“We are poverty fighters. We are all Robin Hood. And we are serious about getting it right.”
– Wes Moore, Robin Hood CEO

We all stumble. We all fall. On Monday, May 15 at the Javits Center, the Robin Hood community celebrated those who refuse to stay down – and those who help them stand back up.

Robin Hood takes a data-driven, heart-led approach to reaching the 1.8 million New Yorkers who are living in poverty.

What does it mean to be data-driven? It means we fund organizations that get results – organizations that apply solid business principals and demand accountability.

And what does it mean to be heart-led? It means we never forget that behind every number is a New Yorker – a neighbor – who harbors hopes of a better life.

Like Edith Williams, who struggled with homelessness for much of her life and finally has an apartment of her own thanks to Come Home NYC, which is funded by Robin Hood.

Like Anthony Fermin, who upgraded from a retail gig to his dream job as a computer programmer – and doubled his income in the process – thanks to Access Code, a Coalition for Queens program, funded by Robin Hood.

Like Dujour Evans, whose journey to Duke University took off at KIPP NYC College Prep in the Bronx, which was named the 4th best high school in New York and 29th in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Robin Hood was an early and steadfast supporter of KIPP, which now has 200 high-preforming schools across the county.

None of this work would be possible without the support of Robin Hood donors, who took the night’s theme – “Love and Leadership” – to heart and raised nearly $55 million to house, feed, educate, train, advise and care for hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.

Wes Moore, Robin Hood CEO

Wes Moore, Robin Hood CEO

For many, the benefit also served as an introduction to Wes Moore, Robin Hood’s new CEO. Wes thanked Robin Hood for the opportunity to lead New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization, and shared the story of how the city supported three generations of his family. He also reaffirmed Robin Hood’s commitment to sharing its successes far and wide, because “poverty does not have geographic boundaries.” Governor Andrew Cuomo also spoke at the benefit and praised Robin Hood as a leader in creating innovative solutions to entrenched challenges.

Larry Robbins, Robin Hood board chair, and Alex Navab, benefit co-chair

Larry Robbins, Robin Hood board chair, and Alex Navab, benefit co-chair

The night’s work was anchored and amplified by the benefit co-chairs: Emily and Len Blavatnik of the Blavatnik Family Foundation; Mary Kathryn and board member Alex Navab of KKR & Co.; Alex Rodriguez, a World Series champion with the New York Yankees; and Jackie and David Simon of Simon Property Group.

Ken Griffin, a Chicago-based philanthropist and the founder and CEO of Citadel, made a $15 million challenge grant that inspired the entire crowd to give generously. Robin Hood’s board underwrites all operating costs, so 100% of donations goes directly to serving New Yorkers in need.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

As always, some of the world’s biggest stars came out in support of Robin Hood. The night was hosted by Michael Strahan and featured performances by Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland of Coldplay; Miley Cyrus, who spoke about her work on behalf of homeless young people; and Dave Chappelle.

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle

To all Robin Hoods who are helping us advance the fight against poverty, we say “thank you.”

Thank you for helping us reach 400,000 New Yorkers in need each year.

Thank you for putting “Love and Leadership” into action.

Thank you for being a Robin Hood.

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