Gerritsen Beach — ignored in the initial wake of Superstorm Sandy — will be getting a little help from their friends in a very big way this week.
The tight-knit neighborhood, which suffered unprecedented damages despite being classified as Zone B flood area (a secondary flood plain where evacuation was not mandatory), will benefit from a one-day volunteer event to help rebuild homes and community areas with the help of the Meredith Corporation, Thursday, June 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness and Every Day with Rachael Ray is partnering with the non-profit organization Rebuilding Together and Lowe’s to mobilize more than 500 volunteers, who will provide badly-needed repair work to a dozen homes, the community center that houses the Vollies (the last volunteer fire department in Brooklyn), and Kiddie Beach.
According to a press release from Meredith Corporation, “Seven months after Hurricane Sandy, vital community areas are still damaged, and many residents are displaced and unable to take on the significant repairs needed for them to return to their homes. This project aims to bring long-term recovery and much-needed repairs to this historic working class neighborhood.”
Volunteers will be working on 14 projects around the community, including:
- Renovating a dozen homes damaged during the storm. Many of the homeowners are life-long residents of Gerritsen Beach, like Jean Nelson who is the widow of a WWII veteran and has lived in the neighborhood since 1948.
- Providing upgrades and repairs to a local community center that supports the last volunteer fire company in Brooklyn.
- Cleaning up and rebuilding recreation areas in Kiddie Beach, a beloved gathering spot for locals during the summer.
- Revitalizing a community park and garden area.
- Providing much-needed services including yard work, painting, fence installation and playground rehabilitation.
Source: Cymbrowitz’s office
The NYC Community EMS Volunteer Ambulance Corp. (CEMSVAC) picked a heck of a time to get rolling. The Midwood-based volunteer group was founded in June of 2012, a few months before Superstorm Sandy created unprecedented emergency conditions.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz awarded the new volunteer group a special citation, commending them for performing an amazing service in the worst of circumstances.
“The group dispatched between 40 and 50 volunteers all over southern Brooklyn to rescue residents and fellow first responders whose lives were in danger,” Cymbrowitz said in presenting the corps with an Assembly citation. “Our community needed all the help it could get during Superstorm Sandy, and CEMSVAC selflessly put the needs of others above their own and served as a reassuring presence during a difficult time.”
In accepting the citation, CEMSVAC Chief Operating Officer Ezra Max stressed the importance of volunteering in the world of EMS.
“We not only want to save lives,” said Max, “but also encourage people to get involved in careers in EMS. During a time when people are very ‘me me me’, we are trying to do the opposite — we are trying to bring people together to be selfless and help other human beings.”
Just as we came upon the sixth month anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, a unique arts organization has covered Gerritsen Beach with dozens of stars to bring hope and inspiration to the children of the disaster stricken neighborhood.
See a gallery of all the stars, photographed by local photographer Lisanne Anderson.
Photo by Max Bolotov.
On Thursday, in light of National Volunteer Week, State Senator Marty Golden held an appreciation dinner honoring dozens of those neighbors who lent at hand in Gerritsen Beach in the terrifying hours after Superstorm Sandy battered the New York coastline, despite the fact that many of them suffered their own trials due to the storm’s waters.
Golden handed out citations at Buckley’s Restaurant (2926 Avenue S) to “community residents who have proven to be extraordinary in their volunteerism, dedicated to helping during Hurricane Sandy, special events and community organizations,” including Father Farrell of Resurrection Church, who opened the institution’s doors to serve as an evacuation center and shelter.
Also honored was Rose Coulson from the Ancient Order of Hibernians, who organized opening the facility despite its disrepair from the storm, and rallied volunteers and services to help the community.
Linda Cupo and Tracy Ambrose from the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners and Volunteer Fire Department were manning the Vollies Hall everyday throughout the aftermath of the storm, serving hot meals and doling out supplies.
John Murphy was a huge help running the shelter at Resurrection Church, acting as the director of the shelter spending countless hours at the church during the first week following the storm. He continued to volunteer at the Ancient Order of Hibernians, following the closing of the Resurrection Shelter.
View the full list of honorees, and a photo gallery from the event.
The Be Proud Foundation served approximately 500 local seniors in need during its fourth annual Passover food distribution event last week.
