Isabelle Rosen, a Plandome resident and junior at Friends Academy in Locust Valley and Ari Chananya a junior at Jericho High School, were so moved by the heroic efforts of those on the frontlines battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the two friends decided to create a charitable business selling blankets for healthcare workers on the frontlines.
“All of the courage and selflessness from the first responders fills our heart with pride and awe,” Rosen said. “They have all become real-life heroes. We just want to reach out and give every one of them a hug and thank them. But for practical reasons and social distancing that is not possible. So we thought about what would be the best next thing to a hug. How could we make them feel comfortable when they leave the hospital after a hard day? What could we give them that they could also enjoy with their family that we too have been enjoying while we have been quarantined home together? A blanket.”
Rosen and Chananya came up with a simple design for each blanket, which features an American flag and a motivational slogan reminding people to stick together and stay united during this difficult time. The purchase of each blanket, which retails for $24.99, features a note with the name of the donor and a special message. The proceeds from each purchase goes towards creating, sourcing, manufacturing and distributing more blankets to distribute to frontline workers.
The two friends decided to create this project as a way to show how appreciative they are for healthcare workers and the heroic efforts they are putting forth each day.
“Our idea was simple, we want to thank our heroes and [we] feel that even though we can’t physically embrace them, these blankets serve as a reminder of our appreciation for their service and heroic efforts during this extremely difficult time,” Rosen said.
Long Islanders have been very supportive of the charitable project, Cover A Hero sold out of all the blankets they had initially created. Since the project began, Cover A Hero has sold more than 200 blankets and has donated close to 500 blankets to frontline workers. Overall, the project has raised more than $6,000 so far.
“Every essential worker who has received the blanket has been extremely grateful and it warms our hearts to see the smiles on their faces after we hand them their blanket,” Rosen said.
Cover A Hero blankets have been donated to hospitals, healthcare professionals, first responders, firefighters, police officers and EMT’s. The blankets are personally delivered by Rosen and Chananya to various hospitals in the area including NYU Winthrop, Glen Cove Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, Jericho and Syosset Fire Departments and the Muttontown Police Department.
“Our whole lives, we have been taught to give back in any way possible,” Rosen said. “Now, in the middle of a pandemic, we feel as though we have a unique chance to show gratitude and appreciation for those who are risking their lives to keep us safe. Being able to give back during this time has been extremely rewarding and has given us the chance to express our gratitude to the heroes on the frontlines.”
Rosen and Chananya are hoping to expand their business and are looking at the possibility of selling other merchandise in the future. The two friends are also hoping to share stories of healthcare heroes who are working to keep everyone safe during the pandemic on their website, to help spread positivity during this time.
To learn more about Cover A Hero, or to purchase a blanket for a healthcare worker, visit www.coverahero.com.