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Letter to the Editor: Hispanic Brotherhood of RVC Needs Your Help

Budget cuts threatens the center's tutoring program.

This Letter to the Editor was written by Margarita Grasing, executive director of the Hispanic Brotherhood of RVC.

The recovery of our economy continues to be agonizing and painful. On Long Island, the 2010 American Community Survey shows that the child poverty rate was 7.6 percent in Nassau and 7 percent in Suffolk. For black and Hispanic children, the poverty rate was 14.2 percent in Nassau and 15.8 percent for Suffolk County.

This past month, the Hispanic Brotherhood of Rockville Centre, Inc., has provided for the last time, a Summer Program for Hispanic children from Rockville Centre. The agency struggled to continue this program after being defunded along with 40 other youth agencies in Nassau County because of budget cuts. These cuts are harming those already vulnerable and pushing children of working families further behind. These families, while their income is low, are trying to work their way out of poverty. 

The month of September is critical for our agency. 

There will come a point where we can no longer accept new children into our program. Because of aggressive budget cuts from the Village of Rockville Centre, the five tutors (ages 14 to 17) we employ will be told they no longer have a job. 

These tutors not only help contribute to their family’s income, they learn vital employable skills such as responsibility and leadership skills which make them an asset to the Village of Rockville Centre. The alternative to employment is teenagers with too much time on their hands, no adult supervision and the need to earn money. You don’t need a college degree to see where problems can and will arise because of this. We have managed to stretch our budget as far as it can go and, unfortunately, the elastic is about to break. 

Our agency has been in Rockville Centre since the 1980s. We have opened our doors to not just Hispanics, as our name might suggest, but to anyone in need. We have always been a community that comes together in times of need and right now the need is there for the children of this community. 

Please help us continue to provide tutoring services and child care for those most in need. We humbly reach out to the Rockville Centre community for donations of any size to help defray the cost of this program.

- Margarita Grasing

joe thrapp September 14, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Frank, I don't know how people live on State welfare benefits for longer than two years. I do not believe that the social safety net was set up for healthy people to live on it forever. The only reason I can think of is, the administers of the program are not enforcing the eligibility requirements. If people are breaking the law and committing fraud, then they should be investigated and removed from the rolls. I don't really know the exact definition but I understand if you have no money, no job and your are defined as a disabled person you can get SSI and SSDI benefits until you reach retirement age. The key word here is disabled. Then you will receive your Social security retirement check. I know you agree with me when I say RVC is a great place to live. I believe if we have section 8 housing in town it's there to help people move out of poverty. The best way I know to move people up the income ladder is to educate. RVC schools are the best place in the nation to do this. Frank, I know you are not against helping people. I believe you, like me just want to make sure that people who need help get help. The other side of this is, people who are not eligible for help and are gaming the system to get benefits illegally need to be removed and dealt with appropriately. Good afternoon
Downtown Brown September 14, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Last night I went to King Kullen and 3 indviduals in front of me were buying filet mignon and lobster with food stamps and they all were on their iPhones. Must be nice! I work 6 days a week and I'm eating cereal (on sale) and my cell phone doubles as a door stop it's so big
Frank September 14, 2012 at 08:50 PM
@ Downtown Brown. it's all about the money. People love to throw race around as the ultimate force-field, but what it boils down to is money, money, money. In Queens, especially LIC and Astoria, many Middle Wastern immigrants drive around in their late model BMWs and benzos, laden with gold jewelry... yet they use EBT cards when shopping at Trade Fair and whip out medicaid for their ills... How is that possible? From my research I found out that they use one address and claim 14 people are living there... Since they're mostly involved in cash businesses, there is no paper trail and you can't confirm income. NYS doesn't even bother to check the facts. they make it so easy. You can even use EBT at farmers' markets http://otda.ny.gov/programs/ebt/ Don't speak english? No problem! Here are the languages that EBT benefits are printed. ◦Arabic ◦Chinese ◦French ◦Haitian-Creole ◦Korean ◦Russian ◦Spanish ◦Vietnamese ◦Yiddish What a Country! As Samuel L Jackson says "WAKE THE F@#$ UP PEOPLE"
Frank September 14, 2012 at 08:56 PM
To everyone in RVC. Stop the handouts.... Handouts help no one... Handouts handicap a person's ability to strive. It's a drug many times more addictive than crack or meth. Don't support addicts... Support businesses instead. Businesses provide Jobs. Jobs provide incomes. Incomes prevent many from ending up as state-sponsered addicts.
Marguerite Keller September 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM
The Hispanic Brotherhood provides jobs. Last I checked, they haven't harbored any fugitives ever in their 25+ years in existence. As for handouts, then the Hispanic Brotherhood is guilty. They give out turkeys to families in need at Thanksgiving and toys to children at Christmas time. Oh, I shouldn't forget to mention, scholarships to deserving students for college. The Hispanic Brotherhood is a great local charity that helps all who are in need. I can't imagine a person who would have a problem with a nonprofit whose mission is to help.

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