Local Non-Profit Makes Urgent Appeal For Donations to Maximize $10,000 Grant

A community-based nonprofit is making an urgent appeal for donations so that you can take advantage of the $10,000 Challenge Match Grant and help local residents in need.

Sunnyside Community Services (SCS), which sets up a wide range of basic programs for individuals of all ages, needs to raise funds because a public charity will match all donations made to the group.

The scholarship is provided by FJC: A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds, a Manhattan-based management philanthropic organization. The charity also offered SCS a similar grant of $10,000 12 months ago and the nonprofit raised the required funds within 24 hours, and that was the outpouring of support from the community.

SCS invites the Sunnyside/Woodside community to dig deep again this year so that it can maintain vital services at 43-31 39th St. and continue to impact the lives of 16,000 people in Queens and beyond.

The money raised will be used to pay for core group programs such as after-school youth programs, graduation programs, English speaking classes, immigration legal services and support for home caregivers.

“Last year people have responded in an incredible way. People who have not given us before have come forward and we hope to come back again with a donation.” Jodi Zangwill, CEO of SCS.

The not-for-profit organization has raised and disseminated about $710,000 since the beginning of the pandemic to help more than 900 economically distressed residents. Its temporary store has also distributed more than 20,000 packages of food.

“Last year, the community really rallied, but the epidemic is not over and the need is still there,” Zangwill said.

“The problems remain and this recovery will be a long process.”

The fundraising call also coincides with National Giving Day on Tuesday that encourages people to donate to organizations that support people who have gone through hard times or need support.

A portion of the money raised by SCS will go to home care and counseling for seniors who have not returned to the center since the beginning of the pandemic — despite popular services such as the Center for Active Seniors Returning to In-person Coordination. The program offers recreational, fitness and educational activities for people over the age of 60 as well as nutritious meals.

The funds will support all SCS Seniors programs including the Social Adult Day program that provides memory exercises and activities for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive disabilities.

In addition, the funds will be used to maintain SCS’s regular pre-K and after-school programs as well as start the new 3-K program.

“If someone donates now, there is an added benefit – their gift will double, thanks to the $10,000 FJC Challenge Scholarship. That’s twice the money that goes to much-needed services. These services have a direct impact on the people in Queens – the people you might pass in street or standing next to them on the subway platform. I can’t think of a better way to get involved in Giving Tuesday and Giving Season than by helping people in your local community.” Zangwill said.

Financial donations can be made to SCS by clicking on this link.

A pre-K child learning primary and secondary colors at Sunnyside Community Services (Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Community Services)

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