Today’s news:

Overwhelming generosity

Building on community response to a devastating fire earlier this year, a group of Ridgites wants to found a pantry for clothing and other necessities that would be accessible to those who are in need.

The residents, working with elected officials, collected so much clothing and other goods following the July 29th fire at 68th Street and Third Avenue that a significant quantity was left over, Linda Feeley, the building’s former super, told members of Community Board 10, gathered in the community room at Shore Hill, 9000 Shore Road, for their September meeting.

“We are hoping that we could start a disaster site in the community to benefit all of Bay Ridge, so if there’s ever another disaster, people can come and get what they need,” Feeley explained.

The clothes and other items that were collected, made the aftermath of the fire much easier for the residents of 6805 Third Avenue, said Cynthia Perez, the building’s superintendent.

“We benefited so much,” Perez told board members. “All the tenants in the building were so happy that the community came together to help them. Everything I owned was in my home. All 18 tenants in the building lost everything they owned.

“This happens everyday to so many families,” she went on. “If we could have a site where we could put these things, it would be great.”

At this point, said Feeley, there are approximately 150 bags of donations left over, to form the basis of a disaster site. Once one is up and running, she noted in a subsequent interview, she would let local firehouses and the Red Cross know, so they could pass the information on to those in need, who would be able to come and pick what they want.

“No other community has something like this,” Feeley stressed.

Short term, the unclaimed items are being stored at a local church, said City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who, along with State Senator Marty Golden, had assisted in the collection efforts.

The compassion of Bay Ridgites really came through this summer,” Gentile noted during the board meeting.

Besides local residents coming through with clothes and other necessities for children and adults, the Guild for Exceptional Children also pitched in, opening their headquarters to the homeless residents immediately after the fire, and allowing its use as a distribution center for all the clothes that had been collected.

To help out, contact Feeley at lnfee2@aol.com.

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