1,500 Queens Families in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program will Receive Emergency Cash Support
April 9, 2020
In partnership with the Gray Foundation and Robin Hood, NYC Kids RISE is providing $150 disaster relief gift cards to 1,500 families in School District 30 in Queens to help address immediate financial needs in communities at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis
In an effort to provide immediate relief for elementary school families in School District 30 — which includes some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods from the COVID-19 pandemic — NYC Kids RISE, in partnership with the Gray Foundation and Robin Hood, is distributing $150 in emergency cash disaster relief support to 1,500 kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade families in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. The $150 cash disaster relief gift cards, provided for at no additional cost by Amalgamated Bank and FIS, can be used for nearly any expense including food, utilities, cleaning supplies, or internet access to facilitate remote learning.
Due to limited resources and high need across the District 30 community, NYC Kids RISE randomly selected 1,500 Save for College Program participating families to have the first chance to receive a $150 emergency cash disaster relief gift card. The first 1,000 of those families were selected from all 10,000+ participating families enrolled in the program, through the support of a $150,000 grant from the Gray Foundation. In addition, with the support of a $75,000 grant from the Robin Hood Relief Fund, NYC Kids RISE randomly selected another 500 families who attend schools located in three of the zip codes within District 30 (11372, 11368, and 11369) that have among the highest number of COVID-19 cases of all zip codes in New York City. These three zip codes represent the portion of District 30 within the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, and Corona.
To receive a card, families who were selected must submit a short form to NYC Kids RISE to confirm their contact information and self-report that they have financial need for this card. Families who have been selected but do not have a financial need can decline the card, and another participating family will be randomly selected. The emergency cash disaster relief comes in the form of Mastercard gift cards and are not subject to taxation, nor do they require a social security number or bank account to use. Families can use this cash support in stores or online, wherever Mastercard is accepted. Amalgamated Bank, an NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program partner, and FIS provided the cards free of charge or fees so that 100% of the available funds can be distributed directly to families.
NYC Kids RISE was founded to promote economic opportunity and equity for NYC’s public school students by enabling families, schools, and communities to work together to save for their children’s futures through the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. The Save for College Program includes more than 10,000 K-2 families, 39 elementary schools, and numerous community organizations and partners across School District 30, one of the most diverse school districts in the country. In this moment of crisis, NYC Kids RISE is working to leverage this network to address some of the severe, immediate economic challenges facing these communities.
“NYC Kids RISE is grateful for the support of the Gray Foundation, Robin Hood, and Amalgamated Bank in making this emergency cash relief available to families in School District 30’s neighborhoods — some of the hardest hit in our city. We hope that these funds will provide some immediate relief to families. We are continuing to work to identify additional financial supports for our families and other ways to partner with our community to weather this crisis together,” said Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Executive Director of NYC Kids RISE
About the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program
The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program provides families, schools, and communities with a way to work together to save for their children’s futures. It’s a scholarship and savings program designed to make college and career training more accessible and achievable for all NYC public school students, starting with all kindergartners in School District 30 in Queens—regardless of their family’s income or immigration status. The Save for College Program is a tool that families, along with their schools and neighbors, can use and customize in the way that best fits into their lives and best supports their dreams for their children.