Staten Island, NY – Senator Andrew Lanza is proud to join with Rhonda Roland Shearer and her not-for-profit Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes to deliver an unprecedented PPE donation to 23 of Staten Island’s special needs, community service, nursing home, and home care communities.
Today’s delivery of more than 1 million antibacterial wipes, 45,500 masks, 1,600 rolls of toilet paper, and 100 gallons of hand sanitizer will immediately fill an unmet need throughout the special needs, home health care, nursing home and social service communities on Staten Island. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, service providers for vulnerable populations have struggled to secure the resources needed for program and in-house services throughout Staten Island.
Senator Andrew Lanza said, “Once again, today we see the greatness and decency of our people. Rhonda Roland Shearer and Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes have stepped forward to help the oft-neglected special needs community and its service providers. Inexcusably, these service providers have recently been confronted with significant budget cuts from the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). These budget cuts, coupled with a loss of fundraising opportunities over the past year, have created devastating budget shortfalls. With today’s unprecedented donation, Staten Island service providers will be able to allocate financial resources to important services that focus on the day to day needs of people with special needs and developmental disabilities. Additionally, home health agencies, nursing homes and local community service providers will be better situated to aid the people they care for. I join Staten Islanders in thanking Rhonda Roland Shearer for stepping forward to help and caring for people who need it the most.”
Rhonda Roland Shearer, founder of the not-for-profit project Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes which has handed out more than 3 million items of PPE since March 2020, said, “It is wrong that healthcare and community workers do not have enough PPE. These dedicated workers and clients should have sufficient PPE to stay safe while working on the frontlines with those in need and then going home to their families. I am so pleased that Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes and I are able to help these New Yorkers.”
The supplies being donated today are immediately being delivered to the programming centers and residential group homes of these dedicated community organizations: A Very Special Place, Crossroads Unlimited, Community Resources, Lifestyles for the Disabled, PCCS, AHRC, Heartshare, Eden II, On Your Mark, ILA, Grace Foundation, and United Cerebral Association of NY State, as well as Project Hospitality, Community Health Action of Staten Island, Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island, Stella Orton Home Care, Richmond Home Needs Services, Eger Lutheran Homes and Services, Staten Island Care Center, Richmond Care Center, New Vanderbilt Rehab & Care Center, Silver Lake Specialized Care Center, and Carmel Richmond Nursing Home.
Today’s distribution of supplies continues Senator Andrew Lanza and Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes founder Rhonda Roland Shearer’s long-standing focus of seeking to aid those in need during an emergency.
A special thank you is owed to Shahzil Amin with Honest PPE, WellBefore, Rey Torres with Moishe’s Moving and Storage, Johnnie Hayes with Start 2 Finish NYC Trucking, Mayank Parikh with Super Health Pharmacy, Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div. with the New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS). Additionally, a thank you is owed to FDNY Community Coordinator Lynda Thompson for her unyielding efforts to help those in need as well as the volunteers who helped to unload and distribute the donated PPE.
About Rhonda Roland Shearer and Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes
Rhonda Roland Shearer has been recognized for her service in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Shearer and her daughter organized and led the main supplier of PPE and other supply equipment to uniform services (NYPD, FDNY, PAPD) during the 9-month recovery at Ground Zero and Fresh Kills, Staten Island.
In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic struck New York and throughout the world, Shearer stepped forward to help health care heroes secure urgently needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at a time when nurses and doctors were reporting a severe shortage and an urgent need. Taking a mortgage against her home to purchase nearly $1 million worth of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and face shields, Shearer started Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes, a special project of her not-for-profit Art Science Research Laboratory. In the past 10 months, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes and Rhonda have handed out more than 3 million items of PPE to 180,000 healthcare workers, veterans, public housing residents and others in need. Donations to Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes can be made at www.gofundme.com/f/cut-red-tape-4-heroes
About Andrew Lanza, Deputy Minority Leader of the New York State Senate
In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy devastated Staten Island’s shoreline community, Senator Andrew Lanza, who was in a campaign for re-election at the time, immediately ceased campaign activities and converted his re-election headquarters into an emergency relief center. For 9 months he operated the relief hub to provide cleaning supplies, food, heating, and urgently needed resources to those who lost their home due to the storm.
In March, 2020, during the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when PPE was nearly impossible to come by for hospitals, nursing homes, and front line workers, Senator Lanza partnered with The Global Hero Foundation to provide more than 40,000 masks to essential workers who remained on the front lines. Since then he has sought additional partners to help meet the ongoing needs of the community as we navigate through this uncertain time.
Also, Senator Lanza sponsors Staten Island’s annual Special Needs Resource Fair with the JCC of Staten Island, an annual service to connect the special needs community with the many programs and resources available to them. He is an ardent advocate for people with special needs and has long partnered with our local service providers who are present day after day to support and enhance the quality of life for their consumers.