Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso has spent this month giving back to locals in need — among them, the children at Nuestros Niños Child Development Center in Williamsburg, where 75 kids received holiday gifts on Dec. 22.
The day care center and educational facility, which Reynoso attended himself as a child, services children as young as newborns and as old as four or five.
“Nuestros Niños gave me and my family so much when I was a kid, so my first holiday season as Borough President seemed like the perfect time to return the love,” the beep said in a statement. “While the holidays are filled with joy and festivities, they can also be an incredibly stressful time for families struggling to make ends meet.”
Nuestros Niños has been helping Brooklyn children since 1973, offering child care services and Pre-K classes for children. Last week, kids received and unwrapped gifts surrounded by their families.
Reynoso’s holiday gift drive was held in partnership with various local officials and organizations, such as Moses Weiser, a liaison between the Satmar community and the NYPD, the Williamsburg Jewish Community Council, United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, Dominican merengue music group Banda Real and Councilmember Jennifer Gutiérrez.
“It was an absolutely magical day and I’m so grateful for everyone who made it possible, especially the team at Nuestros Niños who bring holiday cheer for our local children all year long,” said Reynoso.
The beep embraced a number of local traditions for his first official holiday season in the borough president’s office. On the day of the drive, Reynoso also made it to Park Slop to see the borough’s largest menorah with the city’s Comptroller, Brad Lander and his successor in the City Council, Shahana Hanif.
So many ways to let our light shine brightly in the darkness. pic.twitter.com/aogd2y1Nfs
— Brad Lander (@bradlander) December 23, 2022
And starting Dec. 17, Reynoso and his staff worked to distribute children’s books and pajamas to hundreds of kids living in shelters throughout the borough.
Thanks to the initiative — dubbed “Books and Pajamas” — about 450 Brooklyn children who are currently living in shelters will receive a book and a pajama set this holiday season, according to Reynoso’s office.
“Every child should be able to enjoy the holiday magic of a cozy winter night in Brooklyn,” Reynoso said. “While we build the policies that put long-term, dignified housing within reach for all families in Brooklyn, it’s initiatives like this that can provide relief and comfort in the short term. I’m so grateful to the local organizations, family shelters, and companies who teamed up to spread the joy of a good book and comfy pajamas to local kids living in shelters, and I wish all of Brooklyn a very happy holiday season.”
“Books and Pajamas” was hosted by Brooklyn Borough Hall in partnership with Reynoso’s city-affiliated charity, Brooklyn for All, Inc., Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Book Bodega and Target.
“Through events like ‘Books and Pajamas,’ Brooklyn Book Bodega offers children the opportunity to build their own home library with books that they selected because it was a reflection of themselves or a window into another experience that interested them,” said Cecilia Golombek, program and volunteer coordinator at Brooklyn Book Bodega, an organization which provides access to and ownership of books, builds community, and creates a passion for learning through free events and literacy-based programming.
“Offering books in conjunction with pajamas joins the comfort of bedtime with the joy of reading, giving children the chance to connect with their families and households through stories that they’re excited about, furthering their love of reading,” Golombek said.