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DJ Ryno. (Source: Instagram)
Like many DJs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Philadelphia-based DJ Ryan “Ryno” O’Connell has been left with much more free time than usual. However, he’s gone above and beyond hosting live streaming DJ sets to pass the time.
Ryno has raised nearly $10,000 for his “Fuel for the Frontline” crusade, delivering meals from local restaurants to COVID-19 emergency service providers in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey areas. Simultaneously wanting to aid both health care workers and small businesses alike, he has created an impressive chain of supply and demand that is bolstering two essential service industries impacted by the virus.
O’Connell told Newsweek that ten days ago he was “sitting [around] with idle time and idle hands,” and had “heard from a few close friends who are nurses about the difficulties of ordering food in between patients.” At first, O’Connell was handling deliveries by himself. Now, the restaurants themselves are delivering or allowing nurses to pick up food on their way to work. This practice limits the number of people touching it, effectively reducing the risk of infection.
O’Connell supplemented his initial donations to GoFundMe by partnering with Vesper Dayclub, a Philadelphia establishment. Last weekend he had a fellow DJ, Nico Oso, live stream a DJ set at the venue while he ran deliveries. For every meal sold during the set, the club would donate two to O’Connell’s campaign. This pledge resulted in an extra $800 of proceeds, totaling 80 meals.
At present, O’Connell’s campaign feeds an average of 20 people per $200 in donations raised. In just one week, the campaign has tallied over 30 deliveries of $200-plus worth of food to nearly 30 different emergency service providers in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey areas. O’Connell told Newsweek, “food is going out as fast as we get the money, and the amount of messages I’ve received from the nurses is super heartwarming. I want to keep it going as long as we can.”
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