The gift of kindness: A call to give back this season from SCNG • Brooklyn Paper

The gift of kindness: A call to give back this season from SCNG

Giving back: Schneps Community News Group President and Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis donated funds to several Brooklyn and city do-good groups this year, including the Queens–based Women in Need Foundation.
File photo

Staff members of Schneps Community Newspaper Group work hard each year to help many Kings County do-good groups in their efforts to assist Brooklynites in need. Embedded in our company is the strong belief that giving back to the community will in turn promote residents to make similar “acts of kindness” all year long.

This year, SCNG donated thousands of dollars collected at fund-raising events to organizations including local libraries, arts-advocacy programs, and social-service providers that work with the disabled. Read on to learn more about some of the do-good groups that SCNG helped raise funds for in 2018:

Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn

Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn helps college-bound students with special needs through its Project Succeed initiative, a college-prep program that helps pupils with nontraditional learning styles learn how to navigate college and the personal changes and challenges it brings.

Leaders of the Bay Ridge–based group work to help its students develop self-confidence, assertiveness, and organizational skills. They encourage students to further develop their strengths, and challenge them to identify and improve their weaknesses, with the goal of giving pupils the pluck they need to advocate for themselves as they pursue higher education.

Guild for Exceptional Children

The Bay Ridge–based Guild provides assistance to children, adults, and seniors with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Its programs focus on self-advocacy and teaching important life skills.

Parents and friends of people with disabilities founded the organization in 1958, and opened its first group home in New York City roughly a decade later in 1970. Today, the Guild’s leaders serve nearly 1,000 people daily, providing such services as residential care and educational programs. But its mission remains the same: to help children and adults living with developmental disabilities lead dignified and satisfying lives, and reach their fullest potential.

HeartShare Human Services

HeartShare Human Services of New York offers local children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities programs that help them with education, vocational training, employment, residential care, case management, health care, and more. Its mission since opening in 1914 is to provide clients with skills to become more independent, allowing them to shape their own futures.

Today, the group offers more than 100 programs in Brooklyn and the outer boroughs, which serve more than 35,000 annually.

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation describes itself as the leading global group in funding research for Type-1 diabetes. Its vision and goal is to eradicate the disease worldwide. Type-1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that both children and adults with any type of diet or lifestyle can contract. As a result, millions around the world have the disease, and JDRF is committed to bettering the lives of those people and their families.

The foundation, whose New York City chapter services Brooklyn and the other boroughs, was formed roughly 50 years ago by parents of children with Type-1 diabetes, who hoped to find a cure. Today, it funds ground-breaking research and diabetes advocacy across the country, helping to uncover new knowledge about prevention and treatment.

Kids Against Cancer

New York State court clerk Michael Grillo founded this group in 1983 after contracting the deadly illness himself, and meeting many children battling cancer during his treatments. Ever since, the group has hosted an annual Christmas toy-drive for youngsters fighting the disease.

The organization’s long-term goal is to build a facility specifically catered to tots seeking treatment just across the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, at Staten Island University Hospital Northwell Health. The proposed Kids Against Cancer Pediatric Oncology Center’s rooms would be cheerful, uplifting places a far cry from the sterile settings typical of many hospitals, which Grillo believes will go a long way toward lifting its patients’ spirits and keeping their minds healthy while their bodies recover.

Urban Neighborhood Services

Coney Island resident Mathylde Frontus — who voters recently elected to represent the neighborhood as its Assemblywoman in Albany (see interview on page 3) — established this group in 2004 to create positive change and address social and quality-of-life issues in the community.

It moved into its first offices in four years later, allowing it to expand its work in the neighborhood, and in 2016 the group merged with the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, becoming an arm of that larger do-good organization.

Services offered by Urban Neighborhood Services include veterans outreach, advocacy for LGBTQ individuals, job- and housing-search assistance, anti-violence programs, counseling, and more.

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