Bay Ridge

Brooklyn baby shower for domestic violence victims generates hundreds of gifts

April 5, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Community council leaders Kate Cucco (left), Dave Ryan and Ilene Sacco sorted through hundreds of baby gifts, including presents stored in strollers. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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The 68th Precinct station house resembled Babies “R” Us on Saturday with hundreds of blankets, diapers, bottles, booties, onesies, toys and stuffed animals filling up the first floor muster room.

The gifts, including hand-crocheted blankets, were donated by guests attending the Mother of All Baby Showers, a special get-together sponsored by the 68th Precinct Community Council to collect baby items for mothers who are victims of domestic violence.

“Words cannot even begin to express the amount of awe that I am feeling right now towards this community,” community council President Ilene Sacco wrote on Facebook in reaction to the mountains of donations that came pouring into the precinct at 333 65th St. all morning on Saturday. “Not that I ever doubt the people here, but each time there is a cause this community goes way above and beyond anyone’s expectations.”

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Sacco organized the baby shower with other leaders of the community council and with civic activists from Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.

At a recent meeting of Community Board 10, Sacco, a lawyer, discussed her reasons for putting together a baby shower for domestic violence victims. She came up with the idea after she helped a domestic violence victim. The woman, who had survived a horrific incident in which she had been stabbed by her attacker, “got moved in the middle of the night for her safety,” Sacco said.

The incident got her thinking, Sacco said. “A lot of these women get moved in the middle of the night. They leave everything behind,” she told the community board.

Sacco said she thought hosting a gigantic baby shower and collecting gifts would be a good way of supporting these victims.

Sacco, council member Kate Cucco and other organizers reached out to 100 civic and business leaders and journalists to ask that they donate baby gifts to the event. (Full disclosure: This reporter took part in the baby shower).

The Fort Hamilton Senior Center raised over $800 and went out and purchased items, Sacco wrote on Facebook.

All of the donations were distributed among several organizations, including the Center for Domestic Violence, the Healing Center, Safe Horizons and Women Against Violence.

A raffle was held to raise money to buy a crib for one of the organizations. The prizes included a Michael Kors designer pocketbook donated by Sacco, a board containing lottery tickets donated by Sandy Irrera and a gift certificate to La Sorrentina Restaurant donated by the Dyker Heights Civic Association.


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