Brooklyn Recovery Fund Launches to Help Get Brooklyn Back on its Feet after the Storm

Brooklyn Community Foundation, Borough President Markowitz, and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Lead Effort to Raise Donations to Address Local Need

Forest City Ratner Companies, Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets Contribute Founding Funds

(Brooklyn, NY) November 2, 2012 -- In response to vast devastation to Brooklyn caused by Hurricane Sandy, particularly in coastal communities like Red Hook, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Sea Gate, and Sheepshead Bay, the Brooklyn Community Foundation and the office of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, in partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, have established the Brooklyn Recovery Fund, a local charitable fund that will provide relief to Brooklyn communities and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Brooklyn Community Foundation, Forest City Ratner Companies, the Brooklyn Nets, and Barclays Center have each pledged $100,000, for a total of $400,000 to create the Fund.

Brooklyn Community Foundation will administer the fund, which will respond to the immediate and long term impacts of this natural disaster and serve as a flexible source of grant funding to local nonprofit organizations as the rebuilding efforts in Brooklyn progress over the coming weeks and months.

Brooklynites are encouraged to give to the Fund at www.BrooklynRecoveryFund.org . 100% of every donation to the Fund will be used to support storm recovery efforts in Brooklyn.

“Some of the most devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy can be found in Brooklyn, but just as we have come together during times of crisis in the past, Brooklynites stand ready to open their hearts and wallets to help their friends and neighbors get back on their feet,” says Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “As Brooklyn’s motto declares, ‘unity makes strength,’ and my office is proud to unite with the Brooklyn Community Foundation and its president Marilyn Gelber and chairman Alan Fishman, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and president & CEO Carlo Scissura, as well as all of our initial funding partners—including the Nets, Forest City Ratner, the Barclays Center, and Junior’s—in showing New York City and the rest of the world our ‘Brooklyn attitude’—and that when the chips are down, Brooklyn steps up.” The Brooklyn Recovery Fund will provide direct support for needs identified by local Brooklyn nonprofit service providers, the small business community, and borough civic institutions.

In surveying nonprofits and businesses in the days following the storm, the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Borough President’s Office, and the Chamber of Commerce report overwhelming demand on neighborhood emergency food providers and community outreach organizations, as well as unprecedented damage to public parks throughout the borough, and severe structural damage to institutions and businesses based in waterfront neighborhoods. (Read their stories here ) Yet, in a display of true Brooklyn spirit, thousands of borough residents have come forward to volunteer in shelters, donate food, clothing and supplies, and take on urgent cleanup and repair needs.

Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber: “The outpouring of concern from our communities in the wake of this monstrous storm confirmed the need for us to establish a locally focused fund to provide Brooklynites with a way to ensure that their charitable giving can benefit the tireless organizations and agencies that serve our neighbors each day. These nonprofit partners go beyond the call of duty during these times of crisis, and this Fund will not only cover the costs of keeping services going 24/7, but will help rebuild organizations nearly wiped out by Sandy. We’re especially thankful to our founding funding partners—Forest City Ratner Companies, the Brooklyn Nets, and Barclays Center—for stepping up so quickly and generously to help the people of Brooklyn.”

“Many of our Forest City and Barclays Center staff live in Brooklyn and together we feel fortunate that we can assist our neighbors and friends during this difficult time,” says Bruce C. Ratner, CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies and Barclays Center Majority Owner and Developer. “Our thoughts are with the Brooklyn families, and families throughout the region impacted by the storm who lost loved ones. Brooklyn will rebuild and be stronger than ever and we are proud to do our part to assist in these efforts.” "We are together in this tough time and want Brooklynites to feel our support as we have felt yours during the team's move to our new home," says Brooklyn Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov. "We are honored to be able to contribute to the rebuilding effort. I have no doubt, Brooklyn will survive and thrive."

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is calling on its network of thousands of local businesses to contribute to the Fund, and has created a resource guide to business recovery at http://www.ibrooklyn.com/sandy .

“I want to commend the Brooklyn Community Foundation and its President Marilyn Gelber, Chairman Alan Fishman, and the entire team at the Foundation for once again being at the forefront of all that concerns Brooklyn,” adds Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Carlo A. Scissura. “The borough was one of the hardest hit by the storm. This is a time when our fellow Brooklynites need us most. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will pledge $1,000 and I encourage Chamber members and others to also donate. Brooklynites are very generous and have also come through for each other in times of need. This is one of those times. Brooklyn will get back on its feet, and this is one way of helping us achieve that. I am honored to have partnered with the Foundation in helping the borough during this difficult time.”

Junior’s Restaurants, based in Brooklyn for more than 60 years, will donate $5 from the sale of every pumpkin cheesecake sold at its three New York City locations to the Fund, through the month of November. "Our success is due to the enormous love and support we have from our friends and neighbors throughout the borough,” says Alan Rosen, third-generation co-owner of Junior’s. “We are greatly moved by the toll Sandy has taken on our community. Anything we can do to give back and to help in the rebuilding process is a privilege and an obligation we are happy to fulfill."

Donations to the Fund will also be collected this weekend, Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th, at all Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg locations. For market times and locations, visit www.brooklynflea.com .

The Brooklyn Recovery Fund is the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s second emergency relief fund in its three year history. In January 2010, following the ruinous earthquake in Haiti, the Foundation partnered with the United Way of New York City to create the NYC Haitian Community Hope and Healing Fund, which distributed more than $600,000 to local agencies to provide case management, legal aid, mental health services, and educational programs for Haitian immigrants living in Brooklyn and Queens.

For more information on how to help, email development@bcfny.org or call 718-246-6886.

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