Our Neighbors Need Us

July 20, 2012

Photo courtesy of adam_jones/Flickr  

650,000 Brooklynites live in poverty. That’s more people than the entire population of Boston. And it’s what drives us as we strive to activate more Brooklynites to help their fellow neighbors, through giving and service, and take on our borough’s biggest challenge.
In making our 2012 grants, we focused on organizations that serve Brooklyn’s residents who are not only at the greatest risk of living in poverty, but face the direst consequences:
  • Over 25% of Brooklyn’s seniors live in poverty. We’re home to the most New Yorkers over 65, and the numbers are growing as the Baby Boomers age. Which means an increasing number of older Brooklynites will face economic pressures which could result in home foreclosures, mounting health issues and medical costs, and isolation from their communities.
  • Nearly one in three Brooklyn children lives at or below the poverty line. With the most new births of any borough, Brooklyn is leading New York’s population surge. Over the next decade, our schools will be fuller and their resources will be stretched even thinner. At this point, nearly half of Brooklyn’s children aren’t enrolled in pre-school, our high school graduation rates are below 60%, and nearly 13% of 16 to 25 year olds are not in school and not working.


For both groups, Brooklyn isn’t just their home, it’s their hometown—the place that’s giving them their start, or that they’ve chosen to make their final home. And for both, community is a key determinant of how well they thrive.

At the Brooklyn Community Foundation, we firmly believe in the need to give all of our children the best chance to succeed regardless of their family’s income and to give our older neighbors the support and sense of community they need to live independently and age with dignity.

How Our New Grants Are Helping to Break the Cycle:

  • This year, our donor community has invested $643,000 through our Education & Youth Achievement Fund to promote the work of organizations and programs that tackle the achievement gap, like Horizons at Brooklyn Friends School, which provides public elementary school students in Downtown Brooklyn with free after school tutoring and a summer enrichment camp; Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a rigorous college prep program that prepares low-income students to attend top-tier colleges; and iMentor, which pairs students in a unique in-City boarding program at Catherine McAuley High School in East Flatbush with mentors to ensure they graduate college-ready and succeed once they are there.
  • $125,000 goes to develop and maintain affordable housing opportunities including planning for new senior residences in Cypress Hills/East New York by Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. Six grants, totaling $115,000, back programs that address family stability, a key predictor of a child’s success in life, including support for the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project to hire an on-staff Family Law Attorney, and Housing + Solutions to provide stable housing and supportive services to formerly homeless women and their families.




Read more about all of this essential work here.

The statistics are staggering, but we can change them. We can close the divide, if we do it together.

Pledge your commitment to making a difference here.

What's "Good" in Brooklyn

Here are a few highlights of news and events we’ve shared with our followers this week. Don’t miss a thing! Like us at Facebook.com/DoGoodBklyn and follow us at Twitter.com/DoGoodBklyn.

Giving Grows in Brooklyn
Our friends at the Park Slope Civic Council are sharing our message of giving and service for Brooklyn in the latest issue of their Civic News publication. Read the article here!

Love Brooklyn? Prove It!
If you haven't signed up to "Do Good Right Here" yet, what are you waiting for? Over 100 Brooklyn-serving nonprofits need your help. Whether it's a one-time activity or a weekly commitment, your service will make a huge impact in your community. See where you're needed at DoGoodRightHere.org!

Finding the Greenest Blocks in Brooklyn
Have you seen the signs in your neighborhoods for Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Greenest Block contest? The Semifinalists have been announced, and the winners will be revealed next month! So proud to be supporters of BBG's GreenBridge outreach and education programs, which spread the beauty of the garden throughout our borough. See the blocks still in contention here.