We asked our donor-advised fundholders why they chose to give to the COVID-19 Community Support Fund during this crisis. Here’s what Madelyn Hornstein had to say:
What inspired you to give during this crisis? This crisis has affected so many different sectors of our community, in so many different ways. We wanted to help in some way but didn’t know where to start. Thankfully, I knew that the Community Foundation and United Way have a much better handle on all of the organizations in our region that could use our help than I do. When they came together to create the COVID-19 Community Support fund, I knew that our donation was in good hands and would be distributed to a variety of organizations that were all vetted and deserving.
What do you feel are the greatest needs in our community right now? Food and housing are the obvious needs but then I have wondered about all of the school-age children that do not have access to tablets or computers or even internet access to be able to partake in online learning. With libraries closed, how are recently unemployed people without access to computers able to apply for unemployment benefits?
Editor’s note: The fund has already begun supporting organizations addressing the digital divide and is anticipating needs as they continue to evolve.
What is your hope for Central New York as we navigate this crisis? I’m an optimist so I hope that we come back as a stronger, more tight-knit community. We have had to band together and fight this battle together, so a renewed respect for one another and the jobs that we hold has been refreshing. I was born and raised in Central New York, so it would not surprise me if more people started to move back into our area as a result of this crisis. Why would you want to deal with mass transit and elevators to get to your offices or into your homes! We have a lot to offer in this region and lots of ways to easily socially distance while enjoying the sites.
While this crisis has been more than challenging, what do you think might take from it as we work through this and future crises together? I think that the forced use of technology to be able to work remotely from home will alter the way we do business in the future and the way we learn at ALL levels. Much of this technology has been around for years but we have never needed to use it. Zoom meetings will become the norm as opposed to people spending time traveling. Ultimately, there will be many positions that will not be needed going forward and others that will be created. Just as people wonder if their business is recession-proof, I think people will begin to wonder if their job is recession-proof. We will have to wait and see.
Madelyn Hornstein is the CEO of Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs, LLC and a Community Foundation fundholder. She is also a member of the Professional Advisors’ Council and formerly CNYCF Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee.