Keeping less fortunate Brooklynites warm as the winter quickly approaches was the goal for the New York City Sanitation Department (DSNY) Columbia Association and Investors Bank.
Throughout the month of September, the bank and the charitable organization collaborated in a coat drive which culminated in an official celebratory event on Saturday, September 30 at Investors Bank’s Dyker Heights Branch, 7414 13th Avenue, where elected officials joined the bank’s employees and those who helped out.
“We wanted to do something special for people within our community, for the less fortunate and underprivileged,” said organizer and member of the Board of Directors for the DSNY Columbia Association Daniel Costantino. “We decided that we were going to get as many coats donated as possible. From Investors Bank’s end, they had every branch advertise to all of their customers and employees if they wanted to donate a coat, to drop it off and from our end, we would be asking all of our members to donate.”
They also had additional help from companies such as Toys R Us and Bay Ridge Toyota.
“We were able to get over 300 coats donated all together and it was very special,” Costantino added. “We ended up donating these coats to the Salvation Army and Turning Point, which is a non-profit. They will be donating to people in south Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay and Dyker Heights.”
Costantino, who organized the event with the help of DSNY Columbia Association President Steven Cimino and board members Vinny Misseri and Paul Romano, stressed the need.
“Because of what is going on around the United States with the hurricanes, we can’t forget the people that still need our help in the local area and sometimes during a natural disaster, our people are forgotten,” he said.
During the event, State Senator Marty Golden and Councilmember Vincent Gentile helped the cause. “They helped us spread the word, along with Community Boards 10, 11 and the Dyker Heights Civic Association,” Costantino said. “At our main event with everyone celebrating all their hard work in getting these coats together, we surprisingly had people come in and donating coats and wanting to help. It was very special.”