Huntington musician Joe DeJesu performs. Photo by Marianne P. Stone

An up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Huntington recently wrote a moving new tune about people who have persevered through the coronavirus pandemic to help raise money for the nonprofit United Way of Long Island. 

Joe DeJesu collaborated with The United Way of Long Island on the new song, “United Together (We Will Survive),” for United Way’s most recent fundraising appeal video to show how the organization has aided people through the crisis.

“Long Island is my home,” explained DeJesu. “If there’s anything I can do to help, I’ll jump at the opportunity.”

The United Way of Long Island is the local chapter of the 133-year-old global nonprofit that partners with dozens of local businesses to fuel its many health, education, and anti-poverty projects. DeJesu credits Billy Joel’s band member Mike DelGuidice with mentoring DeJesu and helping him relaunch his music career.

“A song like this can only produce beautiful results,” said DelGuidice. “Especially when it comes from the heart of a songwriter that is channeling his deepest emotions into the lyrics.”

The lyrics capture the emotional roller coaster of the quarantine while offering a ray of hope, like so: “We will survive this crazy time; with each day, a little better. And when the sun begins to shine, we know we’ll always be united together.”

DeJesu’s song was created wholly from home while working remotely during the COVID-19 shutdown. He went through multiple edits of the song, sending different versions back and forth with his colleagues, Kenny Friedman who recorded piano and Bob Stander who produce the song.

“When we’re all stuck in the house, it’s hard to think about what others are going through,” said DeJesu. “It’s easy to forget that we need to rely on each other. What better time is there to help out than now?”

In addition to the new song, DeJesu frequently hosts Facebook livestreams during which he encourages people to donate to the United Way of Long Island through links on his page, and recently hosted a birthday fundraiser for the organization. The fundraiser exceeded his goal, raising $2,140. 

“Joe’s original song is a true gemstone of a fundraising asset for our organization,” said Theresa A. Regnante, president and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “We are pleased to collaborate with local musician Joe DeJesu, who exemplifies our motto to Live United and help uplift our neighbors.”

Watch the video here.

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