With scores of Hoboken residents still eager to help the victims and families of the World Center Tragedy, the city has announced an extensive program of fundraisers and community outreach programs.
"The outpouring of wanting to give back has been phenomenal," said Hoboken's director of human services, Carmelo Garcia. "As a municipal government we have two real responsibilities after a catastrophe. One is to use all of our resources possible to support the families of the victims. The other is to help the healing process and to insure families that terrorists cannot allow fear to paralyze the community."
The city announced Monday that it will sponsor a citywide gate sale on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to benefit the American Red Cross and its World Trade Center relief efforts.
Any Hoboken resident who would like to participate in this event may do so simply by holding a gate sale on Saturday and donating part or all of the proceeds to the Red Cross. Residents must register their gate sale with the city by calling Geri Fallo at 420-2207. Residents should mail contributions in the form of check or money order made payable to "The American Red Cross" to: Office of the Mayor, c/o Citywide gate sale, 94 Washington St., 2nd Floor, Hoboken NJ 07030. Residents also may arrange to have contributions picked up by the city.
Immediately following the disaster, Hoboken residents deluged drop-off centers with donations of food, clothing, and other supplies. New York City authorities have since issued numerous requests that such donations be curtailed in favor of monetary contributions.
"The continued outpouring of support and volunteerism from Hoboken residents is astounding," Mayor David Roberts said Monday. "I'm very pleased to join with the Hoboken City Council in sponsoring this citywide gate sale as a way to help people affected by this terrible tragedy, and to provide Hoboken residents with an avenue to make a positive contribution to the American Red Cross and its relief efforts."
Another Red Cross fundraiser will be held Oct. 15 at The Brass Rail restaurant. The Mayor announced Thursday that Mike Garcia and Armando Luis of Sparrow Wine and The Brass Rail will host a cocktail party fundraiser to benefit for the Red Cross called "An Evening with Friends." The event will be held on the 15th from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Since the tragic events of Sept. 11, many residents have struggled to find a way to move forward with their daily lives while being sensitive to the gravity of the national tragedy. The theme of "An Evening with Friends" was chosen for this event to balance these delicate concerns. The event is meant to help Hoboken come together in a social setting while providing them with an opportunity to raise needed funds for charity.
"I'm very pleased to join with these fine Hoboken establishments to help raise money for the Hudson County chapter of the Red Cross" said Mayor Roberts Thursday. "Hopefully, this is another event that will help Hoboken residents start to smile again while giving them a sense that they are making a direct impact on the relief effort."
Tickets for the fundraising event are available to the public for a minimum of $50 each; again checks should be made to the American Red Cross. Tickets may be purchased by stopping into The Brass Rail restaurant at 135 Washington St., 659-7074, or either location of Sparrow Wine and Liquors, Washington St., 659-1500, or 1224 Shipyard Lane, 659-1501.
Also, this Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 7 p.m. unit midnight the Whiskey Bar, at 125 Washington St., will be hosting a $40 a ticket fundraiser to support the United Way's September 11 Fund. There will be live performances from the band Yo Cuz'.
In addition, the staff of the Madison Bar and Grill on the corner of 14th and Washington streets will host a benefit for the victims of the WTC on Thursday, Oct 4 from 5 p.m. until closing.
All tips received by the staff will be totaled and matched by the Madison owners. That amount will then be matched by Giorgio Armani and donated to the WTC relief fund. For more information call 386-0300.
In addition to these events, the Red Cross will have WTC relief tent at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, which is scheduled to be held today.
The city is also co-sponsoring with the Hoboken Spike League Memorial Volleyball Tournament on Saturday Oct. 6. All proceed with go to relief efforts. For more information call 792-7925.
Besides fundraising, the city is also concerned with getting life back to normal. Thursday the mayor was joined by Jill Singleton of the Hoboken Charter School and several members of the Hoboken school board in declaring the city of Hoboken a "Hate-Free Zone." At a presentation ceremony Thursday, Mayor Roberts presented a proclamation to Singleton and the Hoboken Charter School for its efforts in promoting tolerance and healing during this time of national mourning.
As a result of the declaration, the Hoboken Charter School will provide the Hoboken public schools with copies of its poster, "Together in Hoboken." The poster, made in the image of the American flag, implores everyone to remain true to America's promise of religious freedom, and it reminds us that the terrible acts of terrorism are not to be associated with all people who are of the Islamic faith or of Arab descent.
"As the initial shock of this terrible tragedy begins to sink in, many people's feelings will understandably turn from grief to anger," Mayor Roberts said. "We should be angry at these acts of terrorism, but we must take care against misdirecting that anger at people just because they are of Islamic faith. That is not what America is about."
Singleton added at the press conference Thursday that it is of major importance for students to feel safe. "At a time like this, teachers and community leaders must work together in sending a clear message to our children that they are safe and protected," she said.
Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of "Together in Hoboken" may do so at the Hoboken City Clerk's office on the first floor of City Hall between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.