COVID-19 forced a million city public-school students to attend school via Zoom, illuminating how many Bronx families lacked computers or Wi-Fi—and launching a collaboration of nonprofits to fill the void.
Soon after schools first closed in March 2020, The Bronx Community Foundation— a nonprofit founded by local twin brothers Derrick and Desmond Lewis in 2017— created The Bronx Community Relief Effort under Derrick’s leadership.
It is sometimes making a choice of ‘Do I pay rent? Do I put food on the table? Do I buy medical services? Or do I get internet service?
As part of the relief effort, working groups formed around a range of issues: housing/community, equity and justice, education, economic security and health, and digital equity. Nonprofits that sometimes had competed for philanthropic dollars began sharing information and solutions.