The Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center (BCCRC) had an incredible 10 days, receiving a total $50,000 in donations from the local Hamptons United Methodist Church and from Amazon, one of America’s largest companies. BCCRC, or The Center, is historically Black, community-based institution serving marginalized East End children and families through encouragement, education, and empowerment, as well as with practical support such as food, school supplies and more.
First, on Friday, March 11, the Hamptons United Methodist Church (HUMC) presented BCCRC with $25,000 to support The Center’s outreach, especially noting their after-school program. Executive Director Bonnie Michelle Cannon received the check from Rev. Joanne S. Utley, and church members Jerlean Hopson and Arlean Van Slyke, who also serve on BCCRC’s Board of Directors, during a tour of the center’s new multi-purpose facility.
According to a BCCRC announcement about the donation, the church’s gift was prompted by a presentation that Cannon made at a recent HUMC worship service. The congregation was inspired that The Center was able to continue their after-school program during the COVID-19 pandemic. A similar program at the church that served 25 Southampton students has been on hiatus since the pandemic began. With that in mind, the church voted to offer its after-school “savings” to help BCCRC continue — and maybe even expand — its programming.
“We feel blessed to be able to collaborate with The Center in their outreach to the Bridgehampton community,” Rev. Utley said. “They have been steadfast in continuing to serve the community despite the great challenges presented by the pandemic.”
Cannon added, “I was so surprised and overwhelmed by your gift for The Center’s children. We are living in gratitude for community friends like you. God bless you and your congregation for caring and sharing.”
If that incredible gift wasn’t enough, BCCRC announced on Friday, March 18 that Amazon New York matched HUMC with the company’s own $25,000 donation — it is The Center’s first-ever donation from Amazon, and their largest corporate gift to date.
“Thank you, Amazon New York for believing in the work we are doing on the East End! We always say, ‘it takes a village’ and we are thrilled that Amazon is part of our Center family,” Cannon said in the announcement, offering gratitude to Amazon executives Carley Graham Garcia, Head of Community Affairs, and Jennifer Cruickshank, Director of Public Policy, as well as Ogbe Agabato, from Amazon workforce staffing, “who took the time to visit the East End and The Center.”
Cannon, along with board members Jerlean Hopson, Arlene Van Slyke, Dan’s Papers founder Dan Rattiner, and Advisory Board members Lukas Weinstein and Chris Wasserstein (Dan’s wife) were very proud to be able to give them a tour of the BCCRC campus and the new building.
“They were very impressed by the work and mission of The Center,” Friday’s announcement said.
Learn more about the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center at bhccrc.org.