November 24, 2015 / Inspiration / Posted by: Elise Hanks

Settlement Superheroes, Bushwick Coat Drive, Family Volunteer Day and More!

TGI… a short week!

This round-up is coming to you smack in the middle of a short week because last Friday found all hands on deck at Grand St. Settlement. Our Community Center at 80 Pitt Street welcomed nearly 300 staff members from all departments, program areas, and 21 neighborhood locations for a day-long retreat. Robert woke the crowd up faster than Folgers when he started raffling off Samsung tablets, and staff members cheered for eight colleagues who were recognized for recent outstanding work. The Executive Team helped frame the day’s challenge by asking everyone to imagine what kind of superpowers would help him or her amplify Grand St. Settlement’s mission in our 100th year. Popular powers included being able to slow down time, empathy detectors to help meet people wherever they are at,  repair wands to transform outdated facilities, and teleportation to travel between our many sites in the blink of an eye.

Throughout the day, staff considered agency-wide culture, the resonance of our mission in the many neighborhoods we serve and the promise of the future. We learned through a culture assessment survey that everyone at Grand St. Settlement loves that we are a team that works collaboratively and that everyone feels inspired by new and creative opportunities. Check out a few photos from the day!

This Week’s Inspiration

Our family didn’t want to limit itself to just one day of giving thanks and digging in! Our seniors hosted a lunch to celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage month, selling plates of mouth-watering food to raise more funds for their classes and activities. Our Asian senior community loves sharing a meal just as much – and hosted their own bake sale featuring unique treats.


Our team members at the Bushwick-Hylan Community Center announced their first coat drive! This thoughtful crew wants to round up warmer wear for Brooklynites so that everyone’s holidays can be a bit cozier. If you have gently used coats, hats, mittens or scarves, you can bring them to 50 Humboldt Street before December 18th, or contact Michael Vaz about alternate arrangements.

Community Conversations

We are teaming up with the Manny Cantor Center to bring Grand St. Settlement employees a special member rate! Thanks to our new Health Insurance carrier, we can now be reimbursed for gym costs – so if you sweat hard enough, your workout at the Manny Cantor Center will essentially be free. Take a tour of their incredible facilities and drop in on an exercise class today with a free pass.

On Saturday, November 21, we kicked off the holiday season with giving and service by participating in Family Service Day, presented by generationOn and Disney Friends for Change.  We hosted a “Giving Back Through Art” event with Free Arts NYC, where families gathered together to create adorable cards and holiday-themed decorations to send to Bowery Mission, a Lower East Side homeless shelter, as well as other local shelters.

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