project leader
Nora W
142 Watkins Street
latest update rss
No updates yet.

the project

For more than a decade of devastation and poverty on Watkins Street, Bishop and Nora Wheelous have tried at Charity Baptist Church to help neighbors overcome adversity in one of New York City's poorest neighborhoods. The Covid-19 pandemic only aggravated longtime issues in Brownsville, Brooklyn - homelessness, drug addiction, mental health challenges, and lack of affordable healthy options for children and families and seniors. That is just to name a few of the challenges facing low-income communities of color.

It is well-known that communities of color have been disproportionately slammed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the pastor and Lady Nora have been at the forefront, witnessing untold suffering and deaths of neighbors, parishioners and those they care about. 

Watkins Street is in an area of Brownsville with among the highest number of shootings and violence in the city, not to mention drug activity. Pastor Wheelous and Lady Nora are concerned that people no longer will come to their church because of the illicit activity around their building - mainly by people who simply need services. 

So what to do?

Take back the block and work together to create a brighter, greener, healthier today and tomorrow for all.

Please give to give this inspiring community a chance.

Starting Sept. 14th, the Wheelous are holding their first block meeting to bring together neighbors, the police and all agencies involved in improving the quality of life of Brownsville, and especially Watkins Street between Belmont and bustling Pitkin Avenue. The question? How can we collaborate together to change facts on the ground?

This fundraiser is intended to give a besieged block a chance to turn around, by community action.

Their plan to start?

1. Hire local residents to clean up the block and plant greenery along Watkins Street, including a local person to patrol and look out for neighbors

2. Get their van back in action to bring fresh, healthy food to the block and neighboring areas, deprived of access to affordable healthy fruits and vegetables.

Plus take children and families to healthy activities like sports and cultural events to open the horizon of local children

3. Host youth and tutoring programs and healthy activities at the church and maybe at the local corner restaurant, Eat to the Bone, at Pitkin and Belmont 

4. Organize regular events to bring the block and other neighbors together

The idea? 

If we rise, all rise.

If not now, when?

We can't let the Covid pandemic and poverty define the destiny of local children in a neighborhood battling high crime and crises yet full of productive, talented individuals and dedicated community members capable of forging positive change.

Please join the crusade. Love Conquers All - Bring back the Brownsville block.






the steps

September-October: Hold block meetings to bring neighbors together, get van up and running, start healthy events, hire and organize local residents to beautify the block and start a neighborhood patrol

October-December: Start tutoring sessions and create afterschool healthy activities for local youth, hold events like fresh community meals  

December to June: Continue all of the above and build on them.

why we're doing it

Central Brooklyn is one of three NYC neighborhoods with the highest rates of Covid-19 deaths, obesity, heart disease, poverty and crime. Brownsville has the second highest rate of poverty in the city, the highest percentage of absentee school children and NYC's highest premature death rate. More than a third of the residents lived in poverty, pre-pandemic.

See that statistics here by the NYC Department of Health

African-Americans and Latinos died at more than twice the rate of other groups from Covid-19, largely due to diseases which could have been prevented had they had access to healthy lifestyles and fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables. 

Throughout all of the hunger and illness and isolation of the pandemic, it was the community members who tirelessly visited neighbors, cared for their children and elders, and did all they can to work together and be there for each other.

Despite millions of dollars given to large chairties and others, Brownsville's ills persist over generations. 

As a community, we must act. Neighbors themselves must join their strength together to create a better today and tomorrow for our children. This is why we're doing this.

If we don't do this, who will? If not now, when? Please support us. All volunteers welcome to support.




$2561.00 - Van driver and maintenance

  Normal Fees
TOTAL RAISED = $2,600.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $39.00



$3000 - Garden boxes, greening materials, payment for helpers to green Watkins Street

$6000 - Salary for a local person or persons to sweep and clean the block, plus for security 

$6000 - Free afterschool and tutoring programs for youth at the church 

$4000 - Healthy Food and free coupons to buy fresh food at local farm stands so all can eat healthy

$3000 - Insurance for our van to take children and families to healthy activities like soccer and cultural trips, plus transport fresh produce into our neighborhoods

$2000 - Yearly maintenance for our van

$6000 - Payment for driver for our van


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  


Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Seeds in the Middle 1
  • Charity Baptist Church of Christ
  • Seeds in the Middle 1