Thanks to support from a number of individuals we were able to distribute 3 family grants last week to all affected families a Christmas and funds for temporary housing. Additionally we raised a further $15,000 from the McNulty Foundation, bringing us to a total of $50,088.
With 5 days left to go and along way off from reaching our goal, spread the word and help bring an entire block of families back to the Rockaways.
This is a long update with some good news (we are trying to get indiegogo to add $27,500 to the total as we’ve raised funds to help some of the families on the block over the short term.
One of the families we are helping are the Olsen’s, who live(d) midway down the block. Mary Ellen wrote a letter describing that fateful night and the resiliency of the block. click on the link to read .
Help spread the word. We want to bring all these families back home.
Two Weeks To Reach Our Goal
Last week we spent time with a number of our project partners. One group, Friends of Firefighters, introduced us to a number of families affected in Breezy Point and Far Rockaway. During our tour we zeroed in on a potential block to help and support.
We’ve spent a lot of time near 130th and Far Rockaway but this week we got the real story of the block. During 9/11 this street lost seven people during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center then less than a month later a plane crashed on the block killing a number more. During Sandy the entire street was flooded by 6ft and a fire broke out devastating homes.
As the waters rose, the local school building caught fire. Embers leaped from home to home destroying half the block including its’ keystone structure, the Harbor Light Pub (known locally as the “rockaway cheers”). The restaurant owner Bernie Heeran gave me a personal tour of the devastation and his conviction to rebuild his business and home.
Bernie has three sons, one of whom lost his life on 9/11 and the other two serve as FDNY firefighters. I had a personal connection with Bernie as I come from first responder families. Additionally back in 2001 I lived in NYC and was involved in the relocation of businesses after September 11th. Bernie is the definition of resiliency and strength.
At a minimum if we can help build this anchor it will act as a bright light to the recovery of the Rockaways. Already we have offers of support from firefighter stations across the country and a number of NYC contractors. If enough funds are found we can work our way rebuilding the block home by home.
At the moment we’ve raised $7,113 and we need 10x that amount to make a sizable impact. Spread the word, the recovery of this community starts here. We are ready to rebuild and need your help.
Report from 2001 Flight 587 crash: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2001/11/26/011...;
image // Former Far Rockaway lifeguard, NYPD and NY Firefighter Bernie Heeran surveys his home and business, The Harbor Light Pub
The BlockFormer Far Rockaway lifeguard, NYPD and NY Firefighter Bernie Heeran surveys his home and business, the Harbor Light Pub
Dear funders and supporters,
I will be giving weekly updates on the project as we try to hit the target to help first responder families get home. $200K would get us enough to build one home and repair a number. If we reach under that number we will focus on the repairs. If we raise more than that, the more homes we can build.
Ideally we would raise funds early so we can green light the rapid repair fund and get folks home by x-mas. I am hoping to do $5K-10K construction grants (with vetted contractors).
Last week I was in Far Rockaway and spoke with a number of families whose home where destroyed. While they are thankful of survival they are still reeling from seeing their homes gone.
On Monday (Nov 26) I will meet with teams of firefighters, many of whom are donating their time, to see about creating a prioritized list of families we can support. This will be done in collaboration with our ground partners.
A huge thanks to Dillon Francis for making a sizable contribution and challenging his fans to contribute to the cause. Also a big hand to A-Trak, Diplo, Skrillex and all our partners for spreading the word and getting involved. It is fantastic to see the EDM community really stepping up.
November 27th is a national day of giving called #givingtuesday. We will highlight and promote this project and try to rally support.
Breezy Point Home