What to Know
- Tech company founder, Will Adams returned to childhood residence in NYCHA housing for a free, door-to-door giveaway during the holiday season.
- Up to $7,000 worth of donations were given to about 50 families, including toys, meals, and clothing to combat supply chain issues.
- Adams hopes to launch an internship program for NYCHA residents in order to bridge the gap between NYC youth and professionals.
Will Adams, a Jericho, N.Y. resident, returned to his childhood home in Chelsea's NYCHA Fulton Houses to spread a message of hope and relief during the supply chain crisis this holiday season.
The 52-year-old is living his dream as the founder of Restaurant Industry Optimization, a tech company that assists in the hiring process and provides free education within the food industry.
As supply chain issues continue to hinder holiday shopping, Adams decided to give back to his former community, knowing all too well the financial, mental, and emotional struggles NYCHA families can undergo.
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While his father was from Montgomery, Ala., and his mother from France, his family emigrated from Paris and grew up in the New York City public housing system during the 1980s, a location he called the "heart of the crack world."
After receiving his Master's degree, banking licenses, and working on the West Coast, Adams built up his portfolio in order to be business savvy while reaching out to those in need.
Photos: Dad Hosts NYCHA Gift Giveaway Amid Holiday Supply Chain Woes
Adams left the world of high finance around four years ago in order to foster a healthy relationship with his family.
"I left finance to go into the restaurant industry, so I could raise my children and be involved. I thanked my father for leaving my mother. The fact he did that, it's what made me so steadfast about being involved in the primary years of my son's life," Adams told News 4 New York.
Adams hosted the door-to-door giveaway on Sunday at Fulton Houses with the help of a longtime neighbor and friend, Lenny Rosado, who currently lives and is the Vice President of the Tenant Association at the development.
Adams recalled particularly tough memories where he would often lean on Rosado while growing up in the complex.
"My mother suffered very hard from alcoholism. He [Rosado] lived directly across from me and my mother often lock me out of my own apartment, so I would sleep in the stairwell. His mother would rescue me night after night," Adams shared.
This is the first time Adams launched a giveaway by himself with financial support from his own company. The goal was to reach 50 families this year, donating close to $7,000 in various items.
Each home received a box with all the fixings to prepare a traditional holiday meal, as well as hats, gloves, socks, and toys to share this Christmas.
Next year, Adams hopes to expand in aiding close to 500 families. He and Rosado are planning to build internship programs for the students in Chelsea in order to bridge the gap between New York City youth and professionals.
While working with the tenant association, the proposed internship project would partner with agencies to educate young residents with a more visual, hands-on approach.
Adams wants to teach children who live in NYCHA housing that there are ways to "lead with love" and overcome adversity. He hopes this random act of kindness sparks a ripple effect in the neighborhood.
Adams also shared that one teacher can make all the difference in a child's life. To this day, he credits a previous mentor, Ms. Rooney, who taught him years ago while attending I.S. 70.