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bay-toy-drive

Bay Improvement Group did it again!

The group had its 24th annual holiday bash this past Sunday, bringing together more than 150 people to rock out to tunes and collect toys for some of the area’s neediest kids.

The do-gooders, with help from sponsors including Councilman Chaim Deutsch and Assemblywoman Helen Weinstein, as well as businesses like Jimmy’s Famous Heroes and the Baron DeKalb Knights of Columbus, raked it more than 850 brand new toys.

After the party, the toys were distributed to the group’s longtime partner, a local shelter for battered women, as well a new recipient, Coney Island Hospital’s pediatric unit, where they’ll be given out to terminally ill kids.

“The people and toys kept coming, we didn’t have time to open the many bags [at the event],” BIG President Steve Barrison wrote to Sheepshead Bites. “It was a success and all the toys were delivered to the shelters and Coney Island Hospital pediatrics!”

Vanilla Fudge's Vince Martell. Source: Wikipedia

Vanilla Fudge’s Vince Martell. Source: Wikipedia

The Bay Improvement Group (BIG) is teaming up with Councilman Chaim Deutsch to sponsor BIG’s 24th Annual Celebrity Holiday Caroling Free Concert and Toy Drive for Battered Women, Needy and Terminally Ill Children.

The yearly outreach event will be held at the Knights of Columbus Baron Dekalb, 3000 Emmons Avenue at Nostrand Avenue, Sunday, December 14 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. From a press release sent out by BIG:

Join in HOLIDAY CAROLING with Vince Martell – Vanilla Fudge “You Keep Me Hanging On”; US Navy Vet; Denver recording artist Peg Pearl of PBS “Love-In: A Musical; Dom “Randy” Safuto original lead singer of Randy and the Rainbows (“Denise”); Celebration with Ben Vereen, and others to be announced!

Admission is free with your donation of new and unwrapped toys, which will be distributed locally prior to Christmas. Toys can be dropped off at the Knights of Columbus, from now until Sunday between 12:00pm and 8:00pm.

For more information, call BIG President Steve Barrison at (212) 750-5560 or (718) 646-9206, email bayimprovementgrp@gmail.com or visit BIG on YouTubeFacebookTwitter, and on www.bigbayfest.org and www.bayimprovementgroup.org.

Source: Robert S. Donovan | Flickr

Source: Robert S. Donovan | Flickr

The next meeting of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association will be held tomorrow evening, November 20, 7:30pm, at the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park, Fillmore Avenue and Marine Parkway.

The meeting will feature a discussion and analysis on what the implications of the most recent election for Brooklyn mean, particularly in the southern end. Featured participants include Jerry Kassar, chairman of the Brooklyn Conservative Party and vice chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, and Lew Fidler, Democratic District Leader of the 41st Assembly District and former New York City councilman.

Additionally, Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic is concluding its Thanksgiving food drive to help its less fortunate neighbors. Residents are being asked to please donate non-perishable foods, kosher and non-kosher, that you might serve on Thanksgiving to the following places: Michael’s Bakery, JoMart Chocolates, and Pronto Pizza (all situated on Avenue R at Nostrand Avenue); Tom’s Cleaners (2917 Avenue S); the Avenue U Fish Market (2704 Avenue U), G & S Pork Store (2611 Avenue U), T & D Bakery (2307 Avenue U), and the Roosevelt Savings Bank (2925 Avenue U). Food items and donations may be brought to the civic meeting on November 20 and checks to purchase turkeys, payable to “Madison-Marine Civic Assn.” can also be sent to: MMHCA, PO Box 432, Homecrest Station, Brooklyn, NY 11229.

For additional information, call (718) 375-9158.

Coat Drive, via New York Cares

The 26th annual New York Cares Coat Drive kicks off today and runs through December 31. There are more than 280 locations around New York City where you can drop off a clean, gently used coat to help neighbors in need — let’s warm our city up! Here’s where you can donate locally:

NYPD 66th Precinct (5822 16th Avenue)

  • All hours, every day

NYPD 62nd Princinct  (1925 Bath Avenue)

  • All hours, every day

Life Quality BMW (9326 4th Avenue)

  •  Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm; Sunday 11am-4pm

61st Precinct (2575 Coney Island Avenue)

  • All hours, every day

Organizations interested in hosting a public collection site or setting up a drive of your own for the New York Cares Coat Drive should register online; coats will need to be delivered to their warehouse by December 31, 2014.

