This is a crisis. That is what philanthropist, entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author and producer Bethenny Frankel deals with on a day-to-day basis as she helps people around the world who are in need. And with a serious and troubling global pandemic that is gripping the world, Frankel’s lifesaving efforts are needed now more than ever.
Not fulfilled just by business alone, Frankel’s life experiences have inspired her to help women find their own strength and resilience with the launch of her bstrong initiatives. In 2017, Frankel launched her bstrong disaster relief program, which provides real-time emergency assistance to people who are in crisis. Frankel’s bstrong works with community partners on the ground throughout affected areas to assess the most pressing needs and provide help. Bstrong has been working together with notable charities, such as Delivering Good and has partnered with Global Empowerment Mission (GEM).
“Truly, it evolved,” Frankel said about how her disaster relief initiative came to be. “I had no insight into what disaster relief was, nor would I ever think it applied to me. I started with Hurricane Harvey, moved into Maria in Puerto Rico and have worked on fires, earthquakes and disasters worldwide. We hit the ground running first and provided aid, money and relief as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible. We also still provide aid long after the headlines fade. We are still building schools and homes in the Bahamas. We still help Puerto Rico and recently, we completed two Australia missions.”
Focusing on the pandemic, Frankel and her team have been coordinating getting supplies for hospitals around the country, which Frankel said is a lot of work.
“It’s very intense, very stressful, very time sensitive and a war,” Frankel said. “Whether aid is real, counterfeit, a wild goose chase, a bait and switch or a Ponzi scheme, it is a crap shoot. It’s a roller coaster and you must have the stomach, gut instinct and bullshit meter for it. Things need to be vetted, inspected, attained and allocated simultaneously.”
So how does Frankel feel knowing that she is making a difference in so many fellow New Yorkers lives with her relief aid?
“It feels like my obligation,” she said. “I have a skill set, so I simply execute. It’s an instinct and I become a machine that just turns on and goes. I am a proud New Yorker and people always ask me what connects me to a certain place. We don’t get involved based on where a disaster is, although I adore New York, Puerto Rico, Texas, the Bahamas and Australia. I get involved if I can find my access or entry point and can have a significant impact.”
Frankel and her team have also been putting together coronavirus kits to help prevent the spread of the virus, while also helping people who are now in dire financial straits.
“The coronavirus kits began this mission to provide prevention kits, including hand sanitizer, wipes, masks, gloves, hydration kits and immune builders,” Frankel said. “We pivoted our mission to protective gear because the city provided meals for the children at home from school. We will still distribute bstrong cash cards to impoverished parents, but the major crisis became apparent to us (entry point) as masks and gowns since the need was so incredibly dire.”
So what is next for Frankel in the coming year?
“My show, The Big Shot, is launching in 2021 and will begin shooting in the fall,” she said. “I also have a few very big exciting announcements in the next few weeks. Now is the time to focus on relief work. There will be plenty of time for business. I think that this reset will change businesses forever. People will open their eyes to a whole new world of doing business. I’ve been working in my pajamas and out of my office for over a decade. Everyone is catching up now.”
If you would like to donate to Frankel’s bstrong coronavirus relief fund, visit www.bethenny.com/bstrong to learn more.
“Please spread the word on social media,” Frankel urged. “Every dollar and message is so meaningful and literally saves lives.”