People Doing Amazing Things

Editor’s Note: Our friend, beloved New York media personality Valerie Smaldone, graciously allowed us to share this piece, originally published by her on the site


We are making history as we are living it, and the last few weeks and months have created an onslaught of deep disturbance and concern for us all.

From pandemic to isolation, to fear of illness, to loss, to financial ruin, we now have witnessed a tragedy that took place in front of us, bringing the deep-seated systemic issues of race that we, as a society face, boldly into the light.

It has been a horrific time as we saw a murder take place in front of our eyes by someone who is supposed to help and protect members of the community instead of extinguish a life. Then, out of important peaceful protests, the ugliness of humanity emerged, as crimes, violence, looting, and destruction took place.

It is indeed a dark time, but we have to believe that there will be better days ahead.

And my contribution to that goal is to highlight individuals who actively respond to crucial needs in society.

People Doing Amazing Things

With that, I want to introduce you to the founder and executive director of Foundation of Freedom, a service organization geared toward providing initiatives for the African American community. Earl Thomason, Jr. left a great job to build this organization from the ground up.  Since the pandemic began, Earl and his team have been providing meals for essential workers in under-served neighborhoods, and most recently, organizing peaceful protests in reaction to the murder of George Floyd. Please find out about his worthwhile organization at

People Doing Amazing Things

Prolific Broadway actress Mandy Gonzalez, who was starring in Hamilton prior to the shutdown, is now involved with a five-part series, “Broadway’s Best for Breast Cancer.”  Produced by the JCC in Manhattan, Mandy and JCC senior director of health and wellness Caroline Kohles are joined by a medical expert, and talk to Broadway stars about health challenges and their careers. Go to

Cancer Care | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan A partnership of Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and Breastlink New York, this innovative program is designed to share the latest in health and wellness programs, while also bringing complementary care to those living with breast cancer.Based on scientific findings about the importance of a plant-based diet and regular exercise for healing, our robust program includes a range of classes …
People Doing Amazing Things

International opera star Monica Yunus, who is co-founder of Sing for Hope, an organization that provides public music and arts programs, has launched “Sing for Hope Grams.” You can purchase a singing telegram sung by a Broadway or opera star to gift to a loved one. The fee goes to support artists who are out of work due to the closing of performance venues.

And there is a new platform matching businesses in need of marketing with freelancers who want to promote a business they support. It’s a brilliant idea and something any small business should explore. A win-win for all involved. Go to

-Image: Wikimedia Commons

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