At Central Synagogue

Boots, Bluetooth Speakers & Volunteers Needed for New York City Emergency Medical Sites

Posted April 7, 2020

One of Central’s members, Whitney Tilson, is collecting boots and warm socks to aid medical workers and on-site volunteers at the Samaritan’s Purse* emergency field hospital in Central Park. After experiencing rainy weather this week, the site has become wet and muddy, making it difficult for workers to safely navigate the grounds.

The current staff of 80+ people are tending to patients now and will be working at this site for the next few months, so these donations are needed as soon as possible.

If you are able to donate a pair of warm, comfortable, water-resistant boots – both men’s and women’s – please do the following:

1.    Tie the laces together so the boots don’t get separated.
2.    Write the size and gender in big letters on a sticky pad (e.g., M9.5 or W6) and tape it securely to one of the laces.
3.    If you can, find a pair of clean wool socks and stick them in the boots.
4.    DROP-OFF: Central Members, please check your Daily Email from April 7 for a delivery address. All others can contact Whitney’s assistant using the contact information here and at the bottom of this article.

Additionally, this site is also accepting donations of small, portable, cleanable Bluetooth speakers to play music for patients and staff to boost morale. If you have such a speaker and would like to donate it, please drop it off (along with the power cord, nicely wrapped together with a rubber band please!) at the same address.  You cannot drop it at the hospital site as security won’t let you in.

Lastly, a closed Beth Israel hospital has recently reopened their facilities to care for patients of COVID-19. Whitney is looking for volunteers who can help assemble medical beds and perform other tasks to aid the preparation of this new site so patients can begin coming in.

If you’d like to learn more about what Whitney has accomplished so far, you can read his Facebook entry. (And we would also take this moment to say Thank You Whitney! Yasher Koach!)

For any other interest or questions in helping this initiative, please email Whitney’s assistant:
Leila Jerusalem
[email protected]

*Please note the following: Our tradition teaches us that Pikuach Nefesh, saving a life, is our highest value and mandate. Samaritan’s Purse is an organization with which we have profound religious and ideological disagreements. However, recently Mt. Sinai Hospital partnered with them in order to build a field hospital in Central Park to administer to the overwhelming numbers of the sick, and to save the lives of New Yorkers. This is a unique time with an urgent need and we feel comfortable supporting these efforts on the ground, not the organization itself.