Southern Brooklyn

Thursday: Major Volunteer Rebuilding Event In Gerritsen Beach

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Gerritsen Beach — ignored in the initial wake of Superstorm Sandy — will be getting a little help from their friends in a very big way this week.

The tight-knit neighborhood, which suffered unprecedented damages despite being classified as Zone B flood area (a secondary flood plain where evacuation was not mandatory), will benefit from a one-day volunteer event to help rebuild homes and community areas with the help of the Meredith Corporation, Thursday, June 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness and Every Day with Rachael Ray is partnering with the non-profit organization Rebuilding Together and Lowe’s to mobilize more than 500 volunteers, who will provide badly-needed repair work to a dozen homes, the community center that houses the Vollies (the last volunteer fire department in Brooklyn), and Kiddie Beach.

According to a press release from Meredith Corporation, “Seven months after Hurricane Sandy, vital community areas are still damaged, and many residents are displaced and unable to take on the significant repairs needed for them to return to their homes. This project aims to bring long-term recovery and much-needed repairs to this historic working class neighborhood.”

Volunteers will be working on 14 projects around the community, including:

  • Renovating a dozen homes damaged during the storm. Many of the homeowners are life-long residents of Gerritsen Beach, like Jean Nelson who is the widow of a WWII veteran and has lived in the neighborhood since 1948.
  • Providing upgrades and repairs to a local community center that supports the last volunteer fire company in Brooklyn.
  • Cleaning up and rebuilding recreation areas in Kiddie Beach, a beloved gathering spot for locals during the summer.
  • Revitalizing a community park and garden area.
  • Providing much-needed services including yard work, painting, fence installation and playground rehabilitation.
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