Sunday, December 19, 2010


Three neighborhood organizations have been cited for their service to our community by our City Councilmember, Brad Lander.

"Sean Casey Animal Rescue: Mobilizing a community to care for abandoned animals"
Sean Casey has been caring for sick, injured and abandoned pets in Brooklyn ever since his childhood. Over time, his hobby of helping animals has turned into a full-fledged rescue organization. Today, the Sean Casey Animal Rescue has a storefront at 153 East 3rd Street, between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue in Kensington, where Sean, his staff, and volunteers help care for cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs, snakes, and lizards. The Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill shelter with placement resources across the country. They also work within the community to provide education about rescued animals. While the Rescue began as one person’s vision, it has grown into a true community organization with dozens of members helping by caring for and walking animals, donating needed items, and organizing events. Right now, they are working to create a dog run in the Windsor Terrace or Kensington area -- for animals from the Rescue and the rest of the community.
"The Friends of Greenwood Playground: Community caretakers"
The Friends of Greenwood Playground (FoGP) are the community caretakers for a vibrant New York City park at the intersection of the Prospect Expressway and the Fort Hamilton Parkway. Thanks to the work of FoGP, Greenwood Playground has become the “go to” place for families in Windsor Terrace and Kensington, with dozens of events that bring neighbors together in the park. This spring, they hosted a flea market with over 50 vendors and six musical acts. Just a few weeks ago, I joined them for the Harvest Hootenanny celebration of fall. In the summer, they sponsor reading, arts & crafts, and music events. And they're probably one of the only parks in the city to offer a DerbyFit class taught by a former Gotham Girls Roller Derby player! All this -- plus the work that they do to keep the park clean and safe for all visitors -- makes the volunteers of Friends of Greenwood Playground true park heroes.
If you would like to join in the work that they do, FoGP can be reached at greenwoodfriendsfund [at] or (347) 497-3490.
"American Youth and Students of Bangladesh: Providing a Safe Space for Bangladeshi Kids"
Muhammad "Arif" Islam came to the United States from Bangladesh with his parents when he was 12 years old. When his father passed away a few months later, he turned to a local soccer league to keep himself busy. He has been playing soccer ever since. Last year, he noticed that kids from his neighborhood were hanging out on the soccer fields and watching the games. Arif approached the boys, who told him they didn’t have a team to play for -- or much of anything else to do after school -- Arif told them that if they came back with some of their friends, he would help them put together a team. By the time the handful of boys had expanded into a group of 27, Arif had founded American Youth and Students of Bangladesh. Arif and other volunteers began offering a safe space for the kids to hang out after school. Now, there are over 60 kids involved with the group and they are working on becoming a non-profit organization. Arif is working to expand the organization to offer tutoring and volunteer opportunities to Bangladeshi youth -- building on the time-honored tradition of using sports to help young people get and stay on track -- while also building bridges to the broader Kensington community. If you would like to find out how you can help American Youth and Students of Bangladesh expand their programming, email Aysab09 [at]