Dear NIAF Members and Friends,
In just the last week the numbers of those afflicted by COVID-19 have increased dramatically both here and in Italy. The National Italian American Foundation's (NIAF) goal at this unprecedented time in our country's history is to connect and help our Italian American community here in the United States while we work with those who can help the people of Italy.
I want to thank NIAF's Management, Executive Committees and the Board as a whole, for their responsiveness as together we look at viable ways to meet this goal.
In terms of Italy outreach, I particularly want to thank Peter Arduini, Anita McBride and Joseph Del Raso, who are working with Italy's Ambassador to the United States Armando Varricchio, to focus on priority needs. The Ambassador is very appreciative of NIAF's help. NIAF Board Member Peter Arduini, is a member of the board of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and is working with Advamed CEO Scott Whitaker and the Ambassador to identify resources available to meet urgent needs for Italy.
There are ways for you to help right now. Hospitals in Italy are overwhelmed treating and caring for the infected. Their lack of resources and beds force them to turn the sick away and hundreds are dying daily.
We encourage those who want to help Italy, especially those with family there, to consider donating to one or more of the following relief campaigns. Each campaign is supporting a specific hospital in Italy. The funds raised will go directly to the hospital so it can secure the urgent resources needed.
Papa Giovanni XIII Hospital in Bergamo
Cesvi, an Italian charity founded in Bergamo, is raising money for the Papa Giovanni XIII Hospital and for home assistance for the elderly living in Bergamo and Milan, the area with the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in Italy to date: https://bit.ly/33AJTPY.
San Raffaele Hospital in Milan
There are two opportunities to support the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. Donations can be made directly to the hospital: https://bit.ly/3drf6d1. Donations can also be made through a GoFundMe campaign created by the Ferragni family; the funds raised will be directly donated to the hospital to strengthen intensive care: https://bit.ly/2Wy7hfg.
Spallanzani Hospital in Rome
The Spallanzani Hospital is the most important infectious disease hospital in Italy and during this coronavirus outbreak it was the first hospital to isolate the virus. Umberto Mucci from We The Italians has launched this fundraiser to support this hospital: https://bit.ly/399nquy.
Celebrity Chef Mary Ann Esposito has joined the Foundation in this effort by sharing NIAF's website that lists these relief campaigns on her Ciao Italia website for her fans to support as well.
In terms of what we are doing for our Italian American family, some of us had the opportunity to listen to a unique "Telephonic Town Hall Virtual Meeting" with Dr. John Rosa and Dr. Angelo Falcone on the facts about the coronavirus on Sunday, March 22. It was informative and also provided tips for getting through this crisis. They are planning to expand and continue this conversation and we will let you know when this will be scheduled.
As you know, there is a critical shortage of surgical masks and supplies for our local hospitals and emergency rooms. If you have access to a trusted site that is dedicated to filling this need, we will post on our website.
For the most up to date and factual information, visit the CDC's website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, and the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html. For further updates on all of the initiatives and campaigns mentioned, visit: www.niaf.org/coronavirusrelief.
Patricia de Stacy Harrison
The National Italian American Foundation