A Feast of inspirations in giving: past, present, & future
We are in the giving season. Scientists have tried to figure out why kindness spreads in the darkest of times. Perhaps for our own wellbeing during the longest nights of the year we need the inner light powered by generosity to shine in addition to the exterior strings of holiday lights to uplift us. We are fortunate to be part of a big-hearted community where neighbor looks after neighbor, for the most part, throughout the year. This phenomenon of magnanimity starts revving up full throttle around Thanksgiving. Check out this sampling of recent and ongoing local efforts.
Fundraisers for Puerto Rico hurricane relief:
Right after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean, the FDNY launched a campaign to collect batteries and necessary items to send to Puerto Rico. Community organizations, local elected officials, schools, and others also took up their own collections, some of which are still ongoing. In addition, St. Nicks Alliance is currently raising money in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico. You can donate to this fundraiser here: www.stnicksallianceforpuertorico.org
Thanksgiving Dinners and Turkey Giveaways
Southside United H.D.F.C. – Los Sures:
On November 16th, Los Sures hosted their 15th annual Thanksgiving Dinner at the First Spanish Presbyterian Church (157 S 3rd St.). They served 400 residents an early Thanksgiving meal and provided many families with a turkey to take home.
“At Southside United-Los Sures we have many things to be thankful for. Those things include our community, residents and tenants. We are grateful to have an opportunity to break bread with them and celebrate Thanksgiving with them,” said Juan Ramos, Executive Director of Southside United HDFC-Los Sures.
Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, Freehold Brooklyn, Pies- N-Thighs, and Resurrection Williamsburg partnered in the event.
St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church & North Brooklyn Angels:
Over a hundred and fifty neighbors lined up to receive a free turkey from St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church (195 Maujer St.) on the day before Thanksgiving. 167 turkeys were provided through donations received in equal parts from local residents and St. John’s parishioners.
In addition, North Brooklyn Angels’ Angelmobile arrived at lunchtime to provide a hot Thanksgiving meal. North Brooklyn Angels started providing free hot weekday lunches to the community in late summer. They serve 200 lunches a day and welcome volunteers!
To volunteer with the North Brooklyn Angels go to: www.northbrooklynangels.org/volunteer
Also St. John the Evangelist hosts a free hot lunch via the Momentum Project on Fridays from 12 p.m.–3 p.m. There was a weekly food pantry, which accompanied the free lunch for the past year, but recently due to the loss of a major funder this became a monthly offering. St. John’s has started a food drive and fundraising campaign to enable the food pantry to become a weekly event again.
Food donations of nonperishable item (unexpired and dent-free cans) and monetary donations can be dropped off at 195 Maujer St: during office hours (Tuesday to Friday 10-1); while the pantry is open (Friday 12-3); or Sunday mornings (8am-12pm). To make special arrangements call the church office (718-963-2100). Tax receipts are available for all donations. If any students wish to organize a collection drive Father Jason will sign school volunteer hours.
Grand Street BID’s Grand Street Gives Back
To assist St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church fund their food pantry the Grand Street BID has organized participating Grand Street businesses to be drop-off points for nonperishable, undented, and unexpired food donations through December 15th. It’s a win-win! You can shop local for the holidays and support a needed food pantry!
For more information and a list of participating businesses go to: www.grandstreetbk.org
School Settlement Association Food Drive:
This November marked the sixth year that students from “The Sett” collected canned food for Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s food pantry. The students, parents, and families collected over 200 cans to help the Williamsburg community.
If you wish to pay it forward and give to School Settlement Association, you can help them build their new community center by purchasing tickets to their next fundraiser: www.readysettdance.org