Archive for the tag 'donations'

A traditional Passover seder plate. Source: Wikipedia

A traditional Passover seder plate. Source: Wikipedia

For the fifth year in a row, the Be Proud Foundation will host its annual Passover Food Distribution Event, tomorrow, April 10, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Aqua Health Rehabilitation Center, 2753 Coney Island Avenue.

More than 600 people of limited means will join Be Proud and its friends at the annual event. Recipients will be able to take home kosher food packages for Passover, including matzah, the “bread of affliction” and symbol of salvation and deliverance.

This event is made possible because of the generosity of private donations.

“Passover is the best time for us to show that we care about our neighbors. By giving out food we are going to share our happiness with the people who count on us more than ever in this current economic climate,” said Raisa Chernina, executive director of the Be Proud Foundation.

UPDATE (March 26): Organizers have added two more days to the sale: Thursday, March 27, and Friday, March 28.

These are the final days of the Friends of Gerritsen Beach Library’s first spring book sale since Superstorm Sandy devastated the branch in 2012. The library, located at 2808 Gerritsen Avenue, reopened in October 2013.

The organization has been doing book drives and sales for several years to raise funds for the local institution, with profits being used to help pay for programming and improvements at the branch.

So stop by and purchase a book, on either March 24 or March 25. Then you can donate them next year.

Participants took the stage as the winners were announced. (Photo by Yuval Kagan)

Participants took the stage as the winners were announced. (Photo by Yuval Kagan)

Remember that awesome SING! competition we told you about last month? Brooklyn Sings!, an inter-SING event in which students from Midwood, Madison and Murrow high schools competed against each other for best student-created stage production, took place this past Saturday and students raised more than $20,000 to donate to the American Cancer Society.

According to organizers, the event made history as the largest one-night fundraiser for the Bergen Beach, Mill Basin and Marine Park Relay for Life team, with that boatload of money raised through ticket sales, raffles and direct donations.

Edward R. Murrow High School’s team won the event, with a show that brought seniors and freshman together to defeat an evil villain in “MurrowWarts.” Madison entertained with a trip to Toyland, and Midwood took the audience 10 years forward for a terrifying reunion. Every bit of the production was student-created.

A huge hurrah for the students at these three schools. They all worked hard, and for a great cause.

gerritsen-library

Friends of Gerritsen Beach Library (2808 Gerritsen Avenue) is in the middle of its first book drive since Superstorm Sandy devastated the branch in 2012. The location reopened in October 2013.

The organization has been doing book drives – followed by sales – for several years to raise funds for the local institution. They ask neighbors to drop off new or lightly used books, which they then sell off to pay for programming and improvements at the branch.

You should drop off any books between now and Wednesday, March 19. But, if you’ve got nothing to spare, you can always stop by and purchase a book during the sale days, on March 24 or March 25. Then you can donate them next year.

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

Photo by Erica Sherman

Three major Southern Brooklyn high schools are banding together to hold the first-ever inter-SING! competition, called Brooklyn Sings!, to benefit the American Cancer Society.

As any Brooklyn public high school graduate knows, SING! competitions can dominate school culture, bringing in students at every level to plan and produce a musical-production based on a different theme each year. The grades compete against each other for bragging rights.

What many may not know is that SING!, now a phenomenon at high schools across the greater New York City area, is a distinctly Southern Brooklyn creation, first established at Midwood High School in 1947 by music teacher Bella Tillis. The 1989 film Sing is based on the Brooklyn traditions, and SING! alumni include Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Tim Robbins, Paul Reiser and Neil Diamond.

Midwood, Madison and Murrow are all well-known for their grandiose productions that can involve hundreds of students.

Brooklyn Sings!, the inter-school event, is being created to benefit the American Cancer Society. It was conceived by the Bergen Beach, Mill Basin and Marine Park Relay for Life team and one of its organizers, Joe Gillette.

“Our Relay for Life team is so thankful to each of these amazing schools for taking on BROOKLYN SINGS!  We know this event will be great for all the talented students, the schools and the community as a whole as we all unite and give of ourselves for a worthy cause,” Gillete said in a press release. “We encourage anyone who wants to get involved with our Relay for Life organization to join us as we strive to make a difference in our schools and community.”

“SING began in Midwood in 1947.  Mrs. Belle Tillis (who passed away last year 15 days shy of her 100th birthday) is credited with bringing SING to Midwood,” said Midwood Principal Michael McDonnell. “For the last 60 + years, our student body has sung, danced and acted their way towards winning the annual SING competition.  In fact the organizers of all the schools’ SINGs were Midwood students who had participated in Midwood SING.  So it is with great honor and responsibility that along with the help of Relay for Life, we get to “throw down the gauntlet” to our neighboring schools.”

Anyone interested in supporting one of the school’s fundraising efforts for the ACS can make a tax deductible donation by visiting the team page of their favorite school.

For Midwood visit http://main.acsevents.org/goto/midwoodsings;
For Madison visit http://main.acsevents.org/goto/madisonsings
For Murrow visit http://main.acsevents.org/goto/murrowsings

The event will be held March 8 at 6 p.m. at Edward R. Murrow High School (1600 Avenue L). Tickets will be sold through each school, and go one sale February 24.