The organization took over the Aqua Health Rehabilitation Center at 2753 Coney Island Avenue on March 21, handing out goody bags overflowing with food supplies for the holiday, including chocolate matzo, pickles, raisins, tuna and other products.
Raisa Chernina, Be Proud’s executive director, said the event is a way for her organization to “share the joy of the holiday” with those who are struggling. It was attended by Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, Councilman Michael Nelson, and 46th Assembly Democratic District Leader Mark Davidovich.
The FDNY is sponsoring a blood drive for the New York Blood Center. It will be held at the firehouse of Engine 321 located at 2165 Gerritsen Avenue (at Avenue U) on Monday, February 4, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Please donate, and help save lives of fellow New Yorkers!
The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) is conducting the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) on January 28, when they will survey to find a point-in-time estimate of the number of unsheltered homeless individuals in New York City. Here’s their call for volunteers:
With one week left until the count, we need your help!
DHS still needs volunteers to make HOPE 2013 a success and the participation of our past volunteers is very important. As a past volunteer, we are asking for your help again. Volunteers commit to assist us overnight on Monday, January 28, 2013 from 10:30 pm until 4:00 am. If you haven’t signed up for HOPE 2013, please consider helping us on this very important night.
HOPE is critical to helping DHS evaluate the effectiveness of our strategies to overcome street homelessness as well as developing appropriate housing resources for the most vulnerable New Yorkers currently living without shelter. HOPE’s methodology has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the gold standard and I am proud to say that this is in large part due to your help.
Registration for HOPE, and the results from last year, can be found on the DHS homepage at www.nyc.gov/dhs or directly by clicking here. Questions regarding this event can also be sent to the HOPE Team at HOPE@dhs.nyc.gov or by calling 212-607-5366.
I hope that you will join us on this night in our efforts towards ending homelessness in New York City.
Let’s make it count!
The HOPE Team
NYC Department of Homeless Services
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and while many people stayed home and enjoyed their day off, others rolled up their sleeves and answered Dr. King’s Call for Service. Over 600 volunteers came to Sheepshead Bay High School to paint, cobble and clean for the 10th annual MLK Day of Service.
“The students and teachers that work here and attend school here, live in communities that were most affected [by Superstorm Sandy],” said Erica Hamilton, executive director of City Year New York, to CBS 2 News.
Among the good deeds performed by the volunteers, which culled together students and community members, were the painting of murals designed by students and the building of benches and bookshelves to help spruce up the Sheepshead Bay High School. They also painted handbags and made cards for special needs students.
The murals, all painted by students, reflected different themes including careers, performing arts and literature.
View the photos from the event.
Jumpin’ Bean on Emmons Avenue, Occupy Sandy’s Sheepshead Bay base of operations.
The folks at Occupy Sandy have done a fine job in setting up camp in Sheepshead Bay following the devastation wrought by the superstorm, and now they have put a call out for more volunteers to help with their recovery efforts.
The group put out a notice for those looking to do volunteer in the following areas:
We need volunteers to help with staffing the supply table, muckouts, garbage clean-up and removing debris from people’s homes, door-to-door needs assessments, on-site data entry (please bring laptop), demolition (prior experience required), mold remediation (prior experience required).
Occupy Sandy’s base of meeting is at Jumpin’ Bean, 3081 Emmons Avenue, and are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. On site training is provided.
For more information, visit their website by clicking here. If you’d like to sign-up directly, you can visit Occupy Sandy’s scheduling volunteer page by clicking here.
From the Bay Improvement Group:
We are having a meeting of block captains and those interested in being block captains at Roll & Roaster on Wednesday, 11/27, at 7pm. Block captains will collect information at the meetings and bring them back to their blocks. They will also collect information from neighbors about the status of their homes and needs, so that we can either get them supplies or request assistance from elected officials and agencies. (This is NOT a community meeting. Only block captains and people who may want to be a block captain should attend.)
Also, Councilman Nelson secured a truckload of heaters for Sheepshead Bay residents with no heat. We’ll distribute those nearby from a truck on the street prior to the meeting. Exact time TBA. People should bring ID, a utility bill, or some other way of showing they live in Sheepshead Bay, so that they get to the residents for which they are intended.