Korey Wise, a member of the Exonerated Five whose story was portrayed in the Netflix series, When They See Us, has been committed to paying it forward. Now Wise is stepping up to help those in his community of Harlem who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The community activist has teamed up with Councilman Bill Perkins, Harlem District Leader Keith Lilly, and a group of local teenagers to deliver food to over 100 elderly residents living at Harlem’s Schomburg Plaza where Wise grew up. The group of teenagers who participated in the deliveries volunteered after finishing their online school studies, which were also impacted by closures due to the coronavirus. They plan to help provide more meals for people who are food insecure through the nonprofit organization, Meals on Wheels.
Wise stresses how important it is for the community to rally around the seniors during this time of need. “I love being here,” Wise told PIX 11. “We have to go back to the essence anyway. Just give to them. Visit them.”
This act comes during a time where many community leaders are coming together to provide food for local residents. The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in massive job lay-offs, which have caused the unemployment rate to soar to record numbers over the past few weeks. Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network has transformed its headquarters into a community kitchen to assist thousands with meals for low-income families, senior citizens, and re-entry program participants. Chef Marcus Samuelsson of the famous Red Rooster has also converted his space to service the local community. Wise hopes the act encourages others in the community to help each other during a difficult time.
“It’s a lesson of giving back,” he said. “Kids all over should take this as a guiding point to do things that are positive for our community.”