There are also ways beyond coat donations to help the drive. Volunteers are needed at several upcoming coat distribution events, and there are some benefit events, as well. Also, New York Cares estimates that for every $50 given, 16 coats can be dispersed. Financial donations can be made here.

Image via New York Cares

Sheepshead Bay Memorial Day Parade 2010

Councilman Alan Maisel is teaming up with two organizations during the week of Veteran’s Day to bring cell phones for active military members deployed abroad, and food for stateside veterans in need.

The pol is asking neighbors to bring non-perishable food to his district office at 2424 Ralph Avenue between now and Thursday, November 20. Close to 30 percent of New York City’s veterans and their families rely on emergency food, according to information from his office, and local food pantries and soup kitchens need the items to assist those who’ve served with hot meals for the holiday season. The items will be collected from his office and brought to pantries by Food Bank for New York City.

Meanwhile, he’s working with Cell Phones for Soliders to collect used cell phones so some of the 200,000 troops currently abroad can make free calls to family and friends back home. The phones are recycled and the funds are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards for servicemembers. For every donated phone valued at $5, the organization provides two and a half hours of free talk time to deployed troops.

Phones can be dropped off at Maisel’s district office. For more information, e-mail AMaisel@Council.NYC.Gov or call (718) 241-9330.

Some of the goods collected from a previous drive.

The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association gathers a literal ton (give or take) of food for the needy before Thanksgiving every year, and is now accepting donations for the 2014 season.

The group is collecting both kosher and non-kosher items from now until November 20. They’ve placed collection bins in cooperating businesses around the Homecrest and Marine Park area, and hope you’ll drop off some non-perishable foods that you might serve on Thanksgiving.

Drop off locations include:

  • Avenue U Fish Market, 2704 Avenue U
  • G & S Pork Store, 2611 Avenue U
  • T & D Bakery, 2307 Avenue U
  • Roosevelt Savings Bank, 2925 Avenue U
  • Michael’s Bakery, 2923 Avenue R
  • JoMart Chocolates, 2917 Avenue R
  • Pronto Pizza, 2928 Avenue R
  • Tom’s Cleaners, 2917 Avenue S

There will also be a one-day collection event at Key Food on Gerritsen Avenue and Avenue U, on Saturday, November 15, from 10am to 3pm.

Additionally, food items and donations can be brought to the group’s last-day collection party on Thursday, November 20 at 7:30pm at the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park.

Want to give money so the group can buy turkeys for those who need it? Make checks payable to “Madison-Marine Civic Assn.,” also mailt to: M.M.H.C.A., PO Box 432, Homecrest Station, Brooklyn, New York, 11229. For more information, call (718) 375-9158.

Source: MyTudut/Flickr

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is announcing that he has joined forces with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens to host a back to school collection drive for local students in need.

Residents are being encouraged to donate new school supplies including notebooks, crayons, back packs, pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, highlighters, washable glue sticks, 2-pocket folders, 3 x 5 line Index cards, etc.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “As we turn the calendar on the month of August, we begin to prepare our students and families to go back to school. For some families, the need to get their kids ready to learn and participate in another school year poses a financial challenge, and so we are being asked to help out and make a donation of some essential items. This year I hope that this community will again come together to support our neighbors in need so their children can have the same opportunities this year in the classroom. I hope you will join me in making a donation.”

Those wishing to make a donation of items can drop them off on or before Friday, August 15th at either of Senator Golden’s district offices at 7408-5th Avenue or at 3604 Quentin Road. For more information, please contact the Senator Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044.

A traditional mishloah manot care package for the Jewish holiday of Purim. Source: nweiss81/ Flickr

A traditional mishloah manot care package for the Jewish holiday of Purim. Source: nweiss81/ Flickr

The following is a press release from the UJA-Federation:

UJA-Federation of New York’s fourth annual “Pack It Up For Purim” food drive runs now through March 16, 2014, and aims to provide more than 3,000 food packages to hungry New Yorkers. Food will be collected at JASA Brighton/Manhattan Beach Senior Center, 60 West End Avenue in Brooklyn; JASA Senior Alliance Senior Center, 161 Corbin Place in Brooklyn; Kings Bay YM-YWHA, 3495 Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn; and Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach, 3300 Coney Island Ave in Brooklyn.

