A Different Way

Carter Burden’s Expanding Network

Carter Burden’s expanding network is a kind of group hug for seniors and those who care about them. Seeded in Sixties social activism, it thrives through Covid-19, serving seniors.

By David Stone

In 1968, after Bobby Kennedy was killed, Carter Burden returned to New York, his passion for politics surviving the end of his work for the senator.

Burden soon ran for and won a seat on the city council, but he redefined that job. For the elderly, he responded to needs he saw in his district, starting his first senior center.

While still in office.

Today, Carter Burden’s expanding network of caring is a resilient resource for seniors during the coronavirus crisis.

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CBN: Carter Burden’s Expanding Network

Carter Burden Network, Powered by Volunteers
The Carter Burden Network relies on caring volunteers. Here, a team prepares a holiday meal for seniors on Roosevelt Island.

Now, seven weeks after Covid-19 fears forced all New York senior centers to close, CBN remains strong.

May is Older Americans Month. And CBN yesterday recognized its “Make Your Mark” theme with reminders about its work in six locations. That includes four Manhattan senior centers.

New York Pause* halted onsite activities, but the nonprofit rallied, finding innovative ways to meet senior needs.

*Governor Cuomo released New York Business Reopening Plans Yesterday

CBN During the Coronavirus Crisis

Approaching #GivingTuesdayNow, May 5th, the nonprofit offered a snapshot of what they’ve done so far…

  • Served 1,390 unique seniors during this time period
  • Distributed over 3,600 meals to over 600 seniors
  • Nearly 3,000 phone-based case assistance contacts to approximately 750 seniors, individual counseling, assistance in cases of elder abuse and with acquiring and maintaining benefits, supporting wellness through consistent communication
  • 68 clients received telephone reassurance through 171 volunteer calls
  • Weekly virtual art and fitness classes

But the Carter Burden Network cautions, “It’s not just about programs — it’s about the stories we hear from those we serve.”

“I’m so grateful for the meals that were sent [from the Department for the Aging and Great Performances]. Tonight’s meal was turkey, sweet potatoes and vegetables with a salad and a roll. It was very good! It’s more nutritious than what I would have made and means that I don’t have to go outside to go shopping as much.”

Denise, a CBN Client
Help arrives daily from the Department for the Aging and City Council Member Ben Kallos (left). CBN Executive Director Bill Dionne is on the right.

Helping through #GivingTuesdayNow

Carter Burden’s expanding network is powered by support from the Department for the Aging and, crucially, City Council Member Ben Kallos.

But that’s never quite enough. CBN’s Go Fund Me campaign, part of the global Giving Tuesday effort, needs your support.

You can help them help seniors by giving what you can here. Every dollar fights isolation and food insecurity for the elderly in New York City.

Conclusion: Carter Burden’s Expanding Network…

…carries on the mission its founder sparked from the heart of Sixties compassionate activism.

The light has not dimmed, and you can help it grow brighter through your generosity.

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