Stories of Resilience and Recovery

December 7, 2012

  (Luna Park Coney Island/Flickr)  

Last week we told you about two new Brooklyn Recovery Fund-backed efforts underway in Coney Island and Red Hook to coordinate the response of neighborhood nonprofit groups, to amplify their efforts and create more resilient communities. It’s our strategy for Brooklyn: a strong, successful recovery depends upon a united, community-led effort.
Enthusiasm for this approach is echoing across coastal Brooklyn, as nonprofits and residents are energizing around the new coalitions. Their work is well underwayConey Recovers is establishing the Coney Corps to get locals back to work and involved in rebuilding and Red Hook Coalition has hired a coordinator to work among the groups and identify local employment opportunities.


Beyond these coalitions, Brooklyn Recovery Fund’s support to individual groups has also proved vital.

More than $400,000 is out now to 40 neighborhood nonprofits.

Among the newest grantees are Bay Improvement Group of Sheepshead Bay; Millennium Development in Canarsie; Jewish Center of Brighton Beach; Amethyst Women's Project, Iglesia Pentecostal De Jesucristo, Iglesia Cristiana Metropolitana, Coney Island USA, and Coney Island Cathedral in Coney Island; and Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, and VFW Memorial Post 5195 in Red Hook. Details on these and other Recovery Fund grants here.

Funds have also been designated to Brooklyn Bar Association for free legal clinics, Brighton Ballet Theater to replace destroyed Nutcracker costumes and sets in time for their upcoming holiday Nutcracker, and Fifth Avenue Committee to prepare unoccupied apartments for displaced low income Red Hook families.

Each grant represents a different story of perseverance through the storm and its aftermath.

Yesterday, the Daily News wrote about the residents of Mercy Home’s Visitation Residence in Red Hook. Ten developmentally disabled adults have been displaced since the storm due to costly damage to their flooded Richards Street building. They’re now being housed at the organization’s Fort Greene headquarters, but they are very much missing the comforts and routine of home.


“A hurricane is hard for everybody—but for the developmentally disabled, change is really a problem,” caretaker Sabrina White told the Daily News. “We’re taking it one day at a time — that’s all we can do.”

With your support, they’re getting closer to home: Brooklyn Recovery Fund has awarded Mercy Home a $10,000 grant to help pay for repairs.


In Coney Island, Brooklyn Recovery Fund’s grant to Coney Island Gospel Assembly paid for a forklift rental to unload the tons of supplies that have been delivered to the church’s parking lot, which has become a major relief distribution center.  

In Gerritsen Beach, funds have helped 40 local homes get power, whose residents include an 81-year old woman with breast cancer, a Marine about to be deployed overseas, and a woman whose house the City had condemned but can in fact be relatively easily salvaged.  

In Central Brooklyn, an area spared by the storm, funds have addressed the huge increase in demand on food pantries and soup kitchens since Sandy. St. John’s Bread and Life has given out 117% more food in the two weeks following the hurricane than usual, representing not only their relief work in Coney and the Rockaways , but the fact that many storm evacuees ended up with family and friends in Bed Stuy.  The Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger typically sees 200-300 new families per month—in the three weeks after Sandy, they saw 651 new families.

These stories demonstrate the importance of our local nonprofits and community-backed recovery. We encourage you to share them, and ask your friends and family to support our efforts.

Please continue to support Brooklyn’s coastal communities. Our neighbors need you.

Donate at or text BROOKLYN to 25383 to give $10

For more on how you can help, email or visit our volunteer website

Brooklyn Recovery Fund in the News:





Do Good Right Here

Follow our #Sandy and #BKFund updates at and

Sandy Volunteers

Via our Do Good Right Here volunteer initiative and website, we're tracking volunteer and supply donation needs across Brooklyn in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Visit our blog at for a thorough list of opportunities to volunteer. Email if you are collecting donations or know of immediate volunteers needs.