Can I share a brief story with you?
This summer, Mediation Center staff were on our way to receive a proclamation from City Council commending the work of S.O.S. when a man had a seizure and fell onto the subway tracks as an oncoming train was visible from the tunnel.
S.O.S. program managers David Gaskin and Tiffany Murray acted quickly and selflessly and jumped down into harm’s way, pulled the man to safety while the other staff members tried to stop the train, and assisted in revitalizing the man.
Even though Tiffany’s and David’s work is to focus on interrupting gun violence, their bravery and concern for humanity extend beyond their job descriptions. Similarly, each day our team members’ fast thinking, bravery, and compassion has resulted in our ability to expand our programs greatly, maintain a consistent reputation for making an impact in a creative, ambitious, and authentic manner, and provide excellent services.
As of writing this letter, our target area in Bed-Stuy hasn’t had a single homicide related to gun violence in over 450 days. During 2017, S.O.S. Crown Heights set a record 218 days without a shooting or killing within the target area. In 2010, when S.O.S. Crown Heights first opened, there were 24 shootings in the target area. Now, in 2017, there have been 3 shootings. None of this would have been possible without your support!
Our team is now over 30 strong with over 70 youth driving us forward. We’ve started two new employment readiness programs and opened new offices in Bed-Stuy at 423 Gates Avenue and in Crown Heights at 1644 St. John’s Place. Both offices have become the new homes for S.O.S. and provide safe and vibrant places for young people to grow. We’ve renovated our storefront at 256 Kingston Ave and it has become the home for youth programming. Our summer youth interns helped make the office their own by designing and painting this beautiful mural.
Our team is filled with people that are deeply dedicated to community responsibility, to the love of humanity, and to working to destroy the effects of oppression while helping us all heal from trauma. Please let us know that you believe “Love is Louder” and that collectively we can move forward in the direction of peace.
We hope you will include S.O.S. and the Mediation Center in your end-of-year giving plans. A gift of any size will play a crucial role in helping us continue creating vibrant communities. We are a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax-deductible. You can give online here by selecting Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, S.O.S. Bed-Stuy or S.O.S. Crown Heights from the drop-down menu. You can also give through our Amazon Wishlist to provide us with office supplies and prizes for our participants to win at next year’s community events.
With deep gratitude and hope,
Amy Ellenbogen and the Mediation Center team
P.S. In 2018, the Mediation Center will have been open for 20 years! In celebration of how we’ve evolved and grown, we will have a new name! Follow our social media to be among the first to hear it.