorkers stuck indoors. They are calling the group “Invisible Hands,” and you can sign up to volunteer or request deliveries on their website here.

Though not specifically something New Yorkers are doing, in some other good news: air pollution is down in NYC, and you can find out about good news all over the country here!

featured image source: Shutterstock

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