Happy ending for HeartShare

With headlines like “Holy Heist,” the March 24 burglary of Sovereign Bank’s Howard Beach branch seemed right out of a Hollywood movie, but it was not.
The Angels on the Bay Evaluation Center, through whose walls the thieves bored in order to hit Sovereign’s vault, suffered over $100,000 in damages, including the restoration — and staff and services had to be displaced.
“The sheetrock was replaced, as well as the carpeting, a new floor in the back room and new paint,” explained Carol Verdi, Vice President of Educational Services at Angels on the Bay. “Industrial fans dried everything. While they [the restoration company] were doing the cleaning we really couldn’t be inside,” she said, telling The Courier that the evaluation center was temporarily moved to the school at 82-12 151st Avenue in Lindenwood.
However, as in many movies, this story has a happy ending.
Not only were the repairs covered by insurance, but the incident seemed to have brought out the best in people.
“I was blown away by the fact that local people called up [to help],” said Verdi. “[They] brought us things to auction, others sent checks. We even received an anonymous donation of $2,500.”
Verdi continued, “People who read about it [the break-in] were touched by it — it shows that good outweighs the bad.”
And it bespeaks the power of the press, she said.
Sovereign Bank, whose own office was affected, also helped.
“Every year HeartShare [which runs The Angels on the Bay Evaluation Center] has a fundraiser,” explained Verdi. “The bank [Sovereign] took a corporate sponsorship to help offset any costs we incurred. It was very nice of them, especially since they were also affected.”
The Center, which provides assessments of young children between the ages of three and five regarding disabilities and special services, helps about 15 families per week.
HeartShare Human Services of New York is located at 12 MetroTech
Center, 29th Floor, in Brooklyn. They can be reached at 718-422-4200.
The Angels on the Bay Evaluation Center is at 162-30 Cross Bay
Boulevard in Howard Beach. To learn more, call 718-323-2877 or visit www.heartshare.org.