Drop-off times for JASA Senior Centers are Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Drop-off times for Kings Bay YM-YWHA and Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach are Mondays through Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The initiative follows one Purim tradition of offering mishloach manot, or charitable food baskets, to friends, neighbors, and those in need. Fanning out over New York City, Long Island, and Westchester, over 40 UJA-Federation beneficiary agencies, synagogues, day schools, and other organizations are collecting food donations and many are organizing food-packing projects to help inspire community-building and charitable giving.

“Approximately 2.6 million New Yorkers – or nearly one in four – have difficulty affording food for themselves and their families and we need to come together to help feed our neighbors,” says Susan Kohn, executive director of the Volunteer Leadership Development Department at UJA-Federation of New York. “In the spirit of Purim, we are so grateful to our food collection sites and encourage all New Yorkers to come out and help members of our community who are just trying to feed their families.”

“Our goal for last year was to deliver over 2,000 food packages, and this year we raised that goal to 3,000 to further alleviate pressure on food distribution sites and increase the number of families we can serve,” said Kohn.

Each Pack It Up for Purim food package will contain nutritious, nonperishable items such as whole-grain cereal or oatmeal, canned vegetables, canned tuna, pasta, beans, granola bars, and peanut butter.

The festival of Purim, celebrated annually by Jews around the world, commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.

For more information on how to volunteer and to find a list of the food collection sites, please visit www.ujafedny.org/purim. For information about these “Pack It Up For Purim” food collection sites, please contact:

  • JASA Brighton/Manhattan Beach Senior Center, Anna Bella: (718) 646-1118 / abella@jasa.org
  • JASA Senior Alliance Senior Center, Sheila Galvez: (718) 646-4100 / sgalvez@jasa.org
  • Kings Bay YM-YWHA, Laura Mezhiborsky: (718) 648-7703 ext. 227 / lora@kingsbayy.org
  • Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach, Ariella Angert: (718) 646-1444 ext. 332 / Ariella@shorefronty.org

One of Fidler’s elves at last year’s toy drive.

Councilman Lewis Fidler’s Democratic Club, the 41st Assembly District Democrats, is putting out the final call for toys as the grand finale party nears on Thursday.

Now in its 13th year, the annual toy drive has grown to become the largest Toys for Tots drive in New York City for seven years running. Last year, they collected more than 9,000 toys, a record they hope to beat again this year.

Their efforts have been helped by several smaller “feeder” drives, including one done by the Kings Bay Y and another by the Be Proud Foundation (Be Proud’s collection event is today, at 6:00 p.m. at Signature Restaurant [2007 Emmons Avenue]. Those interested in donating can stop by with an unwrapped, unopened toy or a check made out to Be Proud Foundation).

The event culminates with a massive party at the clubhouse at 2952 Avenue R on Thursday, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. It’s a great time for kids, who get to mingle with Mr. Met and Sandy the Seagull, and is capped off with an “elf show” and the loading of toys into the U.S. Marines’ 18-wheeled military cargo truck. Last year’s loading took more than an hour.

If you’d like to make a donation or have questions about the drive, call Bryan at (917) 846-1944.

Vanilla Fudge's Vince Martell. Source: Wikipedia

Vanilla Fudge’s Vince Martell. Source: Wikipedia

The 23rd Annual Bay Improvement Group (BIG) Celebrity Caroling Toy Drive, featuring Vanilla Fudge lead guitarist Vince Martell, Colorado recording artist Peg Pearl, Steam’s Greg Bravo (famed for “Na Na Na Na, Goodbye”) and more will be held this Sunday, December 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Baron DeKalb Knights of Columbus, 3000 Emmons Avenue.

Admission is free with your donation of a new unwrapped toy, which will go toward brightening up the Christmas of a less fortunate child.

For more information, call BIG President Steve Barrison at (212) 750-5560 or (718) 646-9206, email bayimprovementgrp@gmail.com or visit BIG on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and on www.bigbayfest.org and www.bayimprovementgroup.org.

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