Originally Posted: April 28th, 2020 on The Plumb Club.

Times of crisis can inspire people to focus on the current need and rally for a specific cause.

Cornell’s Jewelers, in Rochester, New York, is a business that has always felt that it is important to give back to those in need. David, his wife, Olivia, and their son, Michael, credit David’s parents as the mentors who instilled that virtue into the family. Even after David’s father passed away, his mother, who worked very hard to put food on the table for the family, continued to stretch what little food she could in order to help others in the area who were hungry. 

Michael Cornell giving away a heart shaped pendant to the one lucky caregiver of someone with Autism during COVID-19 pandemic.

As a business that has always held philanthropy close to its heart, Cornell’s has a history of focusing their efforts on health and education initiatives in their community. One of the many causes they support is Autism Awareness.

Since April is Autism Awareness Month, they wanted to ensure that they could focus on this important cause, while also addressing the current state of the COVID-19 crisis.”

To mark Autism Awareness Month, Cornell’s held a drawing for a heart pendant on a beaded chain. They asked their community to send emails nominating people who were providing care to those with Autism. The names of the nominees were placed into a drum and one lucky winner’s name was randomly chosen.

During this pandemic, Cornell’s also wanted to show their appreciation for those on the front line – all essential workers — from health care workers, to postal workers, and grocery store workers. The names of front-line workers are entered via Facebook or Instagram and then placed into a “Wheel of Fortune” style application that spins the wheel and randomly selects one of the names. The drawing is done three times a week on Instagram with various prizes and Michael Cornell as host. 

“We live in a very philanthropic community”, says Olivia Cornell. “We believe in making sure that the community knows that we care deeply about them.”