STATEN ISLAND NY –– Elissa Montanti described the opening of the Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF) as a “sigh of relief” after being closed for the past 15 months.

The organization has faced several challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, including a possible shutdown due to a lack of fundraising. But now that travel is becoming more accessible, Montanti is back to helping children around the world.

In May 2020, Advance / spoke with Montanti, who explained that she did not know when the organization would be able to start bringing young people to America again. However, she never gave up hope.

“There was a void that I had last year, there really was,” she said.

With nearly 60 children dependent on the GMRF, the association does everything to help everyone.

The association currently accommodates six children in the Dare to Dream house in Arrochar.

“Now I just feel like it breathes life again and it makes me feel alive and lucky and grateful again,” she said.

Every child has unique medical needs that range from severe burns to missing limbs.

Montanti said she is also working to make sure they are safe from the coronavirus. Many countries where children live have long waits for immunizations, making travel complicated, she said. Montanti therefore arranged for every child to receive a COVID-19 vaccine after arriving in the United States.

The GMRF will resume its annual fundraising this year. Until then, it will host its fourth edition “Concert Children helping children”, virtually, Sunday July 11 at 6 p.m. He is also planning another concert at Liedy’s Shore Inn in September.

Watch the video above to learn more about how GMRF gets to the heart of the matter.


To learn more about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected GMRF, watch the video below.

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