Brooklyn Recovery Fund announces first grants; Coney, Red Hook are major recipients

The recently formed Brooklyn Recovery Fund this week announced the first group of grants to neighborhood organizations, and the lion’s share of the grants were to organizations in Coney Island and Red Hook – both neighborhoods that were devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
The fund, launched by the Brooklyn Community Foundation with support from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, raised $1.5 million in less than three weeks.

After an application and review process, the BRF has awarded $250,000 to 26 community groups serving  the neighborhoods most affected by the storm.  

These first-round grants were focused on basic services – emergency food, home visits to seniors and the disabled, cash assistance, benefits counseling and more.

Among the many organizations listed are the Brooklyn Community Services (for a Coney-based Head start center), Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (for a Coney Island food distribution program), The Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, the Old First Reformed Church of Park Slope (which prepares food for local disaster areas), Masbia (emergency food provider for programs in Coney Island and Sea Gate), Good Shepherd Services (emergency cash assistance for Red Hook victims), Restore Red Hook (help for business owners), and St. John’s Bread and Life (for emergency food programs in Red Hook and Coney Island).

Earlier, the fund gave a special $25,000 grant to Gerritsen Beach Cares, which is using the money to help restore power to local homes in that waterfront community.

Marilyn Gelber, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, said, “The generosity of the Brooklyn community has allowed us to announce a first round of $250,000 in fast track grants to 26 organizations working in our most damaged communities.

“This is only the beginning of the recovery process but we hope that these grants will provide an extra boost of support and hope during this Thanksgiving Holiday"

Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said, “People across Brooklyn have opened their wallets since the storm, and now that money is making a difference in so many coastal communities across the borough. This would not be possible without the generous support of so many Brooklynites.”