New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman joined forces with NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas on Tuesday for a virtual workout class. Along with actors Skylar Astin and Dolores Catania, the 333 Charity and the UJA-Federation, they put the class on in order to raise money for Holocaust survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The workout was streamed live on Zoom at 6:30 p.m. ET.
According to Bleacher Report, a minimum donation of $20 was required in order to participate in the workout. The 333 Charity said that 33,000 Holocaust survivors live in the New York area. This includes 40 percent currently living in poverty. The money raised on Tuesday night will be used to deliver meals to the survivors unable to leave their homes.
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"Watching New York and the rest of the world get hit by the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely difficult," Thomas said in a statement, per Page Six. "Myself and my family are happy to work with 333 Charity and other organizations on Giving Tuesday to support meal deliveries for Holocaust survivors living in poverty during this difficult time."
The streamed event was a "total body conditioning" workout. The description did not reveal whether or not any equipment would be required to participate. "They have endured so much already and remain strong, so we are continuing this strength in support of them," Evan Rosenberg, 333 Charity's founder, said to Page Six.
The 333 Charity was founded to take something tragic and use it to create inspiration. The foundation raises money for Holocaust survivors, but it also raises money for those that strive to ensure that something similar never happens again. The 333 Charity donates a portion of the funds raised to the Israeli Defense Force (the IDF). This money is used to help disadvantaged youth achieve high-ranking positions in the IDF.
New York City has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus. There have been more than 319,000 positive cases, and more than 19,000 deaths. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has kept social distancing policies in place and has required the use of face masks in public. However, he is worried about the U.S. reopening amid the pandemic.
"There's a cost of staying closed, no doubt. Economic cost, personal cost," Cuomo said during a press briefing on Tuesday. "There's also a cost of reopening too quickly. Either option has a cost. The faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost, but, the higher the human costs, because of the more lives lost. That is the decision we are really making. What is that balance? What is that trade-off? Because it is very real."