Ben Kabin


Monday afternoon, Riseboro Community Partnership is giving away food baskets for families in need and holiday gifts for the community’s children. The event, which will take place at the Riseboro Youth Center at 1474 Gates Ave. in Brooklyn on Dec. 21 from 3pm to 7pm, is a scaled back version of the annual holiday party the community service driven organization has been throwing annually for more than 30 years.

Riseboro’s Vice President of Education, Elena Zullo, said even in spite of the COVID-19 Pandemic, they were determined to put on a holiday event, even if it had to be different from years past.

Instead of a bouncy castle and dance music, this year families will be invited, one at a time, into the Youth Center lobby, which Zullo said has been transformed into a winter wonderland. There children will receive a holiday gift and families can pick up their food basket. Families will also be invited to take photos in front of the Christmas tree.

“It’s really an opportunity for us to continuously connect with our community, which we love so much, during such an awkward time,” Zullo said. “It’s great to celebrate and put some joy and happiness into all of our lives. It’s rewarding on both ends.”

During normal times Riseboro sees hundreds of kids pass through its doors on a daily basis, Zullo said. But because of the need for social distancing, their capacity has been significantly reduced. At the same time, school closures have made the need for the youth services that organizations like Riseboro provide more important than ever.

Because of a lack of daycare services, children living in shelters, who would normally be in school during the day, now find themselves without many places to go while their parents work.

Many families have already registered for today’s event but Zullo said all families who show up, with or without a ticket, will be accommodated.

Photo Courtesy of GoogleMaps/Nov.2019

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