Providing the Correct Help in New York

The phrase “where there’s a will, there’s a way” while it sounds great, is not always such an accurate idiom.  Even though so many people and organizations want to offer help during times of crises (like now with coronavirus), just having the will is not enough.

Episcopal priest John Merz knows this first hand. As such, he has already set up an infrastructure that is well-equipped to provide the correct help in New York.  As one of the founders of the North Brooklyn Angels organization, he has worked with crises in the past. This organization was set up four years ago and is managed by volunteers who offer assistance to individuals who live right in our backyard: homelessness, housing instability, hunger and poverty.

Merz is now working with Jimmy’s Diner owner Josh Cohen.  He had to close his Brooklyn eatery and so lent his kitchen to the endeavor.  Cooks and dishwashers who were laid off due to the crisis were then rehired by North Brooklyn Angels to prepare meals which are delivered thrice daily by  Cohen and a band of retired firefighters.  They were then joined by military medical personnel and it seems like more volunteers are continually joining the effort.

Father Merz has advice for others who want to help and it is based on the premise of the North Brooklyn Angels: ask people in need what they need; avoid charging full steam ahead with what you need to do to feel good.