As the coronavirus pandemic rages on in New York City, the domestic epicenter, Long Island native Steven Matz is trying to help.
Matz and his Tru32 foundation are donating $32,000 to first responders and hospitals within the five boroughs, he announced Friday.
The first donation went to Elmhurst Hospital — a couple of miles from Citi Field in Queens — which Matz described as “one of the hardest-hit hospitals in NYC” in a tweet. During one 24-hour span this week, 13 Elmhurst patients died after testing positive for COVID-19.
The other funds will directly support the NYPD and FDNY, part of Tru32’s longstanding primary commitment to first responders.
“Thanks to those who support & contribute to the program all year,” Matz tweeted. “Partially because of your generosity, we’re able to pitch in now.
“[Matz’s wife] Taylor and I continue to be inspired by the countless selfless acts of our first responders, doctors, nurses, & medical staff in the war against COVID-19. Thank you for your bravery and dedication serving our community & your patients!”
As of midday Friday, there were 102,863 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,935 deaths in New York. New York City had 57,159 cases.
Matz, a Stony Brook native who starred at Ward Melville more than a decade ago, started his Tru32 initiative in 2015 as a way to give back to first responders, including regularly hosting them during Mets home games and raising money for scholarships for children with a parent who was severely injured or killed in the line of duty.
For each of the past two seasons, Matz has been the Mets’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s top philanthropic honor.
“It’s really important,” Matz told Newsday last summer. “You’ve always got to keep your perspective in place. We’re no better than anyone else, so to … show my respect and how important I think what they do is, is everything for me.”