The First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC) and District Council 9 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) held their annual Hope for Harlem block party and community service event over the August 26 weekend. The groups donated thousands of groceries, hygiene products, and back-to-school supplies, as well as offered employment opportunities and health resources to members of the local community. New York State Senator Cordell Cleare and Democratic nominee for City Council Yusef Salaam attended and supported the efforts.
The Hope for Harlem initiative takes a holistic approach to serving the community, focusing on the mind, body, and soul of Harlem’s residents. Beginning during the COVID-19 pandemic, this annual event has become a hallmark for the neighborhood and stands as a testament to the power of community.
“Community service is a value at the core of our union,” said Joseph Azzopardi, BM/ST of District Council 9. “Every year, our members are proud to lend a hand at the Hope for Harlem event and help their neighbors get ready for school or work this fall. Thank you to First Corinthian Baptist Church for partnering with us on this event once again.”
“At FCBC, we believe we are commissioned by God to serve,” saidDesiree Elder, associate pastor. “That service extends past the four walls and into the community and the world. We believe we must be architects of change. To put on an event of this magnitude for those who need it most, in collaboration with so many other organizations and sponsors, is a testament to our ability to work together to benefit the whole.”
About First Corinthian Baptist Church
FCBC was first organized in 1933 and is an ever-evolving community of visionaries, dreamers, and doers who are on a mission to live the lives they were created to live, love beyond the limits of prejudices, and honor the commission to serve. FCBC has a strong footprint in supporting the Harlem community through initiatives like its food pantry, clothing drives, and annual public events. FCBC is focused on providing a sanctuary for Harlem’s residents in the forms of the arts, theater, and music, as well as resources for leadership development, economic empowerment, and mental health support.
About DC 9
District Council 9 is a chapter of the IUPAT, an organization of painters, decorators, wall coverers, drywall finishers, sign painters, metal polishers, bridge and structural steel painters, civil service painters, lead abatement workers, glaziers and architectural metal glassworkers, paint makers, and allied trades. The IUPAT is dedicated to securing and improving wages, benefits, and overall working conditions for its members.