Brooklyn Community Foundation Announces $2.3 Million in Grants

The Brooklyn Community Foundation has announced the recipients of its competitive grantmaking for 2012, totaling $2,299,600 for 138 highly effective community-based programs and services.

"The grants represent all the ways Brooklynites are making their communities stronger and improving the lives of their neighbors, often out of public view and without substantial resources,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber. "The Community Foundation, with our years of experience and deep relationships throughout the borough, links people who love Brooklyn and want to invest in its improvement with the organizations and institutions that are performing this essential work. They may not all be household names, but they best understand our diverse communities and are getting real results.”

Brooklyn Community Foundation's grassroots, neighborhood-focused style of grantmaking is distributed strategically through five interconnected donor-supported funds: Education & Youth Achievement; Arts for All; Community Development; Caring Neighbors; and, Green Communities.

Together, the funds reflect the Community Foundation's multipronged approach to philanthropic giving. Themes, such as economic development and educational enrichment, thread throughout the funds, showing that environmental stewardship is a path to new jobs as well as fresh, local food; that the arts not only enhance life quality but provide people with special needs a new way of engaging with the world; and that affordable housing promotes family stability as well as thoughtful community development.The majority of grants support organizations with well-established local relationships that demonstrate a commitment to a place or community.

Three grants go to fund the further planning and development of Federally-supported Promise Neighborhoods in Flatbush, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Sunset Park; modeled on the successful Harlem Children's Zone, they seek to improve outcomes for children and families by coordinating local efforts of government and nonprofit partners.

In Red Hook, the Community Foundation is investing $163,000 in the neighborhood that's home to Brooklyn's largest public housing development, including two grants to support a new partnership between Added Value Community Farm and Green City Force for an urban farm on New York City Housing Authority property to provide residents with fresh food and job skills training.

Eight grants back the work of groups in Borough Park, Midwood, and Canarsie, including Ohr-Halimud, a school for dyslexic girls, Chai Lifeline, a provider of free transportation for families of seriously ill children to medical appointments, and the Jewish Community Council of Canarsie, in support of their volunteer-run emergency food pantry serving southeastern Brooklyn.

Help for Brooklyn's Neediest -- Grants also favor organizations that serve Brooklyn's most vulnerable residents—youth, seniors, and people with special needs.

Nearly $650,000 supports youth programs, with an emphasis on college preparation, mentoring relationships, artistic development, and building leadership qualities. A total of $125,000 will go to develop and maintain affordable housing opportunities for seniors and families across Brooklyn, while $82,500 will support senior independence initiatives, to help elderly Brooklynites remain in their homes and engaged with their communities.

Six grants, totaling $115,000, back programs that address family stability, including support for the Brooklyn Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project to hire for an on-staff Family Law Attorney and Housing + Solutions to provide stable housing and supportive services to formerly homeless women and their families.

Brooklyn's emergency food and nutrition programs will receive $160,000 including grants to Bedford Stuyvesant-based St. John's Bread and Life and Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger as well as the Boroughwide work of Brooklyn Food Coalition and Just Food.

For more information on these and other grant awards, contact the Brooklyn Community Foundation at 45 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 347-750-2310.