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Charity drives toy & food collection for needy at Fort Hamilton event

Community Leaders Come Together to Help the Less Fortunate

December 27, 2016 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Zoe Koutsoupakis, Staff Sergeant Chris Patthen, SPC Jose Vasquez, SPC Armando Ramirez and Sandy Vallas prepare to deliver food to the Army Base. Eagle photo by Arthur De Gaeta
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Zoe Koutsoupakis, senior vice president of Signature Bank, has a mission: To help feed and bring joy to the less fortunate in Bay Ridge and its surrounding communities.

Three times a year, Koutsoupakis joins other community leaders, including Sandy Vallas, owner of Vallas Realty Co. Inc. and Monika Buono, group director and vice president at Signature Bank, to help deliver food to the needy.

On Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, these caring individuals team up to brighten the spirits of the less fortunate. They started out helping ten families, and now have over 40 families on their ever-growing list of neighbors in need.

On Thanksgiving they deliver whole cooked turkeys, vegetables, pies and all the trimmings to these families with support from Rex Manor Catering Hall.

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On Christmas they distribute two or three cooked chickens, pies and side dishes to each family. This year the annual drive was extended to the Fort Hamilton Army Base, where they brought food and donated toys to the children of the soldiers serving our country. Every year Kleinfeld Bridal assists them in the toy drive.

Koutsoupakis told the Brooklyn Eagle that she would like to add more families to her list, explaining that there is just no way to measure the rewarding feeling they get when the families thank them for their efforts.

She calls it a “true blessing to help people who have to choose between buying food or buying medicine.”  Koutsoupakis adds, “We even try to help people living in the park. They also need to enjoy a warm meal on the holidays. Anything we can do is just a small token of what needs to be done to help these individuals and families in need.”

Koutsoupakis said it requires a lot of help to serve complete meals to these families and wanted to thank everyone who contributed financially to help make this food and toy drive possible.


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