COVID-19 has left a long lasting impact on our world. As the pandemic gained traction throughout the United States, New York City’s COVID-19 patient count was growing at an exponential rate come mid March. Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, has since been labeled as “Ground Zero” for COVID-19 in the country.

As COVID-19 patients increased at Elmhurst Hospital, the hospital’s daily staff count bolstered alongside it. Unfortunately, no matter how many efforts or donations were made, the hospital was continuously running out of necessities for our frontline workers to refuel during shifts, due to increased traffic at the hospital. The hospital created a peaceful retreat space called the H3 Room, short for “Helping Healers Heal.” The designated room was created for nurses and staff members to escape the horrors that the hospital was experiencing to take a break, unwind, have a snack and take a moment to breathe. As mentioned, due to increased traffic, the H3 Room was constantly running out of snacks and beverages for our frontline workers. In an effort to create awareness, Adam Leitman Bailey’s longtime friends Wendy Metzger Macaluso and Jodi Metzger Romano reached out to Adam to explain the situation at Elmhurst Hospital and bring awareness to an unfortunate situation.

Jodi Metzger Romano, Director of Mental Health Services at Elmhurst Hospital, explained in detail what the nurses and staff members were facing. As of May 10th, the eighth  nurse who worked in the hospital’s emergency room died of COVID-19. Morale was at an all time low and the one place nurses could go to escape the world’s reality for a moment was depleted of resources. As soon as Adam heard what Elmhurst Hospital was experiencing, he immediately brought Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. on board to help our frontline workers. Adam’s Executive Assistant and Director of Operations at the firm,  Maria Ferrugia, was more than eager to manage the project and put a team together to assist in the most efficient way possible. Our team consisted of two paralegals, Blair Gregory and Tommay Chaoji, who helped reach out to vendors and distributors, Marketing Associate Annabelle to help with marketing efforts and Maria Ferrugia to manage the project from start to finish.

The Hospital currently employs 300+ nurses a day. Our team settled on providing the hospital with enough food for each nurse for 45 days. The number of units to fulfill this projection is approximately 14,500 units of individually wrapped items. In order to make an order this large come to fruition, we initially started with asking major manufacturers and distributors if they would like to donate to the cause.  Unfortunately, due to a decrease in sales, all of the companies we reached out to were unable  to donate, except for PerfectBar, who donated three boxes of  bars to the cause. Our team immediately pivoted and narrowed down our approach to only reach out to distributors in the Tri-State area to sell to our firm at the wholesale price due to the size of the order. We also continued our donation approach and extended the option to donate to employees, friends and families.

The most difficult task throughout the entire project, was finding a distributor to sell to a law firm. We found that the distributors were only willing to sell to grocery stores, convenience stores, bodegas, etc. Luckily, Jay Bee Distributors was more than happy to sell to us and contribute to the cause. Our firm purchased 14,500 individually wrapped granola bars, chips, cookies, trail mixes and fruit snacks from the distributor. The bulk of our donation came from the distributor, however, we also received many donations from employees, friends and family that pushed our total units of food and beverages to 14,924 to donate to the hospital.

On Monday, June 1, 2020, a small team consisting of Maria, Blair, and Annabelle, loaded the donations into a truck and embarked to the Hospital from the firm. Upon arrival, the team was met with many smiling and appreciative faces. After exchanging a few hellos and snapping a few group photos, the team readied the donation for unloading. At the loading area, the team was met by attorney Danny Ramrattan, who aided us in unloading the sizeable sum of food from the truck.

From start to finish, the entire project was a rewarding one to say the least. To know that Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. made an genuine effort to help our frontline workers is extremely humbling. Everyone has been affected by the pandemic and our frontline workers have been hit the hardest. We are extremely grateful to have been able to be part of a project of this size to give back to our community and to witness the genuine appreciation on the faces of our frontline workers when our team hand delivered the donation in person. I am also grateful for the Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. employees who stepped up and helped make all of this possible, we couldn’t have made this possible without collectively working together.