Meet Amanda Lyons
Scrolling through the Amanda Donates Instagram feed is like looking at a snapshot of every specialized charity organization in New York City. Toy drives, food drives, clothing drives; Amanda Donates does it all.
Amanda Lyons works at a law-firm as a paralegal and attends law school at night. Somehow, despite her busy schedule, she finds time to help save her part of the world.
A Staten Island native and current Rossville resident, Amanda has hosted occasional toy drives in the past. Hearing about food insecurity and struggles due to the pandemic turned her desire to help others into more than an occasional hobby. “I decided to hold a food drive in April of this year after seeing several news articles about food pantries with an influx in demand and lines that stretched several blocks long.”
Amanda has amassed a team of volunteers, which consist of friends, family, co-workers, and social media followers. Between April and September of this year, she collected non-perishable food items and distributed them at pop-up pantries. Each pop-up pantry provides food to 300-400 families. Amanda has collected and distributed over $25,000 in donations since April.
In addition to pop up food pantries, Amanda hosted a fundraiser for a local animal shelter, which was impacted by COVID-19. Two additional fundraisers were held for families who lost their homes in fires. Amanda Donates also provided school supplies and sanitizing supplies to a local Staten Island school to help them meet the demands of this unprecedented school year. With the upcoming holiday season, Amanda Donates will begin collecting Thanksgiving food items to distribute throughout NY, with the goal of helping 2,000 families.
How It Operates
Some companies such as Hach and Rose Law Firm and Pagano Melon Corp have donated toward the cause. Even with donations from these companies, this project has been entirely grass-roots. It is run through word of mouth and Amanda personally organizes all of the drives and fundraisers, collecting donations via social media.
Amanda Donates is currently in the process of filing as a 501c3 non-profit due to the expansive demands it is trying to meet. Amanda’s goal is to partner with larger businesses and corporations to expand her outreach.
Follow Amanda Donates
We expect to see more from the Amanda Donates charity in the coming months and years, as it grows. To follow Amanda Donates’ progress or to reach out for assistance you can contact her via Instagram or Facebook.