Meet Long Island, New York teens, 17 year old, Isabelle Rosen and 16 year old Ari Chananyah, who are long time friends and now young entrepreneurs.
Isabelle Rosen is a junior in high school at Friends Academy in Long Island and has always been passionate about making a difference in her community and is involved in different philanthropic endeavors. Ari Chananya, also a junior, attends Jericho High School, and says his interests include sports and volunteer work.
Like the rest of the world in quarantine during COVID-19, the two teens had to figure out a way to give back and their brain child, Cover a Hero was born!
Cover a Hero, which was founded in April, is an effort between two lifelong friends, to acknowledge a very difficult circumstance and recognize those on the frontline risking their lives to help. During this pandemic, everyone deserves to be comfortable and warm and Isabelle and Ari are on a mission to make sure that happens.
Cover a Hero has designed, sourced and manufactured soft and warm blankets featuring an American flag and a motivational slogan to remind everyone that by uniting together, we will get through this together. For each blanket purchased, which are sold exclusively on their site, Cover a Hero will donate a blanket to those fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. Read on for more about this exciting idea and how these teens are helping their community.
What was the need for Cover a Hero?
Isabelle Rosin: We have been moved by the heroic efforts of all those on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic on a day to day basis. All of the courage and selflessness from the first responders fills our heart with pride and awe. They have all become real-life heroes. We just want to reach out and give every one of them a hug and thank them. But for practical reasons and social distancing that is not possible. So we thought about what would be the best next thing to a hug. How could we make them feel comfortable when they leave the hospital after a hard day? What could we give them that they could also enjoy with their family that we too have been enjoying while we have been quarantined home together? A blanket. A blanket with an inspirational message that symbolizes our warm embrace and also a way of saying thank you.
Why are helping heroes of close meaning to you?
Isabelle Rosen: Our whole lives, we have been taught to give back in any way possible. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, we feel as though we have a unique chance to show gratitude and appreciation for those who are risking their lives to keep us safe. are hopeful that our efforts will show our gratitude for.
Who are personal heroes in your life?
Ari Chananyah: The personal heroes in our lives are our parents, who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe and healthy. Also, our teachers who spend a tremendous amount of time teaching us lifelong skills and supporting our development into well-rounded, educated adults.
Who are your personal heroes during COVID-19?
Isabelle Rosen: Our personal heroes during COVID-19 are our hospitals, our health care professionals, first responders, our firefighters, police officers, EMT’s or anyone who has made a contribution or effort to keep everyone safe. We’re inspired by these professionals and find their selfless acts to be especially heroic.
During COVID-19, giving back is most important – what are you doing with your proceeds?
Ari Chananyah: One hundred percent of Cover a Hero’s proceeds go towards creating, sourcing, manufacturing and distributing blankets to our heroes.
What makes the blankets unique?
Ari Chananyah: The blankets feature an inspirational message, American Flag and serve as a symbol of gratitude from each donor. Each blanket features a note with the name of the donor and their special message.
They are extremely cozy and each blanket is manufactured by a local business in our community.
Our idea was simple: we want to thank our heros and feel that even though we can’t physically embrace them, these blankets serve as a reminder of our appreciation for their service and heroic efforts during this extremely difficult time.
You are both young entrepreneurs, who are 3 CEOs/founders – or the likes of that you look up to?
- Sarah Blakley: Her success, her philanthropic efforts, her dedication to supporting women and making the world a better place is incredibly inspiring.
- Bombas Socks: We are especially moved by the company’s mission which is to donate one item for every item purchased to a person affected by homelessness.
- Blake Mycoskie: He is the one responsible for the concept of “One for One” and will always be someone we look up to as we strive to be charitable and thoughtful individuals.
What are 3 tips you have for any other young women or men that are interested in starting their own company?
- Follow your heart and trust your gut.
- If you have an idea, see it through. Don’t let age be something that stops you – we are all capable of doing great things!
- Lean into your community for support.
All photos provided: ℅ Isabelle Rosen