Strollers and PJs and bottles, oh my!
The 68th Precinct was filled to the brim with baby goods on Saturday, April 2, as it played host to a new Bay Ridge event, dubbed “The Mother of All Baby Showers,” in which a committee comprised of 100 community leaders gathered together to collect baby items for new and expectant mothers who are victims of domestic violence.
Area residents also contributed to the monumental pile of goodies, which will be distributed to women in need through various not-for-profit organizations including Safe Horizons, Women Against Violence, The Center for Domestic Violence and the Healing Center.
The idea was the brainchild of Ilene Sacco, the president of the 68th Precinct Community Council, who decided to hold it in conjunction with Women’s History Month to celebrate the efforts of local women.
Standing in front of the donations, Sacco said that outpouring of support was “such a tribute to our neighborhood, our organizations.” Besides the store-bought gifts, there was also a pile of hand-knitted baby garments made by members of the Fort Hamilton Senior Center.
City Councilmember Vincent Gentile concurred. “The heart of Bay Ridge shows right here,” he stressed. “The heart of our seniors shows right here.”
For police officers, coping with domestic violence is “one of the toughest jobs you get,” said State Senator Marty Golden, an ex-cop. “There are a lot of dirty secrets in the community,” and, he added, it is too often perpetuated, “Generation after generation, creating more victims and abusers too.
“This is a great idea, because it gets awareness out and it helps families,” Golden went on.
Gentile, a former prosecutor in the special victims unit, agreed. He said he had mentioned the event to Borough President Eric Adams. “A light bulb went off,” Gentile told the crowd, “so this could spread.”