Almost $1 million raised in less than 48 hours for families of Bronx blaze

When Salim Drammeh set out to raise funds for the Gambian Youth Organization for the victims of Sunday’s deadly fire at Twin Parks North West in the Fordham area of The Bronx, he set out with a $200,000 goal.

In less than 24 hours, that $200,000 goal was surpassed on GoFundMe and within less than 48 hours it has reached over $800,000 thanks in part to over 16,000 donors.

According to Drammeh, all donated funds will be distributed to the victims and will be distributed by the Gambian Youth Organization which is located just a few blocks away and serves many families impacted by this tragic event.

Over 50 donors have contributed $1,000 or more including $3,000 from Ghetto Gastro and $1,000 from Webster Locksmith, two local Bronx institutions.

An anonymous donor generously contributed $8,000 to the fund pushing it over the $800,000 mark earlier this morning.

And help is pouring from all corners of The Bronx.

Lynne Corry, founder of Giving Friends, stayed up all night on Sunday bagging toiletries, brand new coats, hats, and clothing for the victims of the fire. Monday morning she went straight to work and during her lunch break, she went over to Council Member Oswald Feliz’ office to drop off the donations.

Lynne Corry of Giving Friends

Bronx Dems, in partnership with Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson, and Congressman Ritchie Torres, is accepting donations at various locations for new and unworn clothes, coats, underwear, and socks along with other items.

The Arches, a luxury development in Port Morris is also asking residents for donations for those impacted by the fires.

Meanwhile, Chocobar Cortés, a recently opened Puerto Rican restaurant in Port Morris, is donating all proceeds of sales of their hot chocolate this week to The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City set up to help those impacted by the fire.

“We may be new to the Bronx community, but we are heartbroken over the tragic loss of lives and the pain and suffering of the families who have lost loved ones and who have been displaced by the fire,” said Carlos Cortés, Executive Director of Chocobar Cortés. “We hope our small gesture of compassion will help them.”  

The restaurant will also have a donation jar for those who just simply want to make a donation.

Another Port Morris business, Beatstro, the hip-hop-themed restaurant on Alexander Avenue, partnered with World Central Kitchen to provide hundreds of hot meals and will continue to do so in the coming days for the families of 333 E 181st Street.

Orthodox Jewish volunteers on the scene helping feed victims of the fire / via Chaskel Bennet on Twitter

Even folks in Brooklyn have come to the aid of these families. Orthodox Jewish volunteers were at the scene feeding and providing supplies for those in need.

If you want to help, you can do so by making a donation to the Gambian Youth Organization or The Mayor’s Fund.

For those that want to drop off needed items, you can do so at the below drop-off locations listed in the images below.

The Bronx spirit is strong and is not easily broken nor will it ever be as long as we continue to live to help and protect our neighbors and that’s something we do very well even when our communities may not have sufficient resources, we’re masters at pooling what we have together for the greater good.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.