Coney Island

Pols urge Brooklyn residents to help Harvey victims

September 6, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Mark Treyger (at podium) says residents of his district know first-hand about the effects of a major storm. His district includes Coney Island, a community hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Photo courtesy of Treyger’s office

Brooklyn residents should open their hearts to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, according to City Councilmembers who are urging their constituents to make contributions to reputable charity organizations that are providing relief.

Brooklyn Councilmembers Mark Treyger, Chaim Deutsch and Mathieu Eugene, along with Councilmember Donovan Richards (D-Queens), representatives of local disaster recovery groups and community-based organizations recently held a press conference on the steps of City Hall to encourage New Yorkers to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

“Unfortunately, here in New York, we are all too familiar with the kind of damage and destruction that Mother Nature can cause,” Treyger said, referring to the devastation brought by Superstorm Sandy when it hit New York in 2012.

Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) is the chairman of the Council’s Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, a committee that was formed a year after Superstorm Sandy. The fifth anniversary of the storm is Oct. 29.

Hurricane Harvey dropped 52 inches of rain and caused massive flooding in Houston and the surrounding Gulf Coast areas of Texas. The storm killed dozens of people and forced tens of thousands to evacuate their homes. The recovery and rebuilding efforts will cost anywhere from $50 billion to $180 billion, according to estimates.

Treyger said Brooklyn residents interested in helping Harvey’s victims can contribute to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund (https://ghcf.org), a program established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The NYC Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is also accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey relief through its website: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/fund/initiatives/hurricane-harvey.page.

Brooklyn is providing assistance in other ways.

KIPP, a national charter school network that has a district in Houston, has dispatched social workers from Brooklyn to provide counseling support to students and teachers.

In addition, educators from KIPP school districts across the country traveled to Houston to help distribute food, clothing and supplies to families and community members in need, according to a KIPP spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s elected officials are conducting Hurricane Harvey relief efforts of their own.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn) collected emergency supplies at his Bay Ridge district office last week that will be sent to Houston.

The victims of Hurricane Harvey are still in need of such items as batteries, socks, toiletries, diapers, baby formula, pet food, cleaning supplies and first aid supplies, according to Golden. 

“We must come together as a nation to help our fellow Americans in Texas. When faced with a catastrophe, Brooklynites have proven that they are always ready to lend a helping hand, open their wallets and provide assistance to those in need. Many have called my office to inquire about the best way to assist with the on-going relief effort,” Golden said in a statement. 

Golden released a list of organizations that are accepting donations.

The American Red Cross is accepting donations online at redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey. To make a financial donation to the Salvation Army, visit helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. 

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is working to ensure that donations for Hurricane Harvey relief are directed to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, which is the primary Catholic Charities organization providing on-the-ground relief to those affected by the storm. Donations can be made online at catholiccharities.org.

Checks are also being accepted. The checks should be made payable to “Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston” can be mailed to: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, 2900 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas, 77006.