Chapter Spotlight: New York

COVID-19 has impacted lives around the world, and UNA-USA members are no exception. New York has been hit especially hard by this pandemic, and it is in times of crisis that people come together. George Garland of the UNA Southern New York Division discussed how UNA’s New York chapters are working together in both advocacy and fundraising. 

When I called George, I was expecting to get a debrief about an event that the young professionals held earlier in May. Our conversation shifted after he began updating me on the New York chapters, explaining that most members were safe and healthy in a city that suffered a tremendous loss.  Our members in New York are leaning on each other during such a challenging time.

 “I can tell you a good story, but it’s not me; it’s really all of the New York chapters working together,” he said.

George admitted that he was not alone in the transition to virtual meetings. The UNA Westchester Chapter bought its own Zoom account he said, New York City had gone above and beyond to host virtual movie nights. Their goal is not just to show interesting international movies but also to provide a momentary distraction from the devastating impact COVID-19 has had both in the U.S. and around the world. New York City young professionals recently held a consultation to discuss sustaining life in a post-COVID-19 world. The UNA Brooklyn Chapter is developing a plan for new events, and George hopes that they may soon establish a UNA Long Island Chapter. He considers his chapter a helping hand for the others in New York. 

Despite the impact COVID-19 has had on UNA-USA’s annual events, George emphasizes that members are still committed to advocating for the work of the UN. Virtual in-district meetings have been very successful for New York chapters and offer chapters a chance to invite more members to participate. 

I hope George’s dedication to checking in with other New York chapters inspires you to do the same in your state, or even within your local chapter. We are stronger together, and as a UNA-USA community, we stand with you through this unprecedented time. Share how you are staying connected with your chapter with us on Instagram by tagging us (@una.usa).