The New York Aquarium in Coney Island broke ground on Friday on a new shark exhibit officials hope will revitalize the institution.

The 57,000-square-foot facility called “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” will hold 115 species including more than 45 different kinds of sharks, and guests will be able to view the creatures from all sides with the installation of a 360-degree coral reef tunnel.

Last year we reported that the aquarium had been all but destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, with repairs costing taxpayers approximately $65 million The new sharks exhibit carries a $157.1 million and is due to open sometime in 2016.

“You will be surrounded on all sides by not only sharks, but by schools of bright colored bony fish and the sort of beauty of the tropics that we all associate with diving,” Jon Forrest Dohlin, aquarium director and vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, told the Daily News.

The new building will be three-stories high and there will be a laboratory above the exhibit for children to learn more about the many species inside. On top will be a roof-deck overlooking the ocean.

In December, we wrote about the flashy “shimmer wall” that will wrap around the facility, on which neighbors can make a small donation to have their name digitally projected on one of the 33,000 aluminum tiles.

Source: NYAquarium.org

The new exhibit building and shimmer wall. (Source: NYAquarium.org)

Superstorm Sandy dealt some devastating damage to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, and much of it still remains closed today. But the institution says they’re seeing this as an opportunity to launch a new chapter in its history, and it’s forging ahead with plans for the first new facility and exhibit in years: “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!”

The ultra-modern building will abut the boardwalk, hoping to lure in a few new faces with its glitzy look.

But that look is also helping their fundraising goals. The entire exterior is wrapped in a shimmer wall, “a mesmerizing work of art” built of 33,000 aluminum tiles that “use wind and reflective sunlight to create a fluid, glittering surface reminiscent of schooling fish and ocean waves.”

To help raise funds for upgrades and repairs to the entire aquarium, they’re now allowing donors to purchase virtual tiles with their names on it. The virtual tiles will move around the shimmering wall, customized by the donor with colors, animal themes and messages for the aquarium.

Why should you donate? Jon Forrest Dohlin, the director of the New York Aquarium, says in an op-ed in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that the institution plays a critical role in supporting the local community, but it’s still suffering setbacks from Sandy:

A beloved Brooklyn landmark, the WCS New York Aquarium was closed for seven months for the initial cleanup after it was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. While many of the complex electrical and life support systems for the animals still need replacement, there is much to celebrate this holiday season.

More than 350,000 people have visited since the aquarium’s partial reopening this past May. We’re also looking ahead to the expansion and transformation of the aquarium as we lead the renaissance taking place in Coney Island.

The aquarium is important to the economy of New York City, to the education of our city’s school children, and to the conservation of New York’s ocean and waterways, and WCS marine conservation efforts around the world.  An economic engine in South Brooklyn, we pump about $58 million into the local economy, see 12,000 kids in our classrooms and reach about 220,000 more students who visit our facility and use our science education programs each year. These roles will grow stronger with the rebuilding of those exhibits devastated by Sandy and the opening of our new Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit in 2016.

You can learn more about Ocean Wonders: Sharks! and the shimmer wall here, as well as make a donation.

toys-14

The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots local drive organized by Councilman Lew Fidler’s 41st Assembly District Democratic Club is again the largest such drive in New York City for the eighth consecutive year, scoring 7,750 holiday gifts for needy and disadvantaged children.

While the number is impressive, an even more impressive number came out of it: 55,430. That’s the number of toys collected in the 13 years since the drive’s establishment in 2001, when they first bundled together just 79 toys for kids.

The event will continue in the future, but it’s the final year that Fidler will preside over it as a member of the City Council. He’s term limited out come January 1, to be succeeded by Assemblyman Alan Maisel. As the event wrapped up, Fidler gazed over the mountain of toys that covered nearly half the floor space of his club from floor to ceiling.

“This is what the holidays are supposed to be about. Not throwing yourself a party, not drinking a lot of egg nog. Helping children, that’s what we do. It’s great to look at this mountain of toys,” he told Sheepshead Bites. “Today was my last Council meeting. Yeah, it’s bittersweet, but at the end you look back and you know you had a good run, you didn’t waste anyone’s time, and I didn’t waste my time, and it’s very gratifying.”

Read more about the event, and see photos and video.

Some of the many donations to the civic’s 2010 food drive.

The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association brought home another successful food drive on Thursday, collecting approximately 20 turkeys, several food gift cards, and more than 1,000 cans and packages for distribution to needy families in the community.

The group brought the food to the Our Lady of Refuge Church food pantry at Ocean Avenue and Foster Avenue on Saturday to keep them stocked through the holiday. Dozens of families will have a full stomach thanks to their hard work and generosity.

Much of the food was collected at boxes placed in local businesses, including Michael’s Bakery, JoMart Chocolates, Mini-Mart, Pronto Pizza, Tom’s Cleaners, Henry’s Deli, T&D Bakery, G&S Pork Store, Avenue U Fish Market and Roosevelt Savings Bank. Many of these businesses also made a donation to the effort.

Councilman Lew Fidler and State Senator Marty Golden also made donations during the group’s Thursday meeting, the final collection night.

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