NYFA Gives Back Across its US Campuses in NYC, LA, and Miami

May 22, 2018

One of the goals of the NYFA Office of Community Outreach and NYFA C.A.R.E.S. (Community of Artists Reaching Enlightenment Through Service) is to participate and support organizations and causes who give back to the community and our world, whether it’s big or small.

Over the holidays NYFA campuses in NYC and LA participated in the first bi-coastal campus-wide fundraiser to raise funds to help countries affected by natural disasters: in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. NYFA students, faculty and staff on both coasts donated items for the countries in need. Items collected in NYC were delivered directly to families in Puerto Rico via The Hispanic Federation (hispanicfederation.org)

“It’s so important that as an international academy with students representing the diverse population of the world, that we support causes that threaten the lives of others, both locally in the US, and abroad. It’s important to give back” states Mason Richards, faculty chair of NYFA Community Outreach who organized the fundraiser along with Carlye Bowers of Student Life in NYFA NYC. “This was the first time we collaborated on something like this, and we hope to do more.”  

NYFA also partnered up with Direct Relief (www.directrelief.org) a non-profit organization that works to improve the health of people living in high-need areas by strengthening fragile health systems and increasing access to quality healthcare in 70 countries around the world. In addition to physical non-perishable donations, NYFA made a cash donation to aid with medical supplies in the countries affected by natural disasters.

Samir Rai, Community Engagement Associate at Direct Relief expressed his “Thanks again to the New York Film Academy for all the support and visibility you’ve brought to Direct Relief and the people on Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. We are fortunate to have advocates like you.” 


Response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico



 Response to Hurricanes in the Caribbean

 Before making landfall in Florida, Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm, with sustained winds as high as 185 mph.  The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 99 percent of structures were at least partially damaged by the storm in Anguilla, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  A Direct Relief team was on the ground in Florida before Irma made landfall, directing the movement and use of 14 pre-positioned Hurricane Preparedness Packs in the areas where they were needed most in the immediate aftermath of the storm.  Direct Relief worked closely with health system officials and local partners to overcome persistent power outages and transportation challenges to ship specifically requested medical aid and supplies to Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean nations of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, the Dutch Antilles, Haiti, and Turks and Caicos.  To date, Direct Relief has delivered $38.2 million (wholesale) via 177 shipments to 59 partner healthcare facilities to support the health needs of communities directly affected by Hurricane Irma (the data in the graphic above specifically reflects Caribbean nations).  Selected community health centers and charitable clinics will also receive cash grants from Direct Relief’s Hurricane Community Health Fund in the coming weeks to help rebuild and stabilize operations to ensure the sustainability of critically important, community-based sources of care.  To date, Direct Relief has granted $25,000 from the Fund to partners in Florida.

Response to the Mexico Earthquakes

 Direct Relief Mexico staff responded quickly to support communities that sustained massive damage to homes, businesses, schools, health facilities, and critical infrastructure following an 8.1 magnitude earthquake that struck off the country’s southern Pacific coast in early September.  Just two weeks later, staff would need to respond to a second earthquake, magnitude 7.1, that struck Central Mexico.  The death toll between the two earthquakes quickly rose into the hundreds, and many people who sustained injuries were left struggling to find functioning healthcare facilities.  In response, Direct Relief Mexico quickly coordinated with in-country emergency operations, government officials, healthcare representatives, and the two largest pharmaceutical trade groups in the country, to identify specific needs in real time, foster new agreements with local medical product manufacturers, ensure capacity for cold-chain medications (which often address chronic conditions that can become deadly when untreated), and provide storage in areas where the earthquakes caused damage to existing facilities.  Since the earthquakes struck, Direct Relief has sent $1.9 million (wholesale) of specifically-requested emergency medical resources through seven shipments to healthcare facilities and programs caring for people in affected communities.  The organization is currently preparing to deliver an additional $621,322 in medical aid and supplies to partners in Mexico City as well as in the states of Chiapas, Morelos, and Oaxaca, and has committed an initial $160,000 in cash grants to support repairs, warehouse rentals, and the special medical needs of patients already undergoing care at local healthcare facilities.

Also as a part of the NYFA C.A.R.E.S holiday giving, NYFA Community Outreach hosted a NYFA GIVES Comedy Relief showcase to close out the disaster relief campaign as a thank you to all who donated. NYFA welcomed a diverse group of young comedic talents to perform the NYFA theater on both coasts. The talent included:


Los Angeles:

Ehsan Ahmad host (Comedy Central’s Roast Battle

Aiko Tanaka (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Howard Stern Show)

Fahim Anwar (MTV’s Guy Code, Conan, Comedy Central)

Jak Knight (Netflix’s Big Mouth, Comedy Central) 

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New York: 

Will Miles host (Hulu’s Difficult People)

Liza Treyger (Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, FX’s Louie)

Andrew Schulz (MTV’s Guy Code, Amazon’s Sneaky Pete, Hulu’s There’s…..Johnny)

Drew Michael (SNL Weekend update writer) 

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This Spring, NYFA Community Outreach is partnering up once again with NYFA NYC, and this time NYFA Miami will also participate in “NYFA Red Nose Day 2018” for the international campaign to raise funds to end childhood poverty around the world. On May 16th, 2018 NYFA students, faculty and staff on campuses in NYC, LA and Miami can have their photos taken with red noses during lunchtime to show support for the cause. 

Today it was announced that Red Nose Day, the national fundraising campaign to end child poverty, will return to NBC with a night of special primetime programming on Thursday, May 24, 2018. Leading up to the star-studded night of programming, celebrations for Red Nose Day engage millions of Americans across the country. The campaign’s iconic “Red Noses” will once again be available exclusively at Walgreens stores around the country. In addition to the support of the official retail and broadcast partners, the charity is proud to once again be working with national partners Mars Wrigley Confectionery with M&M’S® and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to change the lives of millions of children, one nose at a time. Red Nose Day is run by the nonprofit Comic Relief USA, which harnesses the power of entertainment to drive positive change.

For more information on NYFA C.A.R.E.S and NYFA Community outreach events and programs contact caresla@nyfa.edy