WHEDco's Statement on the Death of George Floyd
We are angered, saddened and disheartened by all the blatant acts of violence, hate and racism perpetrated against Black people and other people of color by police and individuals in New York City and across the country. The recent death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, the 911 phone call that Amy Cooper made on an innocent bird watcher in Central Park, and the killing of Breonna Taylor by police in her own Louisville, KY home are just a small handful of terrible acts signifying that we still have far to go to create a safe and equitable society.

We continue to stand firm as an organization in our support of what is right and just for all people. Our strength is rooted in our diversity, in how we celebrate and value our differences as much as the things we share in common. We represent that in our work, employment practices and our respect for one another, and take seriously our responsibility to oppose and override false narratives of criminality, otherness, poverty, and marginality that are commonly used to oppress Black and Brown people and communities.

We support all lawful efforts to bring justice for the individuals, families, and whole communities who will bear the weight of the loss of life and other racist acts. We support the call for better screening, training, oversight and accountability of our police departments locally and nationally. We reject and advocate against the racist policies and practices that harm the lives of people we employ, serve, house, and work with every day. WHEDco’s commitment is to build safe, supportive places and spaces for staff and community members where racism and discrimination are not tolerated.
WHEDco's work is anti-racist and supports Black and Brown communities every day . We will persist in our efforts to change the narrative and build a more equitable society.
Help Save WHEDco's Summer Enrichment for Kids!
WHEDco has operated our Summer Arts Day Camp every summer since 1998, providing thousands of Bronx children with academic and arts enrichment and access to cultural institutions across NYC. For the first time in 22 years, we won't be able to offer our typical camp -- at a time when summer programming is especially needed to help children cope with trauma and reduce summer learning loss after a disrupted school year.

The City's budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year eliminate $213 million in funding for summer youth programs. But we are committed to providing some form of camp, similar to the After School LIVE programming we have offered for the past two months, to continue changing the narrative for children of color living in our neighborhoods.
Recap of After School LIVE, WHEDco's Remote After School Enrichment Program. Video created by WHEDco Artist/Educator, Brianna Rohlehr .
Nourishing Our Families: Body & Spirit
Thanks to the generosity of several institutional funders, including a $100,000 grant from the Garden of Dreams Foundation , and many individual donors, WHEDco has distributed $90,000 in grocery store gift cards to date, reaching 600 families and counting.

Our ongoing Food Security Initiative is providing sustenance and relief to vulnerable families, such as Bintou's.

A single mother from Gambia, Bintou heads a household of nine including a four-year old daughter, Samayah, who is enrolled in our Early Childhood Discovery Center . Bintou recently lost her job as a chef and cashier at Fordham University, and her eldest daughter, who helps support the household, lost her job at a retail store. Bintou said she is grateful for the grocery store cards, which have allowed her to buy items that her kids love, but are usually too expensive, including cereal, yogurt and ground beef.
A child in our Early Childhood Discovery Center and her sister with the groceries purchased using a WHEDco-issued grocery card.
Do you have a child enrolled in public school in NYC?
The Department of Education will issue $420 EBT cards to each child enrolled in public schools to make up for the free in-school meals lost from March to June. If you don't need this financial support, please consider using your EBT card for your own groceries and donating $420, or part of the value of this benefit, to WHEDco to help us support young people who need it.
Helping Small Businesses Survive
Among those suffering from the current economic crisis are nearly 400 home-based childcare providers in our Licensed Network -- who are caring for children of essential workers -- and the 500+ small business owners along the commercial corridors near our affordable housing developments - mostly people of color. To help these entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 crisis, WHEDco is:
  • Conducting daily health checks for childcare providers, providing PPE and connecting them to resources for food access, education technology, and mental health and emotional support services;
  • Connecting business owners to one-on-one financial management and free expert legal services through partnerships with Start Small Think Big and Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS), respectively;
  • Holding virtual trainings and webinars, including COVID-19-related resources;
  • Providing remote technical assistance to help businesses get online, adapt to e-commerce, and market their products and services to meet new demand;
  • And helping small food businesses -- another essential service -- adapt and continue to produce food in WHEDco’s incubator kitchen, Bronx CookSpace.
WHEDco's Home-based Childcare Program has been covered by The Bronx Times , and our Commercial Revitalization work has been covered by The Bronx Times , News 12 The Bronx & Univision .
About WHEDco: For more than 25 years, WHEDco has been a leader in creating thriving neighborhoods in the South Bronx. In addition to building beautifully-designed Green, Affordable Homes that serve as a foundation for family stability, WHEDco creates life-changing opportunities for local residents of every age through our research-driven Early Childhood and Youth Education initiatives, which set kids on a path to college; Small Business Development programs, which nurture entrepreneurship and address community needs; Family Support and Counseling services, which connect families to the critical resources they need to succeed; and Arts and Culture programming, which showcases the borough's musical legacy and supports a new generation of artists. Learn more at whedco.org.
WHEDco is an I.R.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.