Where You Can ... Feed the Hungry
Neighbors and supporters of the Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry 
helped harvest herbs and produce at a recent open house event.
As fall waned into winter this year, we turned to our own community to bring in support for CAMBA's Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry. The main fall effort was our annual turkey drive, 500 Turkeys for 500 Families, sponsored by Ditmas Park Corner, which raised over $15,000 for the food pantry and brought over 1,000 Thanksgiving meals to hungry New Yorkers.  Another community partnership blossomed in December when CAMBA worked with Brooklyn's historic King's Theatre to collect cans of food for the pantry at their annual Winter Wonderland holiday festival and again at three additional Kings Theatre performances. Thanks to the help of Kings Theatre, we collected over 500 food items!
And late in November, neighbors and supporters tour the food pantry with their families and learned more about the critical services the pantry provides. Children, and even a few board members, were delighted to pitch in and help harvest lettuce and herbs from the pantry's hydroponic garden and, later, reseed the lettuce beds for the next crop. Visitors also took part in a particularly tasty cooking demonstration led by food pantry volunteer, Sally Stone.

Thank you for all of your help to give New Yorkers a little respite from hunger.

New Yorkers Brighten the Holidays for Neighbors in Need
One family in CAMBA's Healthy Families Program celebrated 
their first holiday  with their infant daughter.
This time of year, parents who are struggling to make ends meet have a difficult time scraping together extra cash to buy Christmas presents for their children. Thankfully, many generous donors swooped to the rescue and, as a result, 1,200 children in our homeless shelters and other programs received gifts in their holiday stockings.  Thanks to one special community member, Gina Argano, a mother's wish was granted when her daughter, who is disabled, received a light-weight new wheelchair, in her daughter's favorite color (pink). Ms. Argano collected a whopping 900 gifts for CAMBA's Healthy Families Program and the Flagstone Family Shelter and her kindness brought big smiles to our clients.
Our generous supporter Gina Argano pulled out the stops and found gifts for hundreds of children in need.
Other community members showed their support of the Park Slope Women's Shelter by attending the shelter's 20th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in December. Shelter residents showcased their writing and performance skills by reading poems and singing songs, which were greeted enthusiastically by the neighbors. One mother and father brought their two young daughters to the event, where the girls were happy to get their faces painted. "We live right down the street from the shelter," the mother explained. "It's our first year in the neighborhood, and we thought this event looked like a lot of fun!"

Carolers and neighbors warm themselves with song during the Park Slope Women's Shelter Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Small Business Services Students Win Award From Brooklyn Library
CAMBA's Small Business Services team congratulates young entrepreneurs, 
Anyanwu Glanville and Ben Howort, of The Human Root.
Anyanwu Glanville and Ben Howort were working at the Brooklyn Free School and tackling issues of how to talk about race, human rights and social justice with other teachers when they saw an opportunity to do more. Soon after, the pair came up with the idea for  The Human Root

Eager to launch their business, the pair enrolled in a workshop in CAMBA's Small Business Services program. Through their Small Business Services workshop, the pair learned about the Brooklyn Public Library PowerUP! Business Plan Competition. Anyanwu and Ben hurried to submit their application for the contest and and after working tirelessly to write their business plan with Isaac, Charmaine, Christopher and Lyse (the CAMBA Small Business Services team), they were delighted to find out  
they'd been awarded the first prize, along with an award of $15,000.
Isaac said that the hard work and drive of the two made a big impression on him and the Small Business Services team. "Helping a young pair like Anyanwu and Ben, who benefited from several of our services, and even produced an award-winning business plan, is exactly what we strive to do here," Isaac added.

Both Ben and Anyanwu expressed their gratitude for the help and guidance they received from CAMBA's SBS team. "Small Business Services took us from being educators to being entrepreneurs," Anyanwu said.

Cooper Union  and CAMBA Seek Immigrant Engineers for February Retraining Class

New immigrants who once worked in engineering and information technology struggle to find jobs comparable to the positions they held in their country of origin. That's why Cooper Union's Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers has been such a successful program for the past 20 years. Since 1987, the program has taught over 4,500 students and placed more than 60 percent of them in jobs.

CAMBA is now partnering with Cooper Union to reach out to highly skilled immigrant professionals throughout the New York metropolitan area, guiding the applicants through registration, providing career advice, networking opportunities, and offering job placement.

This training program is now accepting applications for its Spring 2017 term. Click here to learn more.
Hot Jobs at CAMBA

Looking for an exciting career in social services with growth opportunities? Find out more at camba.org/careers!

Project ALY Team Promotes LGBTQ Acceptance Campaign at APHA Conference

Michelle Montgomery and Lisa Koffler of Prevention Services and Project ALY presented their findings at a conference in November.
The mission of CAMBA's Project ALY is to reach out to Brooklyn families with research showing that parents who are a little less rejecting and a little more accepting of their LGBTQ youth can make an important difference in reducing a young person's risk for serious health problems, including suicide and HIV.  Funded in part by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,  Project ALY conducts workshops and uses radio, print and social media marketing to raise awareness about the life-saving benefits of parental acceptance. 

In November, the Project ALY team presented their findings from formative research and the development of three social marketing campaigns to other public health experts at the American Society for Public Health's annual meeting in Denver, Colorado. Their findings included:
  • Acceptance is often a process
  • Parents feel isolated and go through own "coming out" process
  • Barriers to acceptance (e.g., religious/cultural beliefs, lack of awareness and education) can be overcome through exposure to role models
  • There is a need for greater education and dialogue on sexual orientation and gender identity, taking care to respect people's beliefs
  • Barriers to acceptance are often rooted in worries about child's safety 
  • Messages should appeal to parents' unconditional love for their children
Their presentation received positive feedback from the audience and panel participants.  "Why isn't this program all around the country?" was a frequent question, according to  Lisa Koffler, CAMBA's Assistant Director of Prevention Services.

JPMorgan Chase's Women in Risk Exchange (WiRE) Staff Inspire CAMBA Students
Zariah, above, a student at Brooklyn Bridge Academy, was among CAMBA students at a JPMorgan Chase networking day.
"I didn't even know what JPMorgan Chase was until today. I thought it was just the bank on the corner," says one CAMBA teenager, who was impressed with the warm welcome and networking support offered by professional women in the banking industry.

In December, members of Women in Risk Exchange (WiRE) hosted about 40 students from two CAMBA transfer high school programs at Brooklyn Academy, Brownsville Academy and one Young Adult Borough Center at South Shore Educational Complex.

In free-wheeling discussions, the bankers talked about their career decisions, challenges encountered and the paths they followed to success. 

"If you really want to do something, you can," was the message of a foreign-born WiRE member, who described the courage -- and strategy -- it took to move by herself to a new country to pursue her dreams.

Dara, one the the students, nodded in agreement. "I didn't see myself graduating from high school.  But I learned that you have to create a path for yourself, and you can make it."

The students were enthusiastic over their networking day. "High school is just the beginning," says Kiara. "This will boost up my confidence about what I want to be when I get older."

 "This has been a good experience for me, too," says Zariah. "I learned that although my past hasn't always been good, my future can be great."

Visit  CAMBA.org to learn more.

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