Easily lost in the avalanche of uncertainty and anxiety during this coronavirus crisis are the random acts of kindness taking place from one side of the country to the other.
They’re happening all over New York City — as simple and moving as those nightly 7 o’clock pot-clanging exercises out of apartment windows as well-deserved shows of public appreciation for hospital workers.
Two time zones away, a former New York athlete who still considers himself part New Yorker is doing what he can to make a difference.
Jay Feely was a kicker for the Giants from 2005-06 and for the Jets from 2008-09, two of his most memorable stops in a 13-year NFL career. He’s now an NFL color analyst for CBS Sports. Giving back has been in his blood (more on that in a moment) longer than kicking field goals.
Feely, who’s 43 and living in Scottsdale, Ariz., has created a brilliant and beautiful way to give back by purchasing meals from restaurants whose business has been ravaged by the effects of the nationwide shelter-in-home orders and handing them out to hospital workers and first responders in his area.
“I was sitting at home thinking, ‘What can I do? How can I help?’ ’’ Feely told The Post on Wednesday. “It has been a way to get out and say, ‘Thank you.’ ’’
He’s done more than that. His mission not only has brought business to empty, suffering restaurants, but also has lifted the spirits of the people who are working hardest during this crisis. As of Wednesday night, he had raised more than $18,000 and done six restaurant-to-meal-donation missions. He has a seventh scheduled for Thursday.
Feely began by creating a GoFundMe page, asking for donations so he could buy the meals. He also asked for restaurants that were open and hurting for business to contact him. From there, he has taken the generous donations of strangers and used the money to buy meals for those who need and deserve them most.
“Let’s utilize and leverage my platform and try to have an impact,’’ he thought to himself.
Feely has done just that, and born out of it is this win-win for the restaurants and the hospital workers and first responders that’s more perfectly executed than the best snapper-holder-kicker field-goal operation.
For his first mission, Feely targeted a Scottsdale restaurant named Zinque that had just opened in December. He bought 300 meals from it and delivered them to nearby Banner Desert Medical Center. Along with his son, Jace, and daughter, Lexi, he has been doing it since.