David Hochfelder | Charity and Community

David Hochfelder is passionate about getting involved in his community.

Category: Philathropy

The Real Estate Executive Sleepout

One out of every 147 New Yorkers is currently homeless.

In a city with a population of 8.5 million people, each night over 58,000 men, women, and children sleep in homeless shelters with at least 3,100 who sleep on the streets and in the subway, even during the winter months.

One of these shelters where homeless men and women take refuge is Covenant House; founded over 40 years ago, its mission is to help the young people ages 16 to 21 who are living on the street by providing shelter, food, essential services and immediate crisis care in over 27 cities across the United States extending into Canada and Latin America.

In order to finance its efforts and further help youth in need – it costs about $1,000 to get a homeless youth off the street – Covenant House also holds several different ‘sleep outs’ in various cities throughout the United States with the slogan, “Sleep outside… so homeless youth don’t have to.” Sleep outs – much like dance marathons or team relay events – raise money through awareness and fundraising at the start of the event, culminating in a sleep out where participants spend a night sleeping on the street. These sleep outs provide an opportunity for professionals and students to immerse themselves in some of the problems faced every day by homeless youth in America and allow them to become part of the solution.

There are several different sleep out events that occur, each targeted towards a different industry or particular group: Executive Edition, Young Professional Edition, Mothers Edition, Corporate and Industry Edition, Broadway Edition, and Student Edition. One of the subcategories of the Corporate and Industry Edition is the New York Real Estate Executive Sleep Out, founded by a group who stands firmly behind the Covenant House Mission to provide shelter and safety for homeless youths.

In October 2014, about 100 real estate executives took to the streets of New York for the first-ever Real Estate Executive Sleep Out. The event was so successful, raising more than double its goal of $100,000 (they raised $216,000), that another sleep out for 2015 was booked just days after the event took place; the 2015 Sleep Out went on to raise over $360,000. The third Real Estate Executive Sleep Out is scheduled to take place on September 29, 2016. All participants must have a connection to the real estate industry and must commit to a fundraising goal of at least $1,000, working towards a $300,000 goal.

“Together across the U.S. and Canada we are a unified voice for the thousands of homeless kids and trafficked kids with no voice of their own, kids being abused and beaten and forgotten,” said Covenant House President Kevin Ryan. “With the money and awareness raised, [these] Sleep Out[s] will save lives.”

Since its inception, Covenant House has helped more than 1 million youths turn their lives around by providing a place for these kids to feel safe enough to turn their lives around in an effort to reduce homelessness in the future by addressing the problem today.

New York City-Based Charities

Donating to charities – be it your time or your money – is a great way to give back to the community that you’re a part of and lend a helping hand to others less fortunate than yourself. Without the support of donors and volunteers, most charities wouldn’t be able to operate on a daily basis. If you’re looking to donate consider one of these amazing non-profit and charitable organizations based out of New York City.

  • Dress for Success – Since it was founded in 1997 in Harlem by Nancy Lublin, this nonprofit has expanded to provide professional attire to more than 850,000 low income women in 140 locations. It receives funding from a combination of government funding, grants, campaigns, and fundraising events.
  • Robin Hood Foundation – This organization funds a large number of programs – over 100 – that are geared toward preventing poverty and aiding the poor. These include food banks, youth groups, and HIV/AIDS organizations. All operating expenses are covered by the socially-elite-packed board (Gwyneth Paltrow and Harvey Weinstein are both members), so all funds raised will go directly to those who are in need.
  • Charity: Water – Focused on providing safe and clean drinking water to citizens of developing nations through various water technologies, 100% of all its public donations go to fund Charity: Water projects in communities in need. They use various In just five years, it has funded over 4,000 water projects and raised $40 million.
  • Covenant House – As the largest privately-funded non-profit agency in the Americas that provides food, shelter, and crisis care to runaway and homeless youths aged 14-20, Covenant House strives to help these young people transition into adulthood while helping them remove the risk of potential homelessness. They offer educational support and drug abuse prevention programs on top of offering health care and mental health services.
  • Bide-A-Wee Home Association – This 100-year-old animal-advocacy group will, for a donation of $30 or more, help you relocate a puppy or kitten from an animal-control center to a no-kill shelter. You can also bring your dog or cat to participate in their pet therapy program which visits 50 different facilities that include hospitals and nursing homes.
  • The Hope Program – This intensive, sixteen-week program founded in 1984 prepares adults who have been living on public assistance to achieve – and hopefully maintain – self-sufficiency. Over half of those who participate don’t have their high school diploma, many of whom are in their 30s and studying to take the GED. If you volunteer, you can either lead a one-time class on any subject ranging from writing a resume and job interviewing to basic math and English, or you can meet for hour-long one-on-one tutorials twice a week for 12 weeks.
  • Henry Street Settlement – For over a century, this Lower East Side charity group has been providing services to a largely Hispanic and Asian community, including a battered-women’s shelter, day care centers, a mental-health clinic, and an arts center. A donation of $1000 can send a child to summer camp, or you can volunteer as a teacher’s assistant, a tutor, a job coach, or a computer programmer.

While this blog covered several noteworthy charities and nonprofit organizations, there are countless others who could use all the help they can get. Do some research, find organizations in your area, and get out and volunteer and make a difference to someone today.

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