Park Slope Civic Council's Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Collection. My office will be a drop off point for this wonderful annual program. Please donate new and unwrapped toys, games and books for children aged 12 and under to my office at 341 Smith Street. All of the gifts collected will be given to local organizations that work with families in need. We will be collecting gifts from Monday, November 28th until January 6, 2012. If you are interested in offering your business as a gift collection center, please contact the Park Slope Civic Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just in time for Thanksgiving I partnered with Fairway Market to deliver 60 frozen turkeys to eight community organizations. Turkeys were brought to the Carroll Gardens Association, Christian Help in Park Slope (CHIPS), the Eileen C. Dugan Senior Center, the HOPE Program, the RAICES Gowanus Senior Center, the RAICES Times Plaza Senior Center, The Prospect Park YMCA and the YWCA. Here I am with Louise Franqui, who received a turkey through the Carroll Gardens Association. All of these organizations do tremendous work providing for those in need and I am proud to be here to lend a hand. I hope that throughout this holiday season we all find a way to pitch in.
Both elected officials, advocates and seniors reported long delays and increasing difficulties in applying for the program, recertifying, and getting resolutions to problems, and that there is no direct way to contact DOF staff when problems arise. Currently, applicants can only call 311 with questions about SCRIE and DOF is moving to require applications to be completed on-line. Advocates and elected officials alike agreed that this does not take into account the needs and comfort level of seniors both with language issues and technology. In the past, SCRIE was an example of a well run and valuable program - I will continue to push for resolutions for current program problems, that take into account the needs of seniors in our community.
In November I spoke at the "No Bully Zone, Keeping Kids Safe from Bullying" forum sponsored by the Brooklyn Grandparents Coalition and Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus, Department of Social Work. This was a forum for relative caregivers. I spoke about warning signs of children being bullied, what you can do about it, and how to keep children safe.