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NEW YORK CITY — Since 2006, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has supported local New York City charities and provided life changing opportunities for young people.

The foundation’s latest effort is a $1 million fund to support local nonprofits struggling during the pandemic.

New York Knicks Legend and Garden of Dreams board member John Starks explained the foundation’s “mission statement is stand up to really help children, as well as young adults, go on these times right here.”

For the Harlem Dowling West Side Center, a grant from Garden of Dreams COVID-19 fund was a lifeline. For over 100 years the nonprofit has supported and uplifted children and families by running after-school programs and a food pantry.

“We went from, maybe you know two to three families monthly that required emergency assistance, to now 100 to 150 families,” explained Executive Director Karen Dixon.

Funding from Garden of Dreams enabled the Harlem Dowling West Side Center to expand their food pantry and pay for $100 gift cards for 100 families.

Garden of Dreams provided financial assistance to 26 of their partner organizations.

Other programs available to financially assist nonprofits during the pandemic include the New York Forward Loan Fund and the Nassau County Boost Initiative.