On December 10th, 2020, a six-alarm fire ripped through six buildings at 109-25 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill, destroying the homes and possessions of 12 families right before Christmas.
To help the 50 victims of the fire who were left homeless, Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, representative of Assembly District 38, coordinated donation efforts along with Community Board 9 leaders, the Richmond Hill - South Ozone Park Lions Club, the Red Cross, and non-profit leaders and small businesses.
Rajkumar converted her Woodhaven based office into a donation site, and donors quickly filled four rooms with food, clothes, and gift cards for the victims.
Among the donors was the Zara Realty Charitable Foundation and the George Subraj Family Foundation, two philanthropic organizations who continuously support their local community in various ways. Together, the organizations purchased and donated 13 laptops to the children of the affected families.
With remote learning required during the pandemic, this donation will ensure they do not fall behind in their schoolwork.
"Our team is proud to partner with Zara Realty Charitable Foundation and provide the students with the necessary technological tools for their education," said Rajkumar.
“We are working every day to help the community through the pandemic. This work includes ensuring that education is not interrupted,” she said. “These Chromebooks will ensure that these children can continue to learn through remote learning.
“When we saw this fire tear through our community, we knew we needed to step up and help those who were impacted, including children who need to continue to complete their school work remotely,” said Tony Subraj, co-managing partner at Zara. “Residents of these buildings are lucky to have a representative as dedicated and hard-working on their behalf as Assemblywoman Rajkumar. We were happy to work with her to ensure that these families have access to the help they need.”
District 38, a heavily immigrant-populated area that includes Richmond Hill and Ozone Park, has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with some of the highest rates in the city. The district has been overlooked and ignored for many years, resulting in a lack of services.
Assemblywoman Rajkumar, the first South Asian-American woman elected to government office in New York State is committed to upholding the rights of the underserved. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Assemblywoman has served as an ally and advocate for the families and businesses in her district, and regularly holds hand sanitizer and PPE hand-out events. She has also introduced, sponsored, and passed legislation on COVID-19 to cure gaps in our healthcare system, and to help workers and small businesses during these difficult times.