Gerstner Philanthropies COVID-19 Response

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Gerstner Philanthropies focuses on biomedical research, educational opportunities, and assistance for people who have suffered a temporary setback and could use a “helping hand” to restore their equilibrium.

Our Biomedical Research funding falls into two categories:

  • Supporting important genomic research that could lead to breakthroughs in clinical practice
  • Enabling talented young scientists to pursue a career in research

Our Education work supports students who have talent and determination but whose opportunity to excel is limited because of their economic circumstances.

Our Helping Hands program provides assistance for people experiencing an unforeseen emergency through one-time cash grants.

In addition, we make a small number of grants related to or outside of these areas of focus.

News


  • Helping Hands Program Update: Q2 2020 Trends
    September 11, 2020

    Our Helping Hands grantee social services organizations are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. We communicate with our Helping Hands grantee organizations informally throughout the year, and each quarter we ask them to report formally on program statistics, trends, and case studies. The immediate impact of the pandemic in Q2 led to some interesting trends, such as an overwhelming need for food, a decrease in domestic violence cases despite reports that violence is escalating, and a drop in rental arrears cases, though an increase in the level of arrears our grantees are seeing.

    Read Q2 Trend Report
  • The Rent Eats First, Even During a Pandemic
    August 31, 2020

    Before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 800,000 people around the nation were threatened with eviction each month. Today, with unemployment levels unseen since the Great Depression and the expiration of federal benefits along with national and several state eviction moratoriums, millions of renters are at risk of losing their homes by the end of the year. Medical professionals have sounded the alarm about how the eviction crisis will exacerbate our public health emergency. At the beginning of August, 26 medical associations signed a letter urging Congress to provide housing resources to renting families, recognizing the housing crisis to be a health crisis. Our efforts to defeat Covid-19 and recover from the economic damage it has wrought will be deeply compromised if we fail to help families keep their homes. Besides pushing up coronavirus infection rates, the eviction crisis will also aggravate our unemployment crisis, as workers get displaced far from their jobs, and it will further complicate school reopenings, as evicted children, themselves at heightened risk of infection, shuffle from one school to the next.

    Read more at nytimes.com
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Reflections on Helping Hands


Lou Gerstner shares the origin of and his vision for the emergency grants program, lessons learned over the past decade, and his belief in the critical importance of the work.

Watch the video