PRESS RELEASE: Brooklyn Community Services SPRING INTO ACTION is a Success
Brooklyn Community Services SPRING INTO ACTION is a Success!
Over 300 Volunteers Bring Skills to Brooklyn’s Underserved Neighborhoods
Volunteers Assisted in 20 Impactful and Educational Projects–Gardening, Reading, Workforce Development, Mentoring, Wellness,
Bowling and a Pop-Up Thrift Shop
Brooklyn, NY (April 12, 2016) – Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) Fourth Annual Spring into Action, held March 20 to April 5, was packed with over 20 impactful and educational projects, which featured over 300 volunteers from companies and the community who spent approximately 600 hours making a difference in Brooklyn’s underserved neighborhoods.
At Spring into Action, volunteers were involved with interactive projects at 13 BCS program sites, which specialized in early learning for children, educational afterschool programs, youth development, adults with mental illness, women at a homeless shelter and adults with developmental disabilities. Highlights included an urban ecology outreach with 73 trees stewarded in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Coney Island’s Kaiser Park being cleaned up and the BCS Transitional Living Community (TLC) Urban Garden prepped for spring. There were education projects like youth ages 14-18 being mentored by local professionals and middle school students at two public schools learning about 10 different professions at Career Day events. Children ages 3-5 developed their reading literacy skills. Healthy lifestyles were promoted through adults with mental illness participating in free yoga and aerobics. Low-income adults with mental illness received free tax preparations and youth had free financial literacy training. There was a bowling tournament with the acclaimed BCS Bowling League and the first BCS Pop-Up Thrift Shop catering to low-income residents of East New York.
During Spring into Action, volunteers personally connected with almost 400 Brooklyn residents from underserved neighborhoods.
“We believe volunteers can help meet the pressing needs in Brooklyn, like job readiness, financial literacy and youth development. Spring into Action is unique in that it’s the only major volunteer initiative focused on Brooklyn’s low-income communities,” said Kristina Reintamm, Director of Community Education and Engagement at BCS. “There are so many people here who want to get involved—we’re proud to be an organization that works to foster community collaboration.”
Spring into Action was sponsored by PVH Corporation. Community partners included: Shape Up NYC, Liberty City, NYC Department of Education, Partnership for Parks, Borough of Manhattan Community College, National Grid, Repair the World NYC, NYU Stern Cares, YWCA Brooklyn, Grow Brooklyn, Key Club
International, 826NYC, City Polytechnic High School, Ridgewood Bank, Popular Community Bank, Burberry and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Some special partner projects were: Partnering with NYC Parks on two green initiatives; National Grid promoting early childhood literacy; Burberry aiding with the thrift shop management; Ridgewood Bank volunteers teaching youth financial literacy and Popular Community Bank employees helping adults with disabilities practice their interview skills. “Our company is driven by our connection to the communities we serve. Volunteerism is a big part of what defines us as an institution,” said Pamela Kulnis, Senior Vice President, People, Marketing and Public Relation, Popular Community Bank. “This is the reason why we strive to take part in these opportunities and promote a culture of volunteerism and giving back. Spring into Action mirrors those values perfectly while doing their part to help those in need of fine tuning their job interview skills.”
“Spring into Action continues to grow bigger each year, reaching more people living in underserved neighborhoods,” said Marla Simpson, executive director of BCS. “There are partnerships with hundreds of individuals, community organizations, faith-based community, local businesses and corporations. Spring into Action is strengthening important community relationships to empower our community.”
BCS is proud that most of our program locations hosted a Spring into Action project this year, including: Duffield Children’s Center, MetroClub PROS, BC PROS, Atlantic Avenue Early Learning Center, Youth Stand United, Youth Stand: Coney Island, East New York Clubhouse, four BCS Afterschool Programs and more.
Join the conversation with Brooklyn Community Services at www.WeAreBCS.org, FACEBOOK at Brooklyn Community Services, Twitter and Instagram at @WeAreBCS.org. For more information about becoming a BCS volunteer, please contact: volunteer@WeAreBCS.org.
About Brooklyn Community Services
BCS celebrates the strength of the human spirit, and in 2016, we celebrate our 150th Anniversary. Our mission is to empower at-risk children, youth and families, and adults with mental illness or developmental disabilities to overcome the obstacles they face, as we strive to ensure opportunity for all to learn, grow and contribute to ONE Brooklyn Community. To achieve this mission, we offer comprehensive and holistic services: early childhood education; youth development services and educationally rich after-school programs; counseling for at-risk families; treatment, recovery and job training to support the life goals of adults living with mental illness; person-centered rehabilitation and community living support for adults with developmental disabilities and disaster recovery case management and relief services. BCS also seeks to increase public awareness of the impacts of poverty on individuals and the community at-large. With a staff of over 400 and over 20 sites around the borough, BCS serves 12,000 people every year. Today, BCS is one of the oldest not-for-profit, non-sectarian social service providers in New York City.