Going the distance for the Guild: Bay Ridge nonprofit celebrates $200K City Council donation

The Guild for Exceptional Children celebrates a $226,000 donation from Council Member Justin Brannan.
The Guild for Exceptional Children celebrates a $226,000 donation from Council Member Justin Brannan.
Photo courtesy the Office of Justin Brannan

Members and volunteers of a southern Brooklyn nonprofit that serves the needs of children and adults with special needs celebrated a $226,000 donation from the City Council with area representative Justin Brannan on Dec. 12.

The Guild for Exceptional Children has been serving residents with developmental disabilities since 1958, offering supportive services, daily programs and an overall encouraging community where members from the Pre-K level into their adulthood can feel welcome to learn, grow and express themselves.

According to Council Member Brannan, who oversaw the allotment, the funds will go towards supporting and expanding the organization’s art, music and autism awareness programs — programs that are all particularly close to his heart.

“For over 60 years, this Bay Ridge pillar organization has gone above and beyond for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Brannan said in a statement. “My late uncle Paul benefited from their services and so I’m always grateful to support their great work however I can.”

Smiling faces celebrate with Brannan at their Bay Ridge center.
Smiling faces celebrate a large donation to the Guild for Exceptional Children with Bay Ridge Council Member Justin Brannan.Photo courtesy the Office of Justin Brannan

Earlier this week, pol made a stop at the 68th Street center, where a group of smiling faces happily accepted the donation.

According to the Guild’s CEO and executive director, Joe Riley, programs like social recreation, art, music and autism awareness are vital to the members’ quality of life and the support of their families.

“The adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities whom we support greatly benefit from programs that go beyond typical residential and day habilitation,” Riley said. “Thanks to [Brannan] these programs are thriving at GEC.”

GEC works to create a nurturing and empowering environment through daily habilitation programs, arts and recreation events, game nights and residential services. The team helps over 300 individuals daily and is supported solely by private and public donors.

“If you’re ever feeling down, go spend some time with the awesome folks at The Guild,” Brannan said. “I dare you not to leave without a huge smile on your face. It’s statistically impossible not to.”