COUNCIL MEMBER LEVINE, RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS PRESENT FAMILIES AFFECTED BY HAMILTON HEIGHTS FIRE WITH MONETARY DONATIONS AND GOODS COLLECTED AFTER THE BLAZE

COUNCIL MEMBER LEVINE, RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS PRESENT FAMILIES AFFECTED BY HAMILTON HEIGHTS FIRE WITH MONETARY DONATIONS AND GOODS COLLECTED AFTER THE BLAZE 

COMMUNITY, FDNY, JETBLUE AND COUNTLESS OTHERS CAME TOGETHER IN TIME OF NEED FOR VICTIMS 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 27TH

CONTACT: Jordan Levine, 917-842-5748 

NEW YORK – In the wake of a tragic fire that took the life of fifteen-year-old Melissa Mendez and left nearly seventy others homeless last week, Council Member Mark Levine, donors and relief organizations presented these victims with donations and other aid to help them recover at the Church of the Annunciation. Over one hundred community members came together to donate clothes, household goods, school supplies, and thousands of dollars.

Other organizations such at the Salvation Army and Tzu Chi Foundation also provided financial aid to the families. In addition, many organizations and city agencies were on hand to help the victims with their long-term recovery from the fire including the Red Cross and Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The Dominican Consulate also assisted families whose passports or other documents were destroyed by the fire.

Good Samaritans around the city quickly responded to reports that the Mendez family was unable afford a proper burial for Melissa in the Dominican Republic, where she grew up and much of her family is still located. Manhattan North Management, FDNY fire fighters that were on the scene of the blaze, and members of the Church of the Annunciation, among many others, donated funds to pay for much of the funeral costs. JetBlue has also graciously given the family flight vouchers to fly to the Dominican Republic for the service.

Relief efforts to the families included: 

  • Dozens of donations of clothing, kitchen supplies and other housewares
  • Nearly 100 people donated more than $4,015 to a fund created by the West Harlem Group Assistance; Melissa Mendez’ family will receive $500 and the others will receive $185 each
  • The Tzu Chi foundation provided financial aid of $100 for each family member, with a maximum of $300 per family, and  $500 for the family of the deceased
  • The Salvation Army contributed a voucher packet redeemable for clothing & furniture of $100 for each family member, with a maximum of $300 per family
  • P.A.'L.A.N.T.E. Harlem and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development have agreed to assist victims with navigating and securing long-term housing 

Donations to the Mendez family for funeral expenses included:

 

  • Over $3,000 raised by members of the Church of the Annunciation
  • Manhattan North Management committed to contribute $2,000
  • Catholic Charities for donating $1,500
  • West Harlem Group Assistance is donating $1,000 to the family
  • Firefighters from Ladder 23, Engine 80 combined to donate more than $500
  • JetBlue donated seven flight vouchers

 

 

In attendance were:

Council Member Mark Levine

Melissa Mendez' family and twenty other families affected by the fire

Reverend Baltazar, Church of the Annunciation

Donald Notice, Executive Director of West Harlem Group Assistance

Josh Lockwood, CEO of the Red Cross, New York Region

The Salvation Army

The Fire Department of the City of New York

Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Tzu Chi Foundation

Manhattan North Management

PA'LANTE Harlem

The Dominican Consulate

 

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