Velazquez helps Community Foundation’s ‘Brooklyn Gives’ campaign

November 29, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez says Brooklyn residents are “reclaiming our values” when they make donations to charities. Photo courtesy of Marc Goldberg Photography

An effort by Brooklyn non-profit group to encourage borough residents to donate locally on Giving Tuesday got a big assist from a lawmaker who helped the group kick off its ambitious drive on the morning of Nov. 27.

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a Democrat whose district includes Sunset Park, was the guest speaker at the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s #BrooklynGives event at National Grid’s headquarters at 1 Metrotech Tuesday morning.

The Brooklyn Community Foundation urged the borough’s residents to think locally on Giving Tuesday and to donate their money to Brooklyn-based charities. Two years ago, the foundation launched the #BrooklynGives campaign.

The campaign included the slogan “Give Where You Live.”

This year, the foundation set a goal of raising more than $1 million for community-based, non-profit organizations throughout Brooklyn.

“Only four percent of NYC philanthropic dollars make it to Brooklyn. #BrooklynGives gives us a chance to bring recognition and celebrate the incredible work that is happening in our borough,” said Cecilia Clarke, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Community Foundation.

The foundation, which was founded in 2009, has provided assistance to more than 300 non-profit organizations in Brooklyn.

In her remarks, Velazquez said the #BrooklynGives fundraising effort gave the borough’s residents a chance to display their homegrown values.

“We are reclaiming our values here in Brooklyn. We are not allowing anyone to define who are. We know who we are. I’m so proud of Cecilia and the Brooklyn Community Foundation for launching this effort. We must commit ourselves to making Brooklyn the best borough!” Velazquez said.

In addition to Velazquez, the foundation’s kickoff event for Giving Tuesday featured discussion panels with guests such as Errol Louis, host of “Inside City Hall” on NY1, Brooklyn Community Foundation Fellow Heather McGhee and Melanie Samuels of the group Bed-Stuy Against Hunger.

Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y as an alternative to the shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday that take place after Thanksgiving. People were encouraged to take a few minutes out of their day to donate to worthy causes.

Giving Tuesday has since become a global phenomenon. In 2017, non-profit organizations raised more than $300 million in contributions, according to the Brooklyn Community Foundation.