Though it was the first Family Day for Baruch Addition, a development for seniors on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, “Family Days” have been a NYCHA tradition for many years.
Baruch Addition held its Family Day on July 26. In addition to food that represented the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side community, festivities included music and dancing, free massages, skits, and resource tables, featuring representatives from Healthfirst, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, NYCHA, and more. Council Member Carlina Rivera also attended the event.
NYCHA partners with resident associations to plan and coordinate Family Days, which are like block parties where residents of the development come together for summer fun. Most events have barbecues on the grounds along with games, rides, and face painting for children, in addition to planned presentations that may include singing, speeches, and awards.
Baruch Addition Resident Association President Edward Jacobs helped plan his development’s Family Day and was one of the star musical performers, entertaining residents with R&B ballads. Songs were sung in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
“The best thing about Family Day is giving the seniors a chance to get out and enjoy themselves, listen to music, have good food, good entertainment, and make them happy,” Mr. Jacobs said. “A lot of them are homebound, so we’re bringing all of this to them. My favorite part of Family Day is seeing the seniors enjoy themselves.”
Baruch Addition resident August Laguer, 79, also sang for his neighbors. He has lived in the development for 18 years. Mr. Laguer said that Family Day is a great event for the seniors because “it’s important that we have things that keep us alive. Singing keeps me alive, people keep me alive. The residents here are like a family. The seniors that are well take care of the ones who aren’t.”
Family Days are generally held from June to September; this year, there are approximately 175 Family Days planned at NYCHA developments across